With a velvety tone and a stage presence which exudes confidence and charm, baritone Levi Hernandez is gaining momentum as a sought-after artist on the operatic stage. Mark Thomson Ketterson of Opera News declared of his principal debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dandini in La cenerentola, “Young baritone Levi Hernandez’s intelligent Dandini displayed a most impressive knack for subtle text-painting within a pristinely negotiated coloratura line…”
The El Paso native has joined the rosters of leading opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera where he debuted as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly next to Ana Maria Martinez and Joseph Calleja. Hernandez’s 2017-2018 season included his debut with Opera Colorado as Marcello in La bohème, Inspector Kildare in Elizabeth Cree with Chicago Opera Theater, Alvaro in Florencia en el Amazonas with San Diego Opera and Madison Opera, and Ford in Falstaff with Intermountain Opera. The 2018-2019 season sees him as Rambaldo in La rondine with Minnesota Opera, Rabbi Lampert in Enemies, A Love Story with Kentucky Opera, Sharpless with Virginia Opera, and Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath with Michigan Opera Theatre.
Hernandez’s 2016-2017 season included Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with both Arizona Opera and Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, Handel’s Alexander’s Feast with Music of the Baroque, the Messiah with Northwestern University, Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath in his return to Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Shuisky in Dvorak’s Dimitrij with Bard SummerScape.
Other recent engagements include covering the title role in The Death of Klinghoffer and productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten and Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera, Alvaro in Florencia en el Amazonas with Arizona Opera, Sonora in La fanciulla del West with Opera Omaha, Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Don Magnifico in La cenerentola with Opera Omaha, Dandini in La cenerentola with Opera Roanoke and Opera North, Papageno with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Madison Opera, Gianni Schicchi with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Germont in La traviata with Opera Roanoke and Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Pine Mountain Music Festival, Guglielmo in Puccini’s Le Villi with the Spoleto Festival, USA, his European debut with Komische Oper Berlin’s Pique Dame in the role of Tomski, Guglielmo/Remigio in Le villi/ La Navarraise at Bard Music Festival Tobias Mill in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio with Opera Omaha, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Nashville Opera, Minnesota Opera, Intermountain Opera, Virginia Opera, Lake George Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera, his debut with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Marcello in La bohème with Opera Memphis, San Antonio Opera, and El Paso Opera, Schaunard in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s La bohème, Valentin in Faust with the Kalamazoo Symphony, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Moralès in Carmen, and Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, all with Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Don Lucas in Luisa Fernanda, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Crébillon in La rondine with Los Angeles Opera.
An alumnus of the Lyric Opera center for American Artists, Mr. Hernandez made his Lyric Opera main stage debut during the 2004-2005 season. During his tenure at Lyric, he was seen as Marullo in Rigoletto, Sciarrone in Tosca, the Innkeeper in Manon Lescaut and the Bartender in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding. A versatile actor as well as a fine singer, Hernandez portrayed the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the 2004 Grant Park Music Festival.
Mr. Hernandez has been seen on the concert stage as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the El Paso Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Cheyenne Symphony and in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Pennsylvania Ballet. A 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards finalist, his many awards include a Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation grant as well as being a 2002 OPERALIA competition finalist. After receiving his undergraduate degree at Westminster Choir College, Mr. Hernandez attended the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he performed several leading roles including Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Marcello in La bohème, Ford in Falstaff, Gugliemo in Così fan tutte, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Vicar in Albert Herring and Falke in Die Fledermaus.