Andrew Wilkowske – when singing a “virile, sturdy Marcello” or a “garrulous yet endearing” Papageno – displays an engaging combination of musical talent and masterful stage presence. Wilkowske, whose voice has been described as “nimble,” with an “impressively open top,” is one of the most versatile performers on the stage today. His recent performance of La Rocca in Verdi’s King For a Day at Glimmerglass Festival was called ‘superb’ by to The New York Times and “brought impressive command to the text” according to The Wall Street Journal.
Wilkowske will be seen twice at Minnesota Opera this season, first as Geronte in Manon Lescaut, and then as Papageno in The Magic Flute. He will also reprise the role of Ponchel in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera, a role he created in 2011 with Minnesota Opera, and again in 2013 with Opera Philadelphia. A telecast of Silent Night can be seen this December on PBS. Later this season he will be heard in Carmina Burana with the Billings Symphony and Milwaukee’s Bel Canto Chorus.
Recent engagements include the critically acclaimed rock recital Guns N’ Rosenkavalier, a rock recital with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Glimmerglass Festival, a project he created with composer John Glover; Mr. Gedge in Albert Herring with Florentine Opera; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Intermountain Opera Bozeman; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Minnesota Opera; Tonio in I Pagliacci with Mill City Summer Opera; Belcore in L’Elisir D’Amore with Utah Opera; Carmina Burana with the Minnesota Orchestra, under the baton of Osmo Vänksä; and Emperor Overall in the critically acclaimed production of The Emperor of Atlantis with Boston Lyric Opera.
Widely known for his expertise in modern repertoire, Wilkowske recently sang in the premiere of Kirke Mechem’s The Rivals with Skylight Music Theatre. Other recent premieres include Our Basic Nature, by John Glover and Kelley Rourke with American Opera Projects and Nautilus Music Theater; The Grapes of Wrath, by Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie with Minnesota Opera and Pittsburgh Opera; The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Jonathan Dove and Alastair Miles with Minnesota Opera; The Fly, by Howard Shore and Henry David Hwang with Los Angeles Opera.
Active on the musical theatre stage, Wilkowske’s performance in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris was called “chilling” and “deeply moving” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and his performance in the world premiere of Sleeping Beauty with the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati earned him a nomination for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award.
Wilkowske’s escapades as opera’s favorite barber are documented in his award-winning “A Year of Figaro” blog.