JUSTIN BERKOWITZ, tenor, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been praised for his “exacting and animated” performances, and is quickly gaining national attention for both his character work, as well as his “bright future in bel canto.”
Justin's 2018-19 season begins with an exciting, international debut with "Music in the Alps" in Innsbruck, Austria, where he will perform his highly-regarded interpretation of Orff's Tenor Solo in Carmina Burana. Next, he will appear with Opera Atelier at The Harris Theater in two one-act pieces, Actéon and Pygmalion. The spring of 2019 will bring several debuts of Carmina Burana with The Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Chippewa Valley Symphony, and others. Justin is also thrilled to perform The Messiah with the Naples Philharmonic this winter.
2017 saw exciting Chicago debuts with The Chicago Philharmonic as the Tenor Soloist for Carmina Burana, as well as his debut with Haymarket Opera Theater in Ariane et Bachus, which was followed by his debut with Opera Louisiane as Monostatos in The Magic Flute. The 2016-17 season began for Justin in Central City, CO where he appeared as a Bonfils-Stanton Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, performing the roles of the Old Miner, Mayor of Leadville and Chester Arthur in The Ballad of Baby Doe. This fall, Justin appeared with the Janesville Symphony for their Bach Magnificat. During 2017, Justin will make several debuts, beginning with DuPage Opera as Nanki-poo in The Mikado. Justin will then appear with Opera on the James as Dr. Cajus in Falstaff. Justin then performs the role of Jack in Into the Woods with St. Petersburg Opera.
2015-2016 brought Justin back to the stages of the Harris Theater, appearing in Chicago Opera Theater's Lucio Silla, and a performance of the tenor solo in Carmina Burana with the Windy City Chorus of Chicago. The 2014-2015 season highlights include concert debuts with the Northwestern University Concert Series and Annapolis Choral Society and Symphony as tenor soloist in Carmina Burana, and the Rochester (MI) Symphony in Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Justin was also been invited to perform as guest artist for the Minnehaha Music’s fall concert, featuring Bel Canto arias and operatic hits. During the fall of 2014, he returned to Harris Theater for Chicago Opera Theater's production of Macbeth.
Justin made several operatic debuts during the 2013-14 season: in fall 2013, he joined the young artist roster at Chicago Opera Theater, then spent several months as resident tenor artist with Opera Naples (FL), where he made his role debut of Beppe in Pagliacci and covered Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He also appeared under the auspices of Opera Naples in numerous community and school performances, singing opera arias and ensemble pieces with fellow young artists. He made his debut with St. Petersburg Opera (FL), where he covered the role of Tony in their production of West Side Story and performed the role of Snowboy.
Justin recently received his Masters Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Stanford Olsen and Freda Herseth. On the opera stage, he performed the role of Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos, Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Dr. Caius in Falstaff, Sellem in The Rake’s Progress, and Luciano and the First Soldier in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Justin was also selected to perform the tenor solo in Carmina Burana with the University Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Kenneth Kiesler.
Equally at home in the genres of Operetta and Musical Theater, Justin spent the summer of 2012 as a young artist with the Ohio Light Opera company, where he performed the role of Franz Schubert in Romberg’s “Blossom Time.” Opera News noted of performance, “With his true, limpid tenor, Justin Berkowitz conveys sweetness and a delicate artistic temperament as Schubert,” and further remarked that his romantic duets were a “thrilling embodiment of youthful passion.” “Blossom Time” was recorded and recently released on CD by Albany Records.
Justin spent the summers of 2011 and 2010 as a young artist with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, where he performed a wide variety of roles including Oronte in Handel’s Alcina, Giueseppe in Verdi’s La Traviata, Chainsaw Bob in Weill’s The Threepenny Opera and Frosch in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, working with directors David Gately, Patrick Hansen and Dean Anthony.
Justin received his Bachelor’s degrees in Voice Performance and English from Lawrence University and Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he studied with Kenneth Bozeman. While at Lawrence, he appeared as Jenik in The Bartered Bride, Herisson-de-Porc Epic in L’etoile, Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Jack in Into the Woods and as the title role in Candide. While at Lawrence, Justin performed as tenor soloist with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra for performances of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Mass in C.
Known for his interpretation of Orff’s tenor solo in Carmina Burana, Justin has performed the piece throughout the Midwest, including engagements with the University of Michigan, Michigan Glee Clubs, Northwestern University, Osh Kosh Symphony and Dudley Birder Chorale.