Charles Robert Austin  Reviews

BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST

"The main event, William Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast," found Schwarz and the orchestra at their best .......  and bass-baritone soloist Charles Robert Austin was a standout: handsome timbre, great diction and a real sense of drama "

Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times


"The Seattle Symphony and Chorale .... did well by the piece. Charles Robert Austin had the baritone role firmly in his grasp and sang with dramatic flair. He possesses what the part demands.

Richard Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 

THE EXECUTION OF STEPAN RAZIN (NAXOS RECORDING)

"Charles Robert Austin sings both Razin and the narrator with force and great expression. Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle Symphony whip the score into a frenzy ".

Robert Levine, Amazon.com Editorial Review


"... the performances are superb with bass-baritone Charles Robert Austin in commanding voice and the Seattle Symphony chorus and orchestra under conductor Gerard Schwarz in top form. "

Bob McQuiston, Tower.com

GRENDEL

This opera has two major bass roles... The second is that of King Hrothgar and it contains lower notes than those customarily sung by operatic performers. Charles Robert Austin, a commanding personality on stage, sang the difficult tessitura with accuracy and seeming ease. He also got to drive a fascinating clockwork tractor.

Maria Nockin, CLASSICAL SINGER


Photo:  Robert Millard, 2006

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

"Charles Robert Austin represented a beautiful discovery in this premiere.  When expressing his disenchantment and highest pain by Tristan's betrayal, his song resonated with potency and line, and in addition to an apollonian ethos, perfect pitch and moving nobility."

Dr. Marc Jean-Bernard, EL NUEVO DIA (San Juan, PR)

"The third voice of special notice was that of Charles Robert Austin as King Marke, of extraordinary effect and projection.  His introspective monologue at the end of the second act, the great moment of the character, allowed for a singular tasting."

Victor R. Castro Gomez, EL VOCERO (San Juan, PR)

"The slender and attractive American bass Charles Austin as King Marke had a massive honeyed voice and a stage presence unexpected in the self-deprecating regent."

Peggy Ann Bliss, SAN JUAN STAR

EVELYN LEAR & THOMAS STEWART'S EMERGING SINGERS (SPONSORED BY THE WAGNER SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON D.C.)

"It was dazzling to hear Charles Robert Austin bring so many colors and effects out of his baritone.  His singing soars on an underlying power"

Daniel Ginsberg, THE WASHINGTON POST

 

DIE WALKURE

"Charles Robert Austin brought a big, solid, colorfully shaded voice, not to mention a commanding presence, to the role of Hunding."

Tim Smith, OPERA NEWS

"Charles Robert Austin has exactly the right dark, brooding, inner qualities and vocal colors for Zieglinde's bourgeois husband, Hunding."

Edgar Loessin, WHRO - LOESSIN AT LARGE

"...Charles Robert Austin's Hunding make[s] this production a feast in the bass and baritone registers."

Claire Bustard, RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH 

 

SYMPHONY’S ‘LOHENGRIN’ A TRIUMPH

“Bass Charles Austin ( King Mark in CSO’s “Tristan”), possessor of a strikingly beautiful voice, was more than pleasing as King Henry.”

Mary Ellyn Hutton, CINCINNATI POST 

 

TOKYO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA/ TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

“At the last concert of the series with Gerard Schwarz, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed Tristan und Isolde, Act II in concert style...”

“Gary Lakes (Tristan), Marilyn Zschau (Isolde) and Florence Quivar (Brangene)-although there were some places in style I think they could do better, but never mind them. The best findings in this concert was Charles Austin who sang Konig Marke. The graceful voice and the way he sang to express the sadness of the king showed that he has something which stands out in him.”

Minoru Okamoto, GRAND OPERA  

CSO TRIUMPHS WITH ‘TRISTAN’

“Find of the week end was bass Charles Austin, who as King Mark displayed a warm pliant voice and an air of wounded majesty.”

Mary Ellyn Hutton, CINCINNATI POST

 

CSO, SINGERS CAPTURE FIRE OF WAGNER

“Special mention must be given to bass Charles Austin’s angry King Mark at the close of the second act. His rich, clear declamation and emotive delivery reminded the listener that the actions of forbidden lovers Tristan and Isolde have consequences beyond their own lives.”

Jason Hoogerhyde, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4 May 1998

 

TOSCA ENTERS GRANDLY AT BOB JONES UNIVERSITY

“Her equal partner of the evening is dramatic baritone Charles Austin.  His beautiful sonorous voice is the perfect match to his haughtily elegant acting style.  Austin has it all.  Wonderful phrasing, impressive stage presence and sizzling acting chops.”

Ann Hicks, GREENVILLE NEWS

 

SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONY # 14

“The soloist-Charles Austin, bass, was in fine voice and projected the texts powerfully and with a sense of the passions behind them. All the bleakness of Shostakovich’s vision of the absolute finality of death, with no hope of an afterlife or redemption, came through with unmistakable clarity.”

Allan Kozinn, NEW YORK TIMES  

 

'DEAD MAN WALKING' IN MADISON? MAYBE.

"As for the prison warden George Benton, Charles Austin (well known to local audiences from his many appearances with the Madison Opera) was in great voice and skillfully managed the difficult task of being both officious and human."

Jess Andersen, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, 28 April 2002

 

HALLELUJAH FOR ‘MESSIAH’

“The quartet of soloists the Philharmonic brought together for this year’s performance might not be a “dream team” of singers, but they came very close. Bass Charles Austin was just as impressive here as he was earlier this year in the Philharmonic’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem, ranging from a magisterial reading of “Thus Saith the Lord,” to the gentle quiet of “Behold, I tell you a mystery,” to a furious performance of “But who may abide” in which one could almost hear the flames of the “refiner’s fire” crackling in his voice.”

James D. Watts Jr.,  TULSA WORLD, 6 December 1999

 

MENOTTI: THE CONSUL-- Chandos CHAN 9706 (2) (Koch, dist.)

This performance makes a strong case for The Consul. Susan Bullock’s Magda Sorel is sung with beauty and a poignancy that resists the urge to go over the top, no matter how often the music encourages her. Also effective are Louis Otey (John), Jacalyn Kreitzer (the Mother) and Charles Austin (Secret Police Agent), with Victoria Livengood handling the chilling Secretary especially well.

P. G. , OPERA NEWS

Cast of The Consul in Spoleto, Italy, 
1998 (from left) Charles Robert 
Austin, Victoria  Livengood, Susan 
Bullock, Louis Ottey

SEATTLE--PETER IBBETSON

Charles Austin, an eloquent bass with a sound of considerable depth, sang Major Duquesnois,

Melinda Bargreen, OPERA NEWS

 

THE ELIXIR OF LOVE

The most relaxed and polished of all the performances came from bass Charles Austin as the traveling snake-oil vendor, Dr. Dulcamara. As an actor Austin is completely commanding on stage, a perfectionist of small (presumably intuitive) gesture. His voice is big but not heavy, and he is very nimble vocally.

Jess Anderson, THE ISTHMUS

 

MADISON OPERA

“The Devil is not a nice guy. Everything he touches is defiled and debased. Charles Austin is fantastic in the role of Mephistopheles, vocally in top form in a demanding and physical part. Puffed up to his full dimension by blood red wings 12 feet wide, he proceeded to wreak havoc on the deeply sinful Dr. Faust,”

Jess Anderson, THE ISTHMUS

 

MADISON, WI  OPERA NEWS

“As Mephistopheles, bass-baritone Charles Austin took a few minutes to warm up his high notes, subsequently proving an impressive vocalist. He reveled in his role, his vigorous presence enhanced by a wild white wig and satyr’s pantaloons.

John Koopman, OPERA NEWS

 

BRAVO! ‘FIGARO’ IS MAGNIFICO

Charles Robert Austin is a wonderful Figaro, a strong and rich baritone.

Jay Rath, THE CAPITAL TIMES

  Figaro

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO 

Charles Austin brought excellent singing and acting to full blown life in his Figaro.

Jess Anderson, THE ISTHMUS

 

CSO’s FIDELIO

“As the jailer, Rocco, Charles Austin displayed a burnished bass of affecting beauty, making his Act I aria-a ditty about gold- seem easy.”

Mary Ellyn Hutton, CINCINNATI POST

 

ELIJAH

“The outstanding feature of Sunday afternoon’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah was the bass soloist, Charles Austin. His full, beautiful voice combined with a wonderful sense of vocal line and phrase, movingly dramatizing the powerful faith and passion of the oratorio’s principle character.”

Jess Anderson, THE ISTHMUS

“There is no doubt that Charles Austin, a far ranging baritone, had the premier, as well as the most dramatic role. Austin was a towering Elijah.”

Haywood Allen, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

“Much of the concert’s artistic success was due to bass-baritone Charles Austin in the role of Elijah. Austin’s voice was rich and commanding, the perfect aural image of the Old Testament hero, with enough edge to give it a pleasing clarity over the orchestra, flexibility and exceptional uniformity throughout his range, and a fine dramatic sense to convey the frustrations of a very human prophet.”

Robert Rhein, LINCOLN JOURNAL

 

DON GIOVANNI

“The cast was sterling from top to bottom. Bass Charles Austin gave us an unusual slant on Leporello, the Don’s servant and sidekick; not a buffoon, but a character with depth and variety. His darker voice was an agreeable foil to (Rodney) Gilfry’s lithe baritone.”

Michael Fleming,  ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS

“Bass-baritone Charles Austin portrays Leporello, the easy-going, do-anything-to-please master Giovanni, with great ease. His is a comic character, and he is quite lovable and carefree in his presentation of a man who will protect his master, but who at the same time, inwardly finds his behavior disgusting and deplorable. Austin and Hartman’s voices blend quite well together.”

Rosemary Jette, THE TRANSCRIPT

As Monterone in Verdis Rigoletto

BARBER OF SEVILLE

 “Charles Austin was perhaps too good as the slimy Don Basilio. Austin’s glorious bass voice effectively carried through the hall more powerfully than the rumor he proposed to ruin the count. With the perfect amount of melodramatic caricature, Austin made Basilio a mercenary different from Figaro only because he befriended the politically incorrect people.”

Robert W. Butts, THE INDEPENDENT RECORDER

“Charles Austin turned Basilio’s “La Calunnia” into an explosion of venom and conspiratorial spookiness.”

Michael Anthony, THE ST. PAUL PIONEER

“The two standouts in Tuesday’s performance were Gary Martin as Figaro and bass Charles Austin as Basilio. They coupled singing that packed a punch with a wonderful stage presence. In Scene 2 of Act I, Austin spreads his hands and sings so powerfully that for a moment you think he’s Moses on the mountain.”

Tilly Lavenas, THE SOUTH CAROLINA JOURNAL

 

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