“Brett Polegato’s Kurwenal was outstanding, portrayed with absolute dignity, a sorrowful tone and vocal perfection.” ResMusica, March 2012.
Zurga in Bizet Pearl Fishers / Opera Hamilton
cond. Peter Oleskevich / dir. Brian Deecrick
“Certainly Opera Hamilton’s Pearl Fishers cast had all the bases covered. One of Canada’s best baritones, Brett Polegato, turned in an extremely fine performance as Zurga. Polegato had it all, from the tenderness of ‘O Nadir tendre ami’ to the momentary ferocity fuelled by jealous love in his Act 3 duet with Léïla.”
“… popular Canadian baritone Brett Polegato gives an astonishing performance, an unforgettable co-mingling of authority and vulnerability, grit and tenderness. His voice is quite simply extraordinary with its towering top and resonant depth, his middle range smooth and lustrous. Like a pearl.”
John Terauds, Musical Toronto, March 2013
Dandini in Rossini La Cenerentola / Seattle Opera
“One member of the cast who really surprised me was the Canadian baritone Brett Polegato, who had an uproarious whale of a time as the prince’s valet Dandini. I have only seen and heard Polegato before now in serious roles, but he demonstrated a quite masterly comic gift, and his singing rivaled Pini’s in its precision and accuracy.”
Bernard Jacobson, Seen and Heard International, January 2013
“What this production does boast is singing—specifically, three lessons in how to turn the profuse ornamentation of Rossini's vocal lines into expression and character. Brett Polegato, as Dandini, makes quicksilver, improvisatory comedy out of it.”
Gavin Borchet, Seattle Weekly, January 2013
Recording: Handel Messiah / Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra
“Hushed strings and Brett Polegato’s unaffected baritone are eloquently evocative of stillness in ‘For behold, darkness shall cover the earth”.
David Vickers, Gramophone, February 2013
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 & The Wound Dresser / Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
cond. Roberto Minczuk
“Tonight was a joy, and a fitting ending to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra's War and Peace Festival... Set for baritone solo and orchestra, [The Wound Dresser] consists of many of Adams' trademark features: angular melodic lines, which were easily navigated by audience favourite Brett Polegato.
The highlight of the piece comes when the protagonist declares that he dresses the wounds impassively, but his thoughts belie his diffident exterior, and the orchestra exclaims his anguish at seeing so much gore. Polegato carried this off to brilliant ends, much as he did the entire work.
At last, we came to the evening's highlight, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. [...] The much-anticipated final movement, with its beloved Ode to Joy, felt as lighthearted as joy ought to be played. [...] Polegato gave a beautiful account of the recitative with flawless German, [...] the soloists were all in fine form”.
Stephan Bonfield, Calgary Herald, November 2012
Walton Belshazzar’s Feast / Carnegie Hall
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / cond. Robert Spano
“The highlight of the concert was the blazing performance of Belshazzar’s Feast. Brett Polegato gave an impressive and stirring account of the narrative crafted by Osbert Sitwell from an episode in the Book of Daniel.”
David M. Rice, ClassicalSource.com, November 2012
“Mr. Spano also led a compelling rendition of the Walton piece; tightly wrought, immaculate performances… baritone Brett Polegato rendered the dramatic elements even more arresting with his powerful, richly hued solos”.
Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times
, October 2012
“It is such a wonderful occurrence when a great orchestra meets a great chorus with a great soloist. And that is exactly what happened when our baritone soloist Brett Polegato took the stage. He sang with such full, rich, depth of tone from top to bottom, and recanted the text with great drama. His interpretation of the text made the stories jump from page to reality. Mr. Polegato, simply put, was a musical poet, and had colors akin to Sir Thomas Allen”.
Jake Johansen, Examiner.com, October 2012
Elijah / Elora Festival
cond. Noel Edison
“The five soloists were icing on an already rich cake... Polegato deserves special mention for the conviction he brought to the demanding role of Elijah, who has to summon hope, courage, anger, despair and, finally, peaceful acceptance of his fate as an underappreciated messenger of God’s will. The singer found myriad ways to colour each aria a little differently, adding further shades of meaning to the already beautiful music.”
John Terauds, Toronto.com, July 2012
Sharpless in Puccini Madame Butterfly / Seattle Opera
“Canadian baritone Brett Polegato impressed us with his ample, rich voice, including easy tops and fine legato. He acted well the stressful situation of the great letter scene, which is for me the best moment in the opera. He was also a handsome figure and easily commanded the stage.”
Rod Parke, Seattle Gay News, May 2012
“Brett Polegato as Sharpless… deliver(s a) robust performance”
Audrey Gervasi, Examiner.com
, May 2012
Kurwenal in Wagner Tristan und Isolde / CBSO
cond. Andris Nelsons
“Brett Polegato’s Kurwenal was outstanding, portrayed with absolute dignity, a sorrowful tone and vocal perfection.”
Patrick George Montague, ResMusica, March 2012
“Brett Polegato's Kurwenal was a real treat… his robust diatonic music always a breath of fresh air after the swooning chromaticism of the lovers.”
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
, March 2012
“...Brett Polegato, whose lyric baritone carried magnificently and who had considerable presence."
Rian Evans, Classical Source, March 2012
“Always accurate, a beautiful tone… and a beautiful presence.”
Marie Torres, Artistikrezo, March 2012
“Brett Polegato stood out as a gallant and tender squire, mastering the phrasing perfectly – which is rare for singers playing the role of Kurwenal.”
Concerto Net, March 2012
Starbuck Moby Dick / Calgary Opera
cond. Joseph Mechavich
“Brett Polegato goes from triumph to triumph, and I have never heard him so completely successful as in his very human and vocally superb rendition of Star-buck. The ovation for him at the end was spontaneous and entirely deserved.”
Kenneth Delong, Calgary Herald, January 2012
“There is a duet between Polegato and Heppner that shows these men's true humanity, which is chilling in its beauty.”
Louis Hobson, Calgary Sun, January 2012
Handel's Messiah / Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir / Koerner Hall
cond. Ivars Taurins
“Canadian baritone Brett Polegato brought his rich, dark voice to bear on Thus Saith the Lord.“
Colin Eatock, The Globe and Mail, December 2011
“Baritone Brett Polegato, sang as if his life — and soul — depended on every note and word being true.”
John Terauds, Toronto.com, December 2011
Papageno in Mozart Die Zauberflöte / Cincinnati Opera
“As Mathey’s companion, the birdcatcher Papageno, Brett Polegato was completely at ease as both singer and comic relief.”
Thomas Consolo, Music in Cincinnati, August 2011
“His partner in the quest, Papageno, was Canadian baritone and excellent comedian Brett Polegato. His cleverness, singing and acting were delightful.”
Burt Saidel, Oakwoodregister, August 2011
“As the bird catcher Papageno
, Brett Polegato stole the show whenever he was onstage with his comic timing and engaging vocal character.”
, July 2011
Soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor
“Polegato’s stunning achievements were his virtuoso solo at Et ascendit in coelum and his gorgeous articulate account, with oboe John Abberger and bassoon Teresi, of his aria Et in Spiritum sanctum.”
The Globe and Mail, February 2011
Soloist in Handel Messiah,
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto / cond. Ivars Taurins
"Baritone Brett Polegato... is at the peak of his vocal prime. Besides conveying the emotional message behind his arias... Polegato brought immense technical control on Wednesday night....[Polegato] didn’t miss a note."
John Terauds, Toronto Star, December 2010
Sharpless in Puccini Madama Butterfly
Canadian Opera Company
“There is also superb work from baritone Brett Polegato as the American consul Sharpless, who lends not only a powerful voice but a strong sense of humanity and compassion as well to the role of a good man caught in the middle of a mess he didn't create."
John Coulbourn, Toronto Sun, October 2009
“Brett Polegato played Sharpless as a man for whom diplomacy is both a profession and a curse. This fine baritone's understated expression of his qualms about Pinkerton's marriage was so carefully paced that his belated show of impatience with the big lug felt like a deliverance.”
Robert Everett-Green, The Globe and Mail, September 30, 2009
Soloist in Handel Messiah
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto
"Baritone Brett Polegato was in fabulous voice and plumbed the full operatic possibilities in his dramatic arias [in Handel's Messiah]."
John Terrauds, The Toronto Star, December 2008
Title role in Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin
"Vocally, baritone Brett Polegato was a fabulous Onegin, incapable of a musical false step. Everything we need to know about Onegin was there to be heard: the elegance, the anger, the seductive power and callousness."
Elissa Poole, The Globe & Mail, November 2008
"The emotionally real performances also make this production feel modern. Baritone Brett Polegato’s Onegin is the consummate cool customer, dashing and remote, a man who refuses to kiss the ladies’ hands and spurns the young Tatyana for professing her love so openly to him. It’s a testament to Polegato’s range that when he finally meets Tatyana again, he’s a mess-burying his face in her lap and crying out in agony when she accuses him of desiring her because she’s joined high society. He’s a cad and a misfit, but you can’t help feeling for him in the end."
Janet Smith, Georgia Straight, November 2008
Title role in Mozart Don Giovanni
Canadian Opera Company
"Baritone Brett Polegato surpassed all expectations in the title role. Here was a Don Giovanni who was unquestionably the star of this Mozartean operatic domain. Slim and elegant in stylish black leather, Polegato both sang and acted his role to a fare-thee-well, projecting the Don as an indefatigable and ruthless predator, and at the same time as a man of fatal charm to his serial feminine victims.
His singing lay at the very centre of his characterization, so perfectly did it convey the dramatic sense of his actions, from the effervescent, hormonally driven call for wine, Finch' han dal vino, to the delicate, honeyed canzonetta Deh, vieni alla finestra, by which he entices Donna Elvira's pretty serving maid to the balcony window, to the innumerable adroitly inflected recitatives in which he insinuates himself into the affections of one woman after another, or cuts off her means of escape by cleverly banishing her protectors. He was superb."
Ken Winters, The Globe & Mail, October 2008
"Funnily enough, Polegato's performance was this production's best asset. He transcended these directorial attempts to annul his character. Polegato's acting was breathtaking as an imploding antihero, slipping into a boozy delirium, maudlin and reflective one moment, sinister and threatening the next. It was as if the Don's corrupted masculinity was poisoning him, which worked with the overall direction because his exaggerated manhood, which is the crux of the actual story's conflict, had been dismantled with nothing else to fill the vacuum.
Vocally, Polegato had the most volume among the cast, the most fluid and confident delivery. His steadily rising intensity throughout the show seemed to lift everything up."
John Keillor, National Post, October 2008
"Brett Polegato casts aside the familiar portrayal of the character as a loveable rake. His Giovanni is moody, sullen and prone to violence. He shows that Giovanni’s life of constant conquest is also a life of constant repetition that has lost its excitement. Nothing goes right for Giovanni now, as the libretto notes, and [director Robin] Guarino views his actions as self-destructive. Polegato’s good looks, his burnished baritone and his ability to communicate complex states of mind make him ideal in this role."
Christopher Hoile, Eye Weekly, October 2008
Title role in Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin
Canadian Opera Company
"Toronto-based baritone Brett Polegato spends nearly the whole 2 1/2 hours onstage in the title role in this production, which begins at the very end so that the opera can be presented in flashback. Miraculously, the singer manages to keep Onegin fresh, despite the character being presented as a perpetually tortured Romantic soul, right down to trying to tug out his long, wavy locks.
This is the first time Polegato has sung the role of Onegin, yet he fully inhabits the character and made beautiful work of Tchaikovsky's long, long melodic lines. This is a spectacular piece of work from a terrifically accomplished singer."
John Terauds, The Toronto Star, April 2008
"Polegato looks and sounds every inch the doomed romantic hero, and his transformation from world-weary snob to impassioned lover is believable and moving."
Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine, April 2008