Press

Cato in Utica - The Glimmerglass Festival

'A distinct contrast was offered by the production’s other countertenor, Glimmerglass Young Artist Eric Jurenas, who sang with soft-grained delicacy as Cato’s ally Arbace.'

- Opera News (October 2015, Vol. 80, No. 4)

 

'Eric Jurenas managed to portray both great masculinity and playful, compelling gentleness, singing successfully in the tricky range of countertenor with an occasional plunge into a fully resonant depth.'

- DC Theatre Scene

 

'Young Artist Eric Jurenas offered a completely different sound as Arbace, tightly focused in its delivery of secure, highly musical contributions. He was believable as the sexed up aggressor, and became sympathetic after his romantic rejection.'

- Opera Today

 

'He sang beautifully, with an attractive golden mezzo quality to his voice that served him well during the playful S’andra senza pastore, as he serenades Marzia early on in the opera.'

- CNY Café Momus

 

'Eric Jurenas, an outstanding new countertenor.'

- All Otsego

 

Handel's AthaliaHarvard University

'Countertenor, Eric Jurenas has a powerful and pleasing sound. He sang with superb diction, real variety of tone color, and fully realized characterization. This is a young artist to watch.'

- The Boston Musical Intelligencer

photo: Karli Cadel
photo: Karli Cadel
photo: Kim Witman
photo: Kim Witman

 

Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival

'One unexpected touch was the selection of a counter-tenor soloist for the part that is usually taken by a mezzo-soprano or alto. Up-and-coming counter-tenor Eric Jurenas took on this task with surprising success. After a bit of adjustment, one became quickly accustomed to the sound of the high male voice in this part, thanks to Jurenas's exceptionally clear tone and vocal flexibility, especially in the highest reaches of his range.'

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

'Bach’s Cantata No. 170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, featured the fine young countertenor Eric Jurenas and a chamber ensemble of strings, oboe, continuo and solo organ. The text is drawn from the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus exhorts his followers to love one another. Jurenas has a bright, light voice, and he easily negotiated the wide tessitura of the solo part.'

- Cleveland Classical

 

'Countertenor Eric Jurenas sang beautifully [with] focused tone, even in his lower range.'

- Cleveland Classical

 

New Juilliard Ensemble - Alice Tully Hall

'The remarkable countertenor Eric Jurenas, who recently astounded in an Axiom Ensemble Ligeti program, gave a breathtaking delivery to the setting of Farsi odes of love, especially in the fourth of the five songs, the “syllabic” Imaginary Folk Song in which he sang fast, repeating phonemes against enormous orchestral swells.'

- New York Classical Review

 

Handel's Messiah - American Bach Soloists

'Eric Jurenas sang “But who may abide ...For he is like a Refiner’s Fire.” Simulating flames with quick “shimmering” bowing, the strings brought to life the word “Fire.” Mr. Jurenas’s brilliant virtuoso singing rose crystal clear above the spirited orchestral accompaniment.'

- Classical Sonoma

 

Vivaldi Cantatas - Juilliard 415

'Countertenor Eric Jurenas sang two cantatas by Vivaldi, both well suited for his vocal range. The training for this kind of voice is a demanding one, and it is impressive to see and hear someone so young with such talent. The challenging melismas that Vivaldi wrote to emphasize words in the text ̶ for example the “a” at the end of ondo urtando và (rolling waves), or the last syllable in mi torno à respirar (breathing again)  ̶  were accurately sung with warmth and solid intonation.'

- Seen and Heard International

 

J.S. Bach St. Matthew Passion - Juilliard 415 with Trinity Wall Street Choir

'The alto aria “Erbarme dich” (“Have mercy”) was sung here by a countertenor, Eric Jurenas, with beautiful, well-supported tone and compelling expression: merely one of his many superb outings during the evening.'

- The New York Times

 

Works of Arvo Pärt - New York Focus Festival

'Two pieces by Pärt provided the somewhat unusual opportunity to hear secular vocal music by a composer more given to setting sacred texts. Eric Jurenas evenly balanced his countertenor from top register to bottom, encountering no difficulty essaying the challenging tessitura of these pieces. Violinist Yezu Woo, violist Charlotte Steiner, and organist Janet Yieh imbued the inexorably slow-moving accompaniments with abundant energy, preventing the proceedings from dragging and providing Jurenas with staunch support.'

- Musical America

 

Handel's Messiah - The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

'A real treat was hearing Jurenas perform the solo sections more typically performed by contraltos -- as they were during last year's WSO concert. This American dynamo performed without showing any hint of strain, his unworldly voice easily soaring through his opening aria But who may abide the day of his coming as well as recitatives including Behold, a virgin shall conceive.'

- The Winnipeg Free Press

 

A Britten Celebration - Juilliard Songfest

'The concert began with the second and strongest of Britten’s five Canticles, “Abraham and Isaac” (1952). An austerely wrenching setting of the story of that biblical near-sacrifice, the piece was originally written for the tenor Peter Pears and the contralto Kathleen Ferrier, but her part — the voice of Isaac — has since often been taken by a male countertenor.

For the word of God, which frames the work, Britten has the two voices sing in plainchant unison. Elsewhere there are passages of Bach-like counterpoint, Handelian coloratura, simple lullaby and Modernist astringency, all unified by a stunned, inexorable dramatic momentum. The focused, full-voiced tenor Miles Mykkanen and the poised countertenor Eric Jurenas performed with eerie calm, the effect of the piece all the more intense because they looked unnervingly similar.'

- The New York Times

 

J.S. Bach St. Matthew Passion - Colorado Bach Ensemble

'Eric Jurenas returned to Colorado to sing the Countertenor role in this Passion. I have heard him sing, and I have written about him before, and he still stuns the audience with his remarkable voice and musicianship."

I have heard Eric Jurenas sing before, as I stated above; however, he never ceases to amaze me with the clear quality of his voice. It is as if one can see through it, and, in addition, his diction is remarkable."

For example, in the St. Matthew Passion, as he did in the B minor Mass, Bach writes an entrance for the countertenor on a note that is of very long duration. On this note the countertenor must gradually increase from a pianissimo dynamic level to a solid forte. Eric Jurenas was absolutely stunning in his long crescendo. Maestro Kim has to be able to pick a countertenor that has the breath control to do that.'

- Opus Colorado

photo:  Michael DiVito
photo: Michael DiVito
photo: Kim Witman
photo: Kim Witman

Handel and Vivaldi - American Bach Soloists

'Countertenor Eric Jurenas deserves special mention for his solo "Virgam virtutis" (The Lord shall send the rod of thy power). Accompanied by organ, cello, and contrabass, his rich yet imposing high voice could be fully appreciated.'

- Classical Sonoma

 

Handel's Messiah - Calvin College

'But countertenor Eric Jurenas was a startling revelation.

A countertenor is a male with a well-developed head voice who sings in the alto range. It’s a difficult thing to do, and there are many pretenders. Jurenas, however, is the real deal, with a wide range that he showed off on the aria “Thou art gone up on high,” and fluid flexibility evident in the aria “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion.”

A couple of times his mechanism flipped far into his natural baritone range, but his tone and technique with “He was despised and rejected” made it clear that Jurenas, though young, is a singer of great promise in a field with few practitioners.'

- Grand Rapids Press

 

Handel's Giulio Cesare - Michigan Opera Theatre

'Eric Jurenas (Nireno) offered performances of admirable gusto.'

- Opera News

 

'Eric Jurenas as Nireno showed a clear and supple voice in the other countertenor role.'

- Encore Michigan

 

J.S. Bach Mass in B-minor - Colorado Bach Ensemble

'I don’t ever recall hearing a countertenor who had the incredible power as Eric Jurenas, not to mention his breath control.'

- Opus Colorado

 

B. Britten Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac - Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee

'Benjamin Britten’s equally intense Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac, Op. 51, for solo alto and tenor with piano, followed. Britten drew on the Chester Mystery Plays to re-tell the Old Testament story.

The rich, mature voices of countertenor Eric Jurenas, as Isaac, and tenor Daniel O’Dea, as Abraham, along with pianist Michelle Hynson, produced a flawless, compelling performance. At times, Britten’s musical setting of text is a bit too restrained for its content – namely, a father discussing with his son his divine duty to kill him. Suspenseful piano accompaniment, however, does help to advance the emotional storyline. The most musically beautiful sections of the work occur when God speaks through the convergence of the two voices in duet. Jurenas and O’Dea’s impeccable balance and pitch throughout these close harmonies created a single, transcendent voice.'

- Third Coast Digest