FREDERICK BALLENTINE IN THE

news

 

porgy & bess 2o19

Porgy & Bess

CINCINNATI OPERA

JUNE & JULY 2019

"We are introduced to... weaselly drug dealer Sportin’ Life, sung by mellifluous tenor Frederick Ballentine, Jr., whose delightful, oily slick performance reminded me of an evil Bruno Mars. 

CityBeat, Leyla Shokoohe

"Fortunately, Gershwin filled “Porgy” with an abundance of richly drawn characters, particularly Sportin’ Life, a charismatic small-time drug dealer played by a deliciously sassy Frederick Ballentine..."

Cincinnati Enquirer, David Lyman

SPORTIN' LIFE

GLIMMERGLASS FESTIVAL

porgy & bess

candide 2o18

Candide

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

MAY 2018

“Rounding out the cast, Frederick Ballentine turned in a superb performance as Candide’s sidekick, Cacambo, whose sweet tenor paired well with that of Shrader."

Washington Classical Review, Grace Jean

“Frederick Ballentine, a tenor in the Domingo-Cafritz program, had a breakout moment with Cacambo, Candide’s loyal servant in Act II.“

Washington Post, Anne Midgette

“Even more significantly, Frederick Ballentine plays Cacambo not as a Stepin Fetchit caricature but as he pointedly says, “I’m a quarter Dutch, a quarter German, and one hundred percent African!” His character comes across as filled with dignity and even level-headed heroism."

DC Theatre Scene, Susan Galbraith

 

champion 2o17

Champion

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

MAY 2017

“Frederick Ballentine, another Domingo-Cafritz artist, was promising if a little  stiff as Luis, Griffith’s adopted son, who cares for him in his old age. “

Washington Post, Anne Midgette

“Frederick Ballentine as old Emile’s caretaker proved moving with his growing conflicting feelings of frustration and gentle loving.” 

DC Theatre Scene, Susan Galbraith

“Tenor Frederick Ballentine sings beautifully and is exceptional as Luis Griffith, the elderly Emile’s caregiver.”

Metro Weekly, Kate Wingfield

“Tenor Frederick Ballentine as Luis Griffith was well-cast and naturally compelling.”

DC Metro Theater Arts

 

champion

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

LUIS

wno 2o17

RBG at the OPERA

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

2017

Aida

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

2017

20 Minute Operas

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

2017

Not that levity was always appropriate. Frederick Ballentine, a promising tenor, had especially heavy lifting with “E lucevan le stele” from Tosca, the Seguidilla scene from Carmen and a painful aria from Philip Glass’s Appomattox, the opera presented here so successfully in 2015, recounting the Ku Klux Klan’s slaughter of a hundred black militiamen. (Ginsburg introduced this segment by outlining her dissent in the 2013 decision revising the Voting Rights Act.) Ballentine’s voice is still growing toward the final 

measure of heroic “ping” for the Puccini, but he had every bit of the dramatic and musical heft to bring across the biting scene from Glass’s work, which held up very well against the other excerpts”

Washington Post, Anne Midgette

Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Opera

“Finally, mention must be made of Frederick Ballentine, who in his brief moment as the Messenger, reveals a gorgeously shiny tenor.”

Metro Weekly, Kate Wingfied

Aida

“But, as the enigmatic, willing to please, but still-learning Adam, Frederick Ballentine excelled the mark in his deeply complex role, as he interpreted a still evolving character attempting to sort out the conflict between his full-blown military prowess and his still child-like human antecedent as his developing personality tries to sort out what it all means."

Communities Digital News, Terry Ponick

20 Minute Operas

the crucible 2o16

THE CRUCIBLE

GLIMMERGLASS FESTIVAL

2016

“Tenors Frederick Ballentine and Ian Koziara sang their respective roles as the overly-concerned-with-his-social-position clergyman Samuel Parris and the odious bailiff Ezekiel Cheever with verve and vastly distinct vocal character, one’s pinging and intense, the other’s as slippery as Judge Danforth’s."

Blasting News, Richard Carter

 

rbg at wno

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

appomattax 2o15

Appomattox

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

2015

Standouts among the really wonderful cast, apart from those already mentioned, included...Frederick Ballentine. Ballentine sang some of the most painful arias in the opera: a description of the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a civil rights activist, in Act II, and an account of the Colfax massacre of 1873, in which dozens of black men were slaughtered in cold blood.”

Washington Post, Anne Midgette

“Frederick Ballentine also stands out with two wonderful stirring portraits of activists. As T. Morris Chester, Freeman and Philadelphia African American journalist in the 1860’s, and then the civil rights leader John Lewis, he was able to show the arc throughout history of the seething drive to overcome the inequities and the lack of retribution for murders of his people that sadly continues." 

DC Theatre Scene, Susan Galbraith

“Frederick Ballentine wielded his vibrant tenor expressively as black Civil War correspondent T. Morris Chester and made a strong impression, too, as Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee chairman John Lewis.”

Opera News, Tim Smith

roll call 2o15

INTERVIEW:

ROLL CALL

2015

Interview: OPERA TENOR CHANNELS YOUNG JOHN LEWIS IN 'APPOMATTAX'

 

"...Los Angeles-based tenor Frederick Ballentine has the particularly daunting task of portraying Lewis, a leader of the seminal march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., that sparked passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. 'He seems just like some of my friends from back home, because I looked at him from back when he was 25,'

Ballentine told CQ Roll Call about Lewis. 'I had to just turn him into the voice of young black people at the time, and that is essentially what he was, I think...'

Read Mr. Ballentine's full interview with Neils Lesniewski/Roll Call here.

appomattax

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

T. MORRIS CHESTER/

JOHN LEWIS