Dorset OperaBlandford Forum (UK)
"Otello was the huge-voiced Howard Haskin and his Desdemona, Australian soprano Catherine Bouchier, got completely under the skin of this poignant role."
Margrette Jones, Opera Now, August/September 2011
Suomen Kansallisoopera (Finnish National Opera)
Haskin’s tenor voice projected like a trumpet
"American tenor Howard Haskin created a manic, fanatic and socially dysfunctional Peter Grimes. It is easy for the population of a fishing town in eastern England to project their hatred onto such a figure – without realising that Grimes's brutality reflects the brutality of the community itself.
"Haskin has the appropriate countenance to function as the Jungian ‘shadow’ of this little town, the embodiment of the violent and aggressive traits that the community refuses to recognise in any of its other members. Haskin’s tenor voice projected like a trumpet through the roaring crowd and the orchestral sea.
"There was absolutely nothing to sympathise with in Haskin’s Grimes before the haunting final scene where the title character undergoes a psychotic episode and identifies himself with the apprentices who have died through his rough treatment of them."
Hannu-Ilari Lampila, Helsingen Sanomat, 12 May 2010
Das Lied von der Erde
Ensemble MeitarEinav Cultural Center, Tel Aviv
"Ensemble Meitar presented an excellent concert, which sounded like a representative of a totally different musical league. Alto Noa Frenkel who sang marvelously, and Howard Haskin, who also sang beautifully, performed the six songs together with the rich ensemble under the precise conducting of Gisele Ben-Dor."
Noam Ben Zeev, Haaretz, 20 June 2011
"The huge power of Haskin's voice was overwhelming for the ensemble, the hall and the music. When he sang about youth his added smile, charm and gaiety enlivened the performance."
Binur, Ma'ariv, 22 June 2011
"Following (pianist Anne-Marie) McDermott couldn’t have been easy for tenor Howard Haskin, especially since he was entrusted with helping find the waltz within a song from Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. While the orchestra occasionally overpowered the full-voiced Haskin, his interpretive skills showed through, leaving one unsurprised that he’s earned a Grammy nomination for his work on this piece. Throw in his sweet and schmaltzy take on Rudolf Sieczynski’s European crossover hit Wien, du Stadt Meiner Traume (Vienna, City of Dreams), and a listener could be intrigued by what he’ll do with the part of Sportin’ Life on Saturday, when Litton and the orchestra close Sommerfest with a concert performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess."
Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 30 July 2003
[Editor’s note: The Minneapolis program notes referred imprecisely to Howard Haskin’s Grammy nomination. He has in fact earned a Grammy nomination for his recording of Il Prigioniero.]
Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Lyon
"The astonishingly eloquent Howard Haskin.... This was a highly inspired rendition of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde."
Dominique Dubreuil, Plumart No. 40, April 2002 (Complete review)
Budapest Festival OrchestraBudapest, Hungary
"Mahler's 'Das Lied' was a great experience for the listener. The conductor Ivan Fischer found wonderful partners in the Israeli mezzo Mira Zakai and the Black American tenor Howard Haskin. Both with voice, technique, and musicianship to convey wonderfully the style of this last opus of the master... Their interpretations were executed on a very high level and were deeply moving, creating an exhilarating atmosphere."
Magyar Hírlap (Budapest), September 1993
"Haskin has an elemental vitality. His strong voice with unlimited reserves and self-confidence is pleasing to the ear, not guttural. The color and vibrato have an Italianate quality, complemented by a balanced, superior technique."
Uj Magyarshak (Budapest), September 1993
"Mahler's 'Das Lied' was a decisive step for the orchestra. The soloists were wonderful from beginning to end, from joy through death, as all of these aspects of the piece were interpreted perfectly. A beautiful performance... Haskin has a strong, open, natural tenor voice and is a fabulous actor."
Magyar Nép (Budapest), September 1993
Budapest Festival OrchestraAlte Oper Frankfurt
"The transformable American tenor Howard Haskin imparted the joy of singing on his face and in his voice. His heart was thoroughly bright as well."
Brigitte Pinder, Frankfurter Neue Presse, 15 September 1993
"Similarly, the surprising Howard Haskin's lusty and robust singing may have overstepped the boundaries of this Schoenberg version for chamber ensemble, but he brought out the Dionysian-Bacchanalian aspect of Mahler's composition to perfection."
Albrecht Goebel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 15 September 1993
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
San Francisco Opera
"Howard Haskin took the third substantial tenor role, that of the ‘shabby peasant’ who breaks into Katerina’s wine cellar in search of booze and stumbles on her husband’s corpse. His singing was as deft as his footwork, which given what he was made to do is saying something."
Michelle Dulak, San Francisco Classical Voice, 11 November 2003
"Howard Haskin, comically exuberant as the drunken peasant who discovers Zinovy’s corpse in the wine cellar."
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 November 2003
"The rest of the cast was flawless, from Vsevolod Grivnov’s weasly Zinovy, Howard Haskin’s hilarious Shabby Peasant (who discovers the dead Zinovy after Katerina and Sergei have stowed the body in the cellar) and Mark Coles’ sonorous Old Convict to Jane Dutton’s slutty Sonyetka, who steals Sergei from Katerina."
Stephanie von Buchau, Alameda Times-Star, 14 November 2003
Samson et Dalila
Theatro Municipal de São Paulo
"An eloquent hero, Howard Haskin possesses an imposing dramatic tenor voice: powerful and full-bodied with a beautiful timbre and easy high notes. Haskin was very persuasive during the heroic moments of the first act and effectively conveyed the pathos of the third act, singing the mill scene "Vois ma misère, hélas!" with considerable emotion."
Lauro Machado Coelho, O Estado de São Paulo, 19 September 2002
Ariadne auf Naxos
Opéra National de Lyon
"But a superior staging cannot alone ensure a successful opera; above all, it is the selection of singers that counts. In this regard, it is a nearly faultless production, and this despite the cancellation by Jon Villars (Bacchus), replaced with considerable prowess and presence by the tenor Howard Haskin."
Renaud Machart, Le Monde, 8 March 2002 (Complete review)
"Never have this dramatic imbroglio and this musical hodgepodge been so clearly conveyed! ...None of this would have been possible without the efforts of the performers. ...And much credit is due to Howard Haskin who saved the evening by replacing Jon Villars as Bacchus."
Jacques Doucelin, Le Figaro, 1 March 2002
"We thought we would be hearing Jon Villar's Bacchus. However, it was Howard Haskin who stepped in with courage to replace him at the last minute. The tenor, whose repertoire numbers forty-five roles, sustained the daunting tessitura of Bacchus without weakening."
Jean-Louis Dutronc, Opéra International, April 2002
"A superlative cast… Christine Brewer (Ariadne) sustains the role's long phrases with a full-bodied, warm and powerful voice, ideally paired with the dark and weighty tenor of Howard Haskin as Bacchus the liberator."
Michel Parouty, Les Echos, 26 February 2002
"A brilliantly uniform cast… The tenor Howard Haskin received warm praise, stepping in for an ailing Jon Villars in the role of Bacchus."
Jean-Luc Macia, La Croix, 5 March 2002
Porgy and Bess
Berlin PhilharmonicBerliner Philharmonie
"The members of the Philharmonic worked hard, as if they had gone back to their conservatory days, tested on their stylistic versatility and their ability to react quickly to the soloists, all the while learning how difficult it can be to get that swing just right. As the orchestra started in on the piece, this Friday audience was experiencing nothing less than a world-class orchestra performing Porgy and Bess for the very first time. The musicians were completely transfixed on the pages in front of them, as if it was a contemporary work. And as is so often the case with first performances, the overwhelming feeling here was one of music by the numbers, counted out with no real emotion. The orchestra was hitting all the right notes, but the atmosphere was missing. It was only when they arrived at the second scene of Act 2 that Howard Haskin managed to loosen up these players somewhat. Haskin, the Sportin’ Life for these performances, is a heldentenor with a voice as pure as the soul of the unscrupulous drug dealer he portrays. But he is a born performer, and when he launched into “It ain't necessarily so” he captivated everyone – chorus members, orchestra players and audience alike. Things went more smoothly from there on in. Gershwin’s musical magic fully unfolds as the final act begins, and the Voice of the Nation Choir from Cape Town gave a moving rendition of his laments. The tonal balance, however, remained difficult in the dramatic scenes. The orchestra blanketed the soloists, and the chorus responded with a steely fortissimo."
Frederik Hanssen, Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 16 September 2012 (Complete review)
"The real star of the evening, however, was Howard Haskin. He gave his drug-dealing Sportin’ Life such energy, rhythm, stage presence and expression that you felt as if you’d never really heard the role sung before. Overall, the singers managed to fill this concert performance with so much drama and life that they could teach some staged versions of the opera a thing or two."
Sascha Krieger, Stage and Screen, 16 September 2012 (Complete review)
"Sportin’ Life was played by Howard Haskin, who has been performing since the early 80s. His tenor is not the youngest anymore, and although one might think this would reduce the power of his performance, his razor-sharp character and incredible feeling for the music captivated everyone in attendance. His rendition of Cab Calloway’s signature number "It ain’t necessarily so" was greeted with spontaneous applause."
Frank Fechter, Klassik.com, 2 October 2012 (Complete review)
"Tenor Howard Haskin sang "It ain’t necessarily so" with impressive suppleness and a gnarled energy. Haskin identifies with the role to the very roots of his hair, even though he doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of it left."
Opern- & Konzertkritik Berlin, 15 September 2012 (Complete review)
VARA and KRO radiosConcertgebouw, Amsterdam
"Another name: Howard Haskin as Sportin’ Life. Not only did he win Bess over but the entire hall with his eloquent expression. The public found itself without enough hands or voice to express its joy when applauding his performance."
Franz Straatman, Trouw (Amsterdam), 5 October 1987
Porgy and Bess Suite arr. Litton
Bergen International Festival
"The highlight of the performance – the best opening performance of the Festival for many years – was when tenor Howard Haskin, in the role of Sportin’ Life sang ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ while he walked up to the podium of Maestro Litton and gave him a hug."
Sjur Haga Bringeland, Dag og Tid, 29 May 2015
"And tonight’s absolute highlight was the tenor Howard Haskin as the tempter Sportin’ Life, with the perfect mix of gospel and vaudeville."
Petter Larsen, Bergens Tidende, 29 May 2015
"Tenor Howard Haskin was the jester in the quartet that won much acclaim for his humorous role."
John Solsvik, Dagen, 29 May 2015
"The soloists sang and performed the drama with great gusto. Gordon Hawkins has a lovely baritone and knew how to portion out the voice, but was perhaps too reticent scenically. Howard Haskin as Sportin’ Life however demonstrated his rich register. The tenor’s great voice, his small gestures and mimicry were exemplary, and pushed the drama forward."
Brita Skogly Kraglund, Vårt Land, 29 May 2015
"Litton handpicked soloists – who admittedly struggled a bit to get through the orchestra – gave life to their roles far beyond what is expected in a concert version."
Mona Levin, Aftenposten, 29 May 2015
"Unfortunately, much of the work’s theatricality was understandably absent in this unstaged version, so tenor Howard Haskin came to the rescue, goosing things up with ad-lib updates to the Bible stories of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So,’ even tossing a scarf around the neck of conductor Litton during a mock striptease."
Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 4 August 2003
"Howard Haskin brought both showmanship and a rich tenor to Sportin Life’s two big numbers."
Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4 August 2003
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
"Howard Haskin had us all in the palm of his hand as Sportin' Life."
John Ardoin, Dallas Morning News, 15 June 1998
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
"But the show was comprehensively stolen by Howard Haskin, a whoopin', hollerin', whirlin' and blues-shoutin' Sportin' Life. This cool, super-funky, rubber-limbed dude brought the house down with a sensational act in 'It Ain't Necessarily So' that even had the band applauding."
Michael Tumalty, The Glasgow Herald, 19 February 1996
"It was, however, Howard Haskin who brought the house down with his unbuttoned and hilarious 'It Ain't Necessarily So'."
George Wilson, Scottsman, 19 February 1996
Canto Olympico / Antigone (Theodorakis)
Orchestre symphonique de MontréalAvery Fisher Hall, New York
"(Alessandra) Marc, the American lyric soprano, summoned up a gorgeous, powerhouse diva sound for this role, and Haskin matched it with some authoritative solo turns of his own."
Brain Wise, Sonicnet.com, 24 October 2000
"Tenor Howard Haskin had some strong and plaintive interludes as Haemon."
Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette, 24 October 2000
And be sure to visit the Web site of Mikis Theodorakis for further information.
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
"Howard Haskin, in the title role, gave pleasure with his steely tenor voice."
Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette, 17 May 2000
A Child of Our Time
Kansas City Symphony
"Vocal soloists (including) Howard Haskin joined the chorus and orchestra for a deeply moving performance of Tippett's 1944 oratorio. The performance was magnificent...the soloists were impassioned."
Kansas City Star, 15 November 1999
Orchestre symphonique de MontréalCarnegie Hall, New York
"Howard Haskin's earnest tenor portrayed the role of the Inquisitor."
Bernard Holland, The New York Times, 19 October 1999
Swedish Radio Symphony OrchestraLive recording from Sony Classical
"This recorded live performance, an explosive version under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, definitively lays to rest any doubts about the extraordinary value of Luigi Dallapiccola's work. Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Jorma Hynninen and Howard Haskin have the range and possibilities to give shape to this volcanic writing and do this with intensity, raising the standard to furious heights."
Reinhard J. Brembeck, FonoForum (Germany), February 1996
"...forms an engaging duo with the Jailer, Howard Haskin, whose tessitura here is mind-boggling."
Claude Glayman, Opéra International (France), January 1996
"Dramatically and vocally the cast is superb. ... Howard Haskin sings the dual role of the Jailer and the Grand Inquisitor with a polished venality worthy of a Kim Philby."
Benjamin Pernick, Fanfare, 26 March 1996
Raymond Gubbay ProductionsRoyal Albert Hall, London
"Howard Haskin, the Cavaradossi, sang fully and freely..."
Andrew Porter, Opera, April 1999
Kammermusik 1958 (Henze)
Scharoun Ensemble BerlinKölner Philharmonie
"The principal burden of the evening lay on the shoulders of the American tenor Howard Haskin. He was accompanied by the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin in seven sections, lasting altogether more than thirty minutes, which leaped throughout from one dissonant interval to the next. Haskin mastered all these vocal hurdles with conviction."
Kölnische Rundschau, 10 November 1998
MusikFabrikHamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
"The members of MusikFabrik, the Danish mezzo-soprano Marianne Røhrholm and the American tenor Howard Haskin performed outstandingly."
Liesel Markowski, Neues Deutschland, 11 March 1997
English National Opera
"Howard Haskin gets the opera off to a good start with a strong-voiced scribe, no mere spieltenor or Mime manqué."
Time Out, 7 December 1994
The Prodigal Son
"The singers were excellent, none more so than Howard Haskin, as the Abbott who also plays the Tempter. His cautionary preface to the action, delivered forthrightly from the back of the hall, caused several audience members to jump half out of their skins."
Stephen Pettitt, The Times of London,, 1 November 1994
"If there was a star of the evening, it was Howard Haskin as the Tempter. With a strong, true tenor voice, capable of great expressive variety, firm throughout its range and about as unlike Peter Pears as you could imagine, Haskin made a majestic, truly demonic Tempter."
Stephen Johnson, The Independent, 14 June 1994
"The performance was dominated by Howard Haskin as the Tempter..."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 24 June 1994
"...this was a powerful, dedicated interpretation of a difficult work, with the full, resonant tenor, Howard Haskin outstanding in the Peter Pears double role of the Abbott and Tempter."
Edward Greenfield, The Guardian, 27 June 1994
"...Howard Haskin's remarkably eloquent Tempter..."
Gerald Larner, The Times of London,, 15 June 1994
"...dominated by Howard Haskin, whose dramatic impact as the Tempter confounds the old criticism of the piece that its temptations don't amount to much...Haskin's synthesis of honeyed smoothness and declamatory force...hard to match."
Michael White, The Independent on Sunday, 26 June 1994
Symphony no. 9 (Beethoven)
Los Angeles Philharmonic
"The scheduled tenor soloist having canceled, the announced solo vocal quartet was changed. Howard Haskin, an apparently gifted singer of special achievement, dispatched the tenor duties in noble fashion."
Los Angeles Times, September 1993
Noordhollands Philharmonisch OrkestRecording on the Channel Classics label
"But it is the American tenor, Howard Haskin (Armand) who dominates the recording with his voice rich in colors and his impeccable French diction. This is a work well worth knowing, and a compact disc which can be recommended without hesitation."
Jean-Louis Dutronc, Diapason (France), March 1993
Life with an Idiot
De Nederlandse Opera
"The opera requires the idiot, whose 'Ech's peppered the original novella, to vocalize with considerable virtuosity, and Howard Haskin's agility and control, complemented by his impressive talents as an actor, allowed him to make the most of this perilous and demanding role."
François Jongen, La Libre Belgique, 18 April 1992
"And one wished that the silken tenor voice of Howard Haskin, a regular visitor to the Netherlands Opera, could have had more to express than Vova's monosyllabic 'Ech'."
Mark Fuller, The Times of London, 17 April 1992
"Howard Haskin as Vova may have had no problem learning his words, but the amazing vocal range and variety of colors required singing of great control"
Andrew Stewart, Opera Now, June 1992
"Vova is a parody not only of Lenin, but of the Russian holy fool, 'national in form and content', that 'I' was hoping to find. With his single word but plethora of histrionic styles, he is a parody, too, of the opera singer, the sense of whose inaudible words we take on trust. Skillfully drawn by Haskin, the character is at the heart of a kind of tragic farcea post-glastnost mad romp, remembering pre-glasnost scars."
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 19 April 1992
De Nederlandse OperaLive recording from Sony Classical
"Howard Haskin makes Vova both irresistible and horrifying."
Harlow Robinson, Opera News July 1993
"Glutonny, incontinence, rape and murder are all in (Vova's) repertory, and Howard Haskin achieves miracles of expressive nuance in his many articulations of the single syllable 'Ekh!' as the opera unfolds."
Gramophone, April 1993
Orphée et Euridice
De Nederlandse Opera
"...Haskin gave the role more character, singing more with the heart of an opera singer, and his performance conveyed, moreover, a lithesome and deeper relation with and understanding of theatrical drama..."
Franz Straatman, Trouw (Amsterdam), 24 January 1990
"The American tenor Howard Haskin excelled as Wilhelm with his ample and flexible voice and authentic French diction."
Kasper Jansen, NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), 6 December 1988
Symphony no. 2, "Lobegesang" (Mendelssohn)
Haifa Symphony Orchestra
"Best of all were the soloists, especially the guest tenor from France, Howard Haskin. His remarkably cultured and expressive singing deserves full praise. All his recitatives and arias were sheer beauty."
Esther Reuter, The Jerusalem Post, 1 July 1988
"Superior to all these was Howard Haskin as Don Joséa role which he developed intelligently..."
Opera, November 1986
Wigmore Hall recital
Howard Haskin, tenor with Anthony Hose, pianoWigmore Hall, London
" Howard Haskin's ringing, lustrous tenor voice and beaming, confident stage-manner were prime assets in this, his first London recital.... His Russian and Italian diction and extrovert dramatic presentation (already familiar to opera-goers) were here deployed to powerful effect...And canary-fanciers would have relished his top D-flats, all incorporated within the flow of the vocal line without strain or exaggeration. Each song was also carefully shaped, an operatic scene with well-judged variations of pace and mood, and well-placed climaxes."
Meirion Bowen, The Guardian, 10 September 1985
"Besides a very striking high range, the voice has an evenly attractive timbre, light-coloured, but full and virile. He uses it with taste and good sense; though what he obviously enjoys most is exercising his top notes at pressure, he is musician enough to treat less spectacular music with due seriousness."
David Murray, Financial Times, 11 September 1985
Howard Haskin, tenor with Anthony Hose, pianoLive recording from Grapevine
"A lovely recital disc of melodies, interpreted by an especially musical artist. Among other gems, the recording presents the world premiere of the Cantata by Carter. Highly recommended."
Sergio Segalini, Opéra International (France), February 1987
Royal Opera at the Athens FestivalHerod Atticus, Athens
"Special mention is due to
andabove allto Howard Haskin, replacing an indisposed Robin Leggate, a dashing, spirited, and youthful Paris, whose interpretation garnered the lion's share of the public's attention."
Alexis Chrysstostalis, Opéra International (France), October 1985
"...the show was almost stolen by Howard Haskin who stepped in late...as mature Paris and sang and acted with prodigious flair."
Paul Driver, Financial Times, 23 July 1985
"Howard Haskin, as Paris, Priam's prophecy-crossed son, delivers a commanding performance. One senses the rashness of his love for Helen yet empathizes with him in his inability to achieve final reconciliation with his family. The role of Paris requires a tremendous amount of vocal athleticism, and Haskin proves worthy of the challenge."
Arlo McKinnon, Opera News (From the author's review of the video release of this production.)
"All the members of the cast portray their roles with depth and precision. In particular, Howard Haskin’s Paris is at once childish, spoiled, and tragic."
Rob Haskins, Notes, March 2009 (From the author's review of the video release of this production.)
"The casting is, for Kent Opera, very strong. Howard Haskin is thrilling as the black Paris."
Tom Sutcliffe, The Guardian, 2 October 1984
"Howard Haskin is a vivid, elegant Paris."
David Cairns, The Sunday Times, 30 September 1984
"That this approach is able to accommodate a black Parisin the heroic-toned Howard Haskinwithout incongruity, is a token of its range of implication."
The Financial Times, 2 October 1984
"Howard Haskin's Jason provided Miss Plowright with a worthy tenor opponent in their splendid first-act confrontation."
Michael Kennedy, The Daily Telegraph, July 1984
"Most of our pity, though, tends to go out to the unfortunate Jasonespecially one as sympathetic, and as eloquent, as the young black singer Howard Haskin."
Peter Palmer, Manchester Evening News, 30 July 1984
"From the point of French delivery it was the Jason, Howard Haskin, who hinted at otherwise undreamt-of possibilities; if Haskin is a touch lissome for the hero of the Argos, that is a forgiveable fault in an opera tenor, especially when the performance is as warmly sung as this."
Max Loppert, Financial Times, July 1984
"Her Jason, the young black American tenor Howard Haskin, proved a worthy partner, heroic and exciting."
Charles Pitt, Opéra International (France), October 1984
Opéra National de Lyon
"Howard Haskin was a very credible Jason."
Gérard Condé, Le Monde, July 1984
Christus am Oelberg
Our Lady Choral Society with Radio Telefis Eireann
"Howard Haskin as the Christus was exceptional. His smooth lyric tenor proved capable of great power as well as sweetness; he used it beautifully, with musicianly intelligence and a subtle range of color and brought a moving dignity to his interpretation."
Mary McGoris, Irish Independent, 28 May 1983
"Elaine Padmore has delivered to south-east Ireland a trio of male singers - one American, one Russian and the other German - whom any moderate sized opera house would be happy to have on their books... (Günther) von Kannen's ripe buffo tones contrast excellently with the heroic baritone of Sergei Leiferkus... The third member of the trio, Howard Haskin, may have the most promise of all: a young Negro tenor with a clear, limpid voice who knows his way around Massenet as he showed from Alain's first aria."
John Higgins, The Times of London, 25 October 1982
"There is nothing so effective as starting an opera with a splendid tenor and here Howard Haskin completely fulfilled the composer's intention. He has a voice like liquid honey, softly golden in yearning, richly bronzed in moments of excitement."
Mary McGoris, Irish Independent, 23 October 1982
"The American lyric tenor Howard Haskin, yet another newcomer, got the piece off to a good start with the lovely aria for Alain, Grisélidis's faithful peasant swain."
Opera, January 1983
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