Erik Contzius

Erik Contzius

Lyric Baritone

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«The centerpiece of the album is the 15 minute track “Sh’ma Koleinu” (“Listen to Our Voice”). Unmistakably, over and over again, the cantor appeals heavenward. Listening to the piece there is no doubt about it: This isn’t merely an aesthetic experience. Cantor Erik Contzius is publicly praying, leaping from falsetto to deeper tones, improvising across multiple tonalities as he stubbornly repeats his plea over and again, like a mantra, and the band rocks with him all the way through, prodding him and spinning him on the platform of their groove. It is an amazing performance, and the live recording captures the reactions of the exhilarated fans.»
The Arty Semite, February 2011 (2017)
«Paradoxically, Schoenberg, the father of serialism, fashioned a rapprochement with conventional tonality in his somber, dramatic “Kol Nidrei,” potently narrated here by Erik Contzius.»
New York Times, 2013 (2017)
«The rest of the able seamen include the triangular Dick Deadeye, created by Bob Scrofani, and Bill Bobstay, essayed by newcomer Erik Contzius, these two among the major male voices of the performance. Scrofani’s Deadeye teeters on loathsome, well acted by Scrofani actually, knowing his personality in real life. Contzius also was the King in The Magic Knight to great effect...»
Operametro.com, 2017 (2017)
2017Sullivan: H.M.S. PinaforeBill Bobstay
2014Britten: Noye's FluddeNoye
1990Sullivan: Pirates of PenzancePirate King

Bio

Classical baritone Erik Contzius boasts more than two-dozen high-profile live performances around the globe, alongside numerous recorded works. The New York Times praised his “potent narrative,” while he has garnered high praise from JazzTimes, The Arty Semite, Catholic New York, The Jewish Press of Omaha and Metroland. Contzius has been an internationally featured soloist, performing: The King in Troupers Light Opera Company production of Victor Herbert's The Magic Knight, The Fantastics (as El Gallo) with Embark Peekskill, Schoenberg’s Kol Nidrei (Opus 39) at the Bard Music Festival, Noye’s Fludde (as Noye) with the Westchester Chorale (Larchmont, NY), Charles Osborne’s Souls on Fire (Brooklyn, NY), Mozart’s Requiem with Varna International (Israel), Darius Milhaud’s Service Sacré with the Westchester Chorale, Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service (Avodat Hakodesh) with the Menno Singers (Ontario) and with The Songs of Life Festival (Bulgaria & Jerusalem), Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Westchester Chorale (New Rochelle, NY), Vergessene Musik—The Forgotten Music of the German Jewish Reform Movement (Münich), Concert: Let Freedom Sing (Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.), and in the International Organ Festival of Göteborg (Sweden).Contzius is a featured soloist on several recordings, including on Further Definitions of the Days of Awe with the Afro-Semitic Experience, Teach My Lips a Blessing: The Music of Erik Contzius, recorded with the Amor Artis Chamber Choir, as well as his solo collection for cantor and pipe organ interpretations, How Excellent is Thy Name. He also appears as soloist on the recording Celebrate Chanukah with the Westminster Choir College’s Youth Chorale. His vocal training is ongoing, having worked under the tutelage of Tom Lomonaco, Carlos Serrano, David Adams, Dr. Donald Roberts and Richard Slade.In addition to his classical repertoire, Contzius also is an active member of the Westchester Chordsmen, the premiere Barbershop Chorus of the tri-state area, and performs regularly with his quartet, 29 Seconds.
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CV & Repertoire

Musical Work Role Jump-in ready? Company Year
Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore Bill Bobstay 1 week Troupers Light Opera Company 2017
Britten: Noye's Fludde Noye 1 week New Rochelle Council of the Arts 2014
Sullivan: Pirates of Penzance Pirate King 1 week Univ. of York Gilbert & Sullivan Society 1990