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Phanuel in Hérodiade

“…the priest/astrologer/Jacques-of-all-trades Phanuel, Isaiah Musik-Ayala’s fine growling bass.”

    ~Parterre Box, John Yohalem

 

“Isaiah Musik-Ayala presented a sturdy bass-baritone to the role of Phanuel, who seems to be playing both sides in this political conflict. His singing moved from gentle and tempered during his Act three aria to more bullish in his meeting with Hérode.”

    ~OperaWire, David Salazar

 

“Bass Isaiah Musik-Ayala supplied a deep and orotund instrument to the role of Phanuel, the one man in Judea who knows that Salome is in fact Hérodiade's daughter.”

    ~SuperConductor, Paul J. Pelkonen

Oroveso in Norma

“Bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala was a natural force as Oroveso, the leader of the Druids. His out-sized voice and earthen poise initiated us into ancient rites of blood and oak, and I quickly recalled his chilling triumph as John the Baptist in WBO’s recent Salome, in which he hurled mad prophecies from underground.”

    ~Repeat Performances, Adam Broner

 

“Also delivering an outstanding and moving performance was bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala as Oroveso, Norma's father and leader of the Druids. Musik-Ayala sang the role of John the Baptist in West Bay's "Salome" last spring, and his appearance in "Norma" is as impressive as it was in the earlier production.”

    ~Palo Alto Weekly, Renee Batti

Jochanaan in Salome

“...Salome proceeds to fall in explicitly visceral lust with the imprisoned prophet Iokanaan (the commanding bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala in the John the Baptist role), only to turn on him, to put it mildly, when he rejects her advances...

When the prophet makes its first entrance from his subterranean cell, Musik-Ayala’s ominous vocal lines and steely authority, even in heavy chains and coarse long hair, powerfully reconfigure the drama. If Salome’s elaborately limned obsessions with his skin and hair and mouth are overtly sexual, it’s clear why anyone would fall under this Iokanaan’s compelling aura.”

~San Francisco Classical Voice, Steven Winn

"Baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala sends chills in his role of John the Baptist, called Jochanaan in the opera. When he emerges for the first time from the cistern that is his prison, he is in chains but, thankfully, his voice is unbound.

And what a voice it is -- rich, expressive and splendid.”

~Mountain View Voice, Renee Batti

Elmiro in Otello (Rossini)

"The bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala held his ground as the sole deep voice, bringing a burly and resonant tone to the role of Desdemona’s father, Elmiro."

    ~The New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

"Isaiah Musik-Ayala brought an imposingly resonant bass-baritone to Elmiro." 

    ~The Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson

"...Isaiah Musik-Ayala’s Elmiro was a looming presence throughout the proceedings with a booming sound."

    ~Operawire, David Salazar

"...bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala, forceful as Elmiro, another addition to the roster not found in Shakespeare or Verdi."

    ~Broadway World, Richard Sasanow

"The opera’s single lower-voiced principal role – Desdemona’s father, Elmiro – is limned vigorously by bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala, offering authoritative recitatives and commanding ensemble work of fine and indispensable sonority."

    ~MyScena, Charles Geyer

"On the non-tenor front, the role of Elmiro, Desdemona's father was sung by the wonderfully named Isaiah Musik-Ayala, a firm, resonant bass that may have great things in his future."

    ~Super-Conductor, Paul J. Pelkonen

"Bass–baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala rumbled nobly in the unsympathetic but necessary role of Desdemona’s bigoted father."

    ~Theaterscene, John Yohalem

"Of special note, however, was Isaiah Musik-Ayala as the paternal Elmiro.

His rich bass-baritone and his imposing physicality highlighted the overarching themes of patriarchy within the plot."

    ~Parterre Box, Patrick Clement James

Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro

"Figaro was played with boyish charm and jubilant cunning by bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala..."

~Repeat Performances, Adam Broner

"Musik-Ayala's low notes are resonant and he made the role seem easy..."

~San Francisco Classical Voice, Charlise Tiee

"Isaiah Musik-Ayala’s Figaro...anchored the vocal complement with room-filling bass-baritone, refined stage presence and consistent character."

~SF Station Reviews

Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Paisiello)

"...bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala acted and sang well in the part of [Bartolo’s] buddy Basilio, paying scrupulous attention to Paisiello’s dynamics in the big aria, which are subtler than those of Rossini."

~Opera Today, Andrew Moravcsik

“Isaiah Musik-Ayala, a solid bass-baritone, conveyed the sly ways of the unctuous Don Basilio."

~The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini

"...and bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala (Basilio) tempered their big voices with polished singing, and they, along with the rest of the cast, cavorted through director Eric Einhorn’s witty staging with unflagging energy.”

~The Observer, James Jorden

"The dapper Don Basilio was portrayed by bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala who lived up to his name. 'La Calunnia' was well sung...”

~VoceDiMeche, Meche Kroop

"Isaiah Musik-Ayala’s slyly insinuating Basilio...gamely entered into the spirited plan to rescue Rosina.”

~Parterre Box, Christopher Corwin

"...Isaiah Musik-Ayala’s creditably boomed Basilio...avoided the irreal sitcom nonsense usually foisted on us in the “other” setting of these characters’ world.”

~Opera News, David Shengold

“...bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala was great as a groveling Basilio…"

~SchleppyNabucco’s, Shawn E. Milnes

"...During the second half of the show we were sitting right next to the orchestra and there were moments, especially during Don Basilio’s tempestuous opening aria, his panegyric to calumny, in which I felt as though we had been swept up in a tempest ourselves considering the forcefulness of the orchestra. Kudos to baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala whose singing, in the role Don Basilio, also contributed to this effect.

Musik-Ayala really put all of himself into this most arousing of comic arias and he had all of the orchestra right there at his back. This was one of the moments that for me time stopped during the opera. His voice rode up and back down the waves of music like a boat in a storm-tossed sea as he boomed lam-peg-gian-do with loud heavy-handed, hard-hitting syllables and then in a whisper, like a sea spray, hissed cazzate, cazzate at us under his breath.** A very clever off-script embellishment that went perfect with the content of the number."

"...Musik-Ayala’s stage presence was also exquisitely dandified for the role that he played with poise and comic verve as he rocked from side to side in the stormy sea of the dispute over the hand of Rosina. He had it all.”

~AllegriConFuoco

Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor

"Their anchor was bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala as the chaplain, doing an excellent job balancing the plot with moralistic advice that was too little too late.

Vocally, he was that balance-point as well, a rich continuo line that each character resonated against."

~RepeatPerformances, Adam Broner

Frank in Die Fledermaus

"...Bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala, in superb voice and very funny as Frank, the drunken jail warden."

~San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin

"[The director's] attention to detail, however, is perhaps best exemplified during the quieter moments of the lovely opening sequence of the third act that feature some excellent acting technique by Mr. Musik-Ayala. Bravi!"

~Bayareacritic-at-large

"Special mention goes to bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala as Frank the prison warden – who I just LOVED..."

~Sanjose.metblogs, Cynthia Corral

Ramfis in Aida

"...Isaiah Musik-Ayala's voice has blossomed..."

    ~Opera News, Jason Victor Serinus

Baron Douphol in La Traviata

"Other standouts included bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala as Baron Douphol, Violetta's back-up beau; his singing was meaty and penetrating..."

~San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin

"Isaiah Musik-Ayala is a menacing bass-baritone Baron Douphol, Violetta’s 

jealous 'protector'..."

~Susan Steinberg, Independent News

Colline in La bohème

"As Colline, the philosopher, bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala mellifluously shone through "Vecchia zimarra," his ode to an old coat."

~San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin

Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini)

"Bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala shone with Basilio’s delicious Scandal Aria (“La calunnia e un venticello”)."

    ~Operaville.blogspot, Michael Vaughn

"...especially bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala, skillfully skewering the character of Don Basilio, the singing teacher and priest..."

~The Contra Costa Times, Richard Scheinin

Sacristan in Tosca

"Isaiah Musik-Ayala’s Sacristan was...delightful."

~Operaphile.blogspot, Brad Wade

"As the weak-kneed sacristan, bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala held forth sonorously."

~San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin

"The Sacristan is  usually played as a grumbling, bumbling old man.  Isaiah Musik-Ayala's portrayal as a grumbling younger man was a pleasant change."

~LA Splash, Philip H. Hodge

Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola

"At the center is bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala, who plays the oafish father, Don Magnifico, with a wry cynicism, and possesses that rare ability to sing as if he is actually just conversing."

~Operaville, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola