Aaron Sheehan

Grammy award-winning American tenor Aaron Sheehan has established himself as a first-rate singer in many styles ranging from oratorio and chamber music, to the opera stage.  He regularly performs in the United States, South America and Europe.  He sang the title role in Boston Early Music Festival's recording of Charpentier's La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers which won Best Opera Recording at the 2015 Grammy Awards.

Known especially for his Baroque interpretations, Aaronn Sheehan’s voice has been described by the Boston Globe as "superb: his tone classy, clear, and refined, encompassing fluid lyricism and ringing force" and the Washington Post praised his "Polished, lovely tone."

His singing has taken him to many festivals and venues including; Tanglewood, the Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington National Cathedral, the early music festivals of Boston, San Francisco, Vancouver, Houston, Tucson, Washington DC, and Madison, as well as the Regensburg Tage Alter Musik.

Aaron Sheehan made his professional operatic début with Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) as Ivan, in the world premiere staging of Mattheson's Boris Gudenow, a role for which Opera News praised his voice as "sinous and supple". He has since performed with BEMF in such leading roles as L'Amour and Apollon in Lully's Psyché, Actéon in Charpentier's Actéon, and Acis in Handel's Acis and Galatea. He has also performed with American Opera Theater and Intermezzo Chamber Opera in leading roles of operas by Cavalli, Handel, Weill, and Satie.

On the concert stage, Aaron Sheehan enjoys a reputation as a first rate interpreter of the oratorios and cantatas of Bach and Handel and the oratorios and masses of Mozart. The San Diego Classical Voice said, "Tenor Aaron Sheehan performed the role of Evangelist, and sang with assured vocal and linguistic fluency, tasked with telling the audience the story while imparting its drama. In this regard, he was superb."

Aaron Sheehan has performed concerts with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik, North Carolina Symphony, New York Collegium, Charlotte Symphony, Boston Cecilia, Charleston Bach Festival, Baltimore Handel Choir, Les Voix Baroque, Pacific Chorale, Tempesta di Mare, Aston Magna Festival, Bach Collegium San Diego, Washington National Cathedral, Pacific Music Works, Boston Museum Trio, Magnificat, Tragicomedia, the Folger Consort, and Concerto Palatino.

He has appeared on many recordings, including the Grammy nominated operas Thésée and Psyché of Lully, and Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, recorded with BEMF on the CPO label. He also sings Acis on BEFM’s recording of Acis and Galatea due for release shortly.

Aaron Sheehan recently made his début at Carmel Bach Festival in Bach’s St John Passion, and sang the roles of Orfeo Orfeo, Eurimaco Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Liberto/Soldato L’incoronazione di Poppea in Boston Early Music Festiva’s Monteverdi cycle as well as the title role Acis Acis and Galatea, also for BEMF.

His forthcoming performances include Bach Mass in B minor with Calgary Philharmonic and with Boston Baroque, Alexander’s Feast with American Bach Soloists, Monteverdi chamber concerts with the Magnificat Ensemble in San Francisco, the title role in Gluck’s Orphée with Pacific Music Works, Orfeo Le Carnaval de Venise with Boston Early Music Festival, Eumete Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Opera Atelier, Toronto, and further performances of Handel Messiah, Bach St Matthew Passion, St John Passion, Mass in B Minor, Easter Oratorio, Monteverdi Vespers and Rameau Cantatas.

A native of Minnesota, Aaron Sheehan holds a BA from Luther College and a MM in Early Voice Performance from Indiana University. He is currently on the voice faculties of Boston University, Wellesley College, and Towson University.

March 2016

Acis / Acis and Galatea / Boston Early Music Festival / Autumn 2015

"As Lord Chandos (Acis), Aaron Sheehan used his unfailingly polished mien and tenor voice to embody a self-consciously theatrical aristocrat …”

 Matthew Guerreri - Boston Globe, November 2015

Orfeo / Orfeo (Monteverdi) / Boston Early Music Festival – Summer 2015

". . .The tenor Aaron Sheehan brought shining quality and deep sensitivity to the title role (Orfeo). . .”  

  - James Oestrich - NY Times, June 2015

Telemaco / Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Monteverdi) - Boston Baroque - Recording Review

". . .The most impressive performance comes from Aaron Sheehan (as Ulisse's son Telemaco) whose light lyrical voice delivers the music with utter naturalness. . .”    

Anthony Pryer - BBC Music Magazine, August 2015

Orphée / La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (Charpentier) / Boston Early Music Festival - Recording Review

". . .The tenor Aaron Sheehan, who sings the role of Orpheus, a finely nuanced interpretation. . .”  

Julie Anne Sadie - Gramophone Magazine 2014

Orphée / La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (Charpentier) / BEMF - Recording Review

". . .Played by Aaron Sheehan, whom I've seen in French, Italian, and English roles, though he's arguably at his best in the French repertoire. His high tenor brings a fine sense of style to a very well produced instrument, and a rich vocal warmth. Sheehan's agility isn't on display in this score, but his air "Ah! Bergers, c'en est fait" is an excellent example of his evocation of pathos. . .”  

Barry Brenesal - Fanfare Magazine Oct 2014

Orphée / La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (Charpentier) / BEMF - Recording Review

". . .The title role, though, is a gift for a high tenor. It is gloriously sung here by Aaron Sheehan, in a stylish, intense performance. . .”


Tim Ashley - The Guardian 2014

Actéon / Actéon (Charpentier) / Opera Lafayette - Kennedy Center - May 2013

". . .The performance was lifted by the dulcet high tenor of Aaron Sheehan……he had a mellifluous legato….and dramatic intensity for the plaintive recitative. . .”  

Charles T. Downey - Washington Post 2013

Tempo / Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Handel) / Bach Collegium San Diego - May 2014

". . .Tenor Aaron Sheehan…His elegantly arched, supple phrasing caressed every word of the text, and his timbre revealed the luxury of Italianate warmth, notably in his upper range. . .”  

Ken Herman - San Diego Story 2014

Orphée - La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (Charpentier) / Boston Early Music Festival - Performance at Morgan Library NYC - June 2014

". . .The vocal standout of the evening was tenor Aaron Sheehan, whose Orphée rang with a sweet, mellow halo that was as silken and soothing as its description in the text. . .”  
Joanne Sydney Lessner - Opera News 2014

Evangelist - St. Matthew Passion (Bach) / Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado - March 2013

". . .Featuring Tenor Aaron Sheehan in an impeccable performance! . . .”  

Denver Post 2013

 Evangelist - St. John Passion (Bach) / American Bach Soloists - March 2013

". . .Aaron Sheehan sang the part of the Evangelist, and his performance was quite simply astounding! . . .”  

Jonathan Rhodes Lee - San Francisco Classical Voice 2013

Orfeo - l’Orfeo (Monteverdi) / Boston Early Music Festival - Nov. 2012

". . .As Orfeo, Aaron Sheehan sang the role of a lifetime. Sheehan set a standard for exposed, emotional singing. . .”  

Charles Warren - Berkshire Review 2012

Orfeo - l’Orfeo (Monteverdi) / Boston Early Music Festival - Nov. 2012

. . .And most remarkable of all was tenor Aaron Sheehan, who made a moving Orpheus in the demanding title role. His long, quasi-aria plea to Charon had the evening's best trills and rapidly repeating trillos. . .”  

Lloyd Schwartz - Boston Phoenix 2012

Actéon - Actéon (Charpentier) / BEMF - Recording Review

". . .Stubbs and O'dette found in the young Aaron Sheehan an Actéon, who has a perfect command of the French baroque declamatory style and displays a top range which is light as feathers and pure of line. . .”  

OpernWelt 2011

Jupiter - Semele (Handel) / Baltimore Handel Choir - April 2012

". . .Aaron Sheehan has a convincing vocal presence as a lusty young man.Aaron Sheehan, an unfailingly stylish tenor, proved a major asset, too, as Jupiter. His elegant embellishments in “Where’er you walk” were beautifully judged. . .”                             Tim Smith - Baltimore Sun 2012

Acis - Acis & Galatea (Handel) / BEMF - April 2011

". . .Aaron Sheehan's attractive strong tenor and fluid acting style made him a sympathetic Acis. . .”  

Allan Kozinn - New York Times April 2011

Actéon - Actéon (Charpentier) / Boston Early music Festival - Recording Review

". . .Aaron Sheehan is a light tenor with a rounded, unforced tone that falls very easily on the ear. . .”  

Richard Lawrence - Gramophone March 2011

Actéon -
Actéon (Charpentier) / Boston Early Music Festival - Recording Review

". . .Aaron Sheehan has a convincing vocal presence as a lusty young man. . .”  

International Record Review March 2011

Jeptha - Jeptha (Handel) - Boston Cecilia - March 2011

". . .Heartbreaker Aaron Sheehan, was stellar in the title role of…..Handel's Jeptha….In what is surely his most sophisticated and heroic performance. . .”  

Lloyd Schwarz - Boston Phoenix March 2011

Actéon - Actéon (Charpentier) / BEMF Recording Review

". . .Aaron Sheehan's youthful, high-tenor Actéon sounds sweeter and … virile. . .”  

The Classical Review Febuary 2011

". . .Aaron Sheehan…can be heard in his accustomed bright richness in Actéon…as always, high tessitura proves no problem, and the voice is seamlessly navigated at all times. . .”  

Fanfare March 2011

Actéon - Actéon (Charpentier) / BEMF Recording Review

". . .As Actéon, Aaron Sheehan is utterly compelling, whether swooning over Teresa Wakim's imperious Diano or emitting disturbing howls during his metamorphosis. . .”  

Tim Ashley - The Guardian January 2011

". . .As Acis, tenor Aaron Sheehan was superb: his tone classy, clear, and refined, encompassing fluid lyricism and ringing force. . .”  

Boston Globe Nov. 2009


". . .Aaron Sheehan and Zachary Wilder brought down the house with a crisp, zesty account of ‘Zefiro Torn,…”

Allan Kozinn, New York Times Art Beat, June 2009


". . .Polished, lovely tone of tenor Aaron Sheehan.”— Washington Post, Jan 2010 “
Tenor Aaron Sheehan performed the role of Evangelist, and sang with assured vocal and linguistic fluency, tasked with telling the audience the story while imparting its drama. In this regard, he was superb…”

Classicalvoice.org April 2009


". . .Sinuous, and Supple…”

Opera News

". . .Carolyn Sampson and Aaron Sheehan are exquisite as the lovers. . .”  

The Guardian, Sept. 2008


". . .Aaron Sheehan made a fine impression with his bright, flexible tenor as Liberto. . .”              

The Berkshire Review for the Arts, June 2009

". . .Tenor Aaron Sheehan stood quietly as he poured our poetic texts with lovely tone and sensitive nuance. Especially moving was his interpretation of Binshois' profound lament, Ay, doloureux…”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer


". . .The indispensable early music tenor, Aaron Sheehan. . .”  

American Record Guide Dec. 2009

“Tenor Aaron Sheehan was ideal, clear and polished, elegantly declaiming the wide-ranging but dramatically restrained recitatives with quiet intensity. . .”  

Boston Globe May 2008


". . .Among the soloists, Aaron Sheehan, as the Evangelist, had an unforced,
personable sound, and managed the fiendishly difficult aria, ‘Frohe, Hirten,’ easily. . .”    

Boston Globe Dec 2007

". . .Aaron Sheehan sang with vocal aplomb and musical charm. . .”  

Richard Dyer, Boston Globe


". . .He boasts a handsome tenor and throws all his energy and all his gangly limbs into the role of the love-struck youth. . .”  

 Baltimore City Paper, Jan 2007

". . .Nathalie Paulin, a soprano, and Aaron Sheehan, a tenor, who sang in ‘Armide’ and other works, were stong. . .”  

 New York Times, Oct 2006

Aaron Sheehan