Drew Poling is a performer of astonishing versatility and appears with equal ease on opera, concert, and recital stages as well as those of the musical theater. His opera roles, from Aenaes to Henry Kissinger, draw on repertoire from all musical periods and include Count Almaviva, Rossini's Figaro, Hérode, Gianni Schicchi, Bohême's Marcello, and Albert Herring's Vicar. An avid performer of new music, Mr. Poling has sung the American debuts of several major new works. In 1999, he debuted George Benjamin's Sometime Voices at Tanglewood, a piece The New York Times hailed as "a masterpiece" and a performance The Boston Globe described as "unspeakably beautiful." He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in Oliver Knussen's Where the Wild Things Are and was featured to critical acclaim as the First Lion in Lukas Foss's Griffelkin with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Mr. Poling reprised his role on the world premiere recording of the work released on the Chandos label. In 2004, he appeared as Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China under the baton of Gil Rose. In 2006, again under Maestro Rose, he was featured as Roy Cohn in the American premiere of Peter Eötvös's Angels in America, an opera based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tony Kushner. Variety wrote of his performance, "Roy Cohn (baritone Drew Poling) dazzles."
Artistic Quality: 10 Sound Quality: 10
Lukas Foss composed Griffelkin for the NBC television network, which broadcast the opera on November 6, 1955. Although Griffelkin is based on a children’s fable, Foss wanted it to appeal to listeners ages “8 to 80,” so he wrote in a very accessible though not simplistic musical style—and the story has enough of a mature subtext to interest adults as well as children (as all good “children’s” music must).