In the Penal Colony (Glass), Portland Opera
“Tenor Martin Bakari was clear, calm, objective, and in beautiful voice as The Visitor.”
- Charles Shere, San Francisco Classical Voice, 7/30/2019
Murasaki’s Moon, On Site Opera/The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC)
"As Genji, the charismatic tenor Martin Bakari sang with well-shaded vibrato and supple diction that also had a distinct Broadway flavor."
- Maria Mazzaro, Opera News, 5/17/2019
“Martin Bakari’s Genji, both imp and rogue, nonchalantly toted a large sack of fans that he had collected from women he had seduced. His burnished tenor was as endearing as his charm. I’ve heard Bakari on several occasions, and he is a wonderful performer who always delivers.”
- Rick Perdian, Seen and Heard International, 5/22/2019
“Tenor Martin Bakari made an amusingly arrogant Genji.”
- Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, 5/20/2019
“With a burnished golden tenor and a glint in his eye, Martin Bakari gave us Genji-as-savior.”
- Jon Sobel, BlogCritics, 5/26/2019
“…the irresistible tenor Martin Bakari…”
- Susan Brodie, Classical Voice America, 5/23/2019
“Ms. Choi and Mr. Bakari dove deep into their characters, finding real weight in the moment where Murasaki finds her way to a story's end and redemption in the moment where the cad comes back. The singers moved and swirled in their finery, arching over a nimble score that combined the voices of eastern and western instruments to create minimal pulse, kinetic rhythms and always, strong support for the voices of the two leads.”
- Paul J. Pelkonen, Superconductor, 5/19/2019
“Martin Bakari gave a brash and aggressive portrayal of Genji, bringing a powerful, bright tenor to match his character’s devil-may-care attitude. He underwent a moving transformation, discovering that he is not fulfilled by his affairs and beginning to understand the harm he has done along the way.”
- Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 5/18/2019
Porgy & Bess, Fort Worth Opera
“The street vendors were exceptionally well sung by Martin Bakari…”
- Jonathan Pell, Opera News, 5/2019
Charlie Parker’s Yardbird (Schnyder), Atlanta Opera
“(The title role) was convincingly sung and acted by Martin Bakari.”
- Mark Gresham, ArtsATL, 10/2/2018
Morning Star (Gordon), On Site Opera
"Martin Bakari was especially memorable among the supporting cast as Prince, an all-purpose street vendor, with his muscular tenor and confident bearing."
- Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 3/22/2018
"The supporting cast was also good, with special kudos to Martin Bakari for a charismatic portrayal of Prince, the deli-man."
- Arlo McKinnon, Opera News, 3/21/2018
George London Competition Finals Concert
"Tenor Martin Bakari gave an expressive performance of "Un'aura amorosa", Ferrando's aria from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. His tone is sweet and his pacing was perfect."
- Meche Kroop, Voce di Meche, 2/17/2018
"Bakari displayed a confident approach and pliant tenor in “Un’aura amorosa” from Così fan tutte."
- Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 2/17/2018
The Difficulty of Crossing a Field / The Little Match Girl Passion (Lang), Portland Opera
"Vocal standouts included... tenor Martin Bakari, who has a compelling silvery tone, navigates easily through the entire tenor range, and has a voice that carries easily through the hall."
- Bruce & Daryl Browne, Oregon ArtsWatch, 8/2017
"Tenor Martin Bakari was similarly vivid and eloquent as slave boy Sam, commanding a wide dynamic range and an even singing line."
- Mark Mandel, Opera News, 10/2017
Dowson Songs (Smirnov), Naxos Records
"Martin Bakari has a soulful quality to his pulsing, consistent tenor, and he seems to have a direct line into the emotional content of the songs. His renditions make a powerful impact, and he gives each number the shape the composer clearly wants. In the concluding 'A land of Silence', he manages a lovely floating tone as the melody maneuvers up to a high C, and his sound is thrilling at several musical climaxes."
- Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News, 5/2017
"Bakari sings with great expressiveness and sounds effortless above the staff; in the concluding 'Land of Silence' he hovers around high C. Texts are supplied, but Bakari's diction is so clear that they are hardly needed."
- Robert A. Moore, American Record Guide, 3/2017
The Summer King (Sonenberg), Pittsburgh Opera
"Perhaps the best thing about the opera was the opportunity to hear a lot of excellent young black singers, particularly Kenneth Kellogg, moving as Josh's closest friend, Sam Bankhead, and Phillip Gay and Martin Bakari, who both played multiple roles."
- Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, 5/10/2017
"Multiple smaller parts were handled with expertise by tenors Martin Bakari, Norman Shankle, and Raymond Very..."
- Robert Croan, Opera News, 7/2017
The Long Walk (Beck), Utah Opera
"Christian Sanders, Martin Bakari and Matthew Scollin, playing Brian's comrades, were outstanding dramatically as well as vocally…"
- Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune, 4/3/2017
Il postino, Opera Saratoga
"But the most genuinely emotional moment caused by Catán's music itself proved the folkish a cappella song memorably etched by Martin Bakari, again convincing as an older man: here, Mario's widowed father."
- David Shengold, Opera News, 10/2016
Le nozze di Figaro, Opera Saratoga
"But the closest approximation of a real human being came from Martin Bakari's communicative, legato-based Basilio."
- David Shengold, Opera News, 10/2016
Roméo et Juliette, Opera Carolina
"Baritone Andrew McLaughlin’s bronze-voiced Grégorio and tenor Martin Bakari’s live-wire Benvolio were vibrant characterizations, the latter’s singing of 'Sa blessure est mortelle!' in the Act Three finale escalating the tension of the scene."
- Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts, 2/1/2016
The Cunning Little Vixen, Juilliard Opera
"Martin Bakari was vocally charismatic as the Schoolmaster, who mistakes the Vixen for Terynka, the local girl he is in love with (and who is engaged to Harasta)…"
- Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News, 7/2013
Trois Opéras-Minutes, Tanglewood Music Center
“Martin Bakari's golden tenor enriched each of the three operas, coming center stage as Jupiter-Taurin in Europe and later on, in Ariane, as Thésée."
- Hilary Somers Deely, Opera News, 10/2011
Full Moon in March (Harbison), The Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood
"But it has plenty of high tension and occasionally melodic vocal writing, which Sarah Nisbett, as the Queen; Shea Owens, as the Swineherd; and Adrienne Pardee and Martin Bakari mastered completely."
- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, 8/17/2010
"Bakari admirably roamed ever so smoothly from his normal tessitura to falsetto without a break."
- Mary Wallace Davidson, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 8/17/2010
Competition Grand Finals Concert, Palm Beach Opera
"In the junior division, the velvety light tenor hues, superb control and resounding high tones of Martin Bakari garnered the $5,000 second prize with 'Spirto gentil' from Donizetti’s La favorita."
- Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review, 4/26/2010