Just in time for the Holidays my Christmas CD "Jason Budd - A Classic Christmas" is here! It has been hard work, but I think it has paid off and am confident you will too. More info on Jason Budd at the bottom. I have wanted to make a Christmas album for some time now and I think mine is unique in that, as the title suggests, this is a classic, traditional rendering of the best loved carols of the season. When I would mention to people that I was working on a Christmas album they would invariable suggest a jazz version of this song or a new treatment for another, this was not what I had in mind at all. It seems as if the majority of the Christmas albums done today are straying from what made these carols such classics. My concept was to perform these great songs the way you would expect hear them at Christmas Eve Mass. As a young man singing in the choir at St. Patrick's Church in Hubbard, Ohio the Christmas songs were my favorite to sing and Christmas Eve Mass is where I grew to love them. I have teamed up with Jack Ciarniello of TakeNote Productions again to bring you O Holy Night, Silent Night, O Come, All Ye Faithful, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, Joy to the World, We Three Kings and many more. Clips can be heard in the MUSIC section. I am very proud of the look and content of this endeavor and I hope you will be pleased too. My first CD "Broadway, Take: One" is still available and going strong. Remember, they make great gifts and stocking stuffers :) Jason Budd is receiving high accolades and recognition for his performances and has quickly become a well-respected singer with great command of the stage. In the current season, he received unanimous critical acclaim for his portrayal of Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Michigan Opera Theatre. The Detroit Free-Press says, "Jason Budd as Bartolo was the definition of a buffa bass: rotund, blustery, funny, with an alluring, deep-chested voice.' Likewise, of a recent L'elisir d'amore performance Opera News declares, 'Jason Budd's Dulcamara was a good-natured quack, nimble of limb and voice; (he) sang with vocal heft that made the already-small Drury (theatre) seem like a phone booth.' Mr. Budd has performed with Orlando Opera in several roles including the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Major General in Pirates of Penzance, The Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, 1st Soldier/5th Jew in Salome, Crespel/Luther in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Monterone in Rigoletto, Don Florito in Luisa Fernanda, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, Sir Joseph in HMS Pinafore, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Speaker/First Priest in The Magic Flute, and Sacristan in Tosca with Carol Vaness in the title role. In the 2007-2008 Season, he performs the title role in Don Pasquale with Syracuse Opera, Frank in Die Fledermaus with Orlando Opera, Montfleury in the world premiere of Cyrano at the Michigan Opera Theatre and Benoit/Alcindoro with Opera Cleveland. Most recent engagements from the 2006-2007 Season include Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Michigan Opera Theatre, Major General in Pirates of Penzance and The Bonze in Madama Butterfly with Orlando Opera, and Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore with Cedar Rapids Grand Opera. He has also appeared with Augusta Opera, Opera Birmingham, Piedmont Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland and Opera Carolina in such roles as Sacristan in Tosca, Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore, Zuniga in Carmen, and Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro. Additionally, he portrayed the title role in Verdi's Falstaff with the Opera Theatre of Lucca in Italy, debuted with Michigan Opera Theatre as Sacristan/Jailer in Tosca, and performed Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Lyric Opera of Cleveland, Dr. Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Toledo Opera, and the Sergeant of Police in Pirates of Penzance with Nashville Opera (director Carroll Freeman), "A performance highlight was the bumbling antics of Jason Budd, who played the Sergeant of Police...With his imposing presence and mutton-chop sideburns, he was the perfect lumbering, yet well-meaning sergeant." Jason was recently selected as a finalist in the 2007 Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship. Past engagements and competition accomplishments include, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme for Shreveport Opera where he also won first prize in their Singer of the Year Competition, 1st place in the Metropolitan Opera Florida district 2001 and 2002, 1st place in the Opera Columbus Competition 2001 and second place at the Metropolitan Opera southeast regional in Atlanta, 3rd place in the 2004 Connecticut Opera Guild Competition and 3rd place along with the award for Audience Favorite in the 2004 Opera Birmingham Competition. Jason studies with Andreas Poulimenos who now teaches at Indiana University.