About The Artist: Carmen marks Christian Pursell’s mainstage debut with HGO; elsewhere with HGO, he performed the role of Tom in Laura Kaminsky's Some Light Emerges. This season Pursell also appears as Escamillo at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Hawaii Opera Theatre. His 2019-20 highlights included Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd at the San Francisco Opera and semi-staged performances of Salome with Fabio Luisi at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Other recent engagements have included Samuel in Handel’s Saul at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and his debut at Wiener Staatsoper as Second Englishman in Prokofiev's The Gambler and Dandini in La Cenerentola with the Merola Opera Program. A recent graduate of the Adler Fellowship Program at the SFO, his many mainstage appearances include the roles of the Jailer in Tosca, Count Lamoral in Arabella, and an Angel in It's a Wonderful Life conducted by Patrick Summers. A native of Santa Cruz, California, Pursell is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received his Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music (CCM). He won third prize in the 2021 James Toland Vocal Arts competition and is the recipient of the 2019 Igor Gorin Memorial Award and a 2017 Sara Tucker Study Grant. He also was the second award winner of the 2017 Jensen Foundation competition, winner of the 2017 Theodor Uppman Award from the Sullivan Foundation, and a national semi-finalist at the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.