Joseph Flaxman is a 4th year Cantorial Student at the Hebrew Union College where he is a fellow of the college under Rabbi Larry Hoffman. He previously served as the Student Cantor at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, under the guidance of Cantor Dan Singer. Joseph grew up at Temple Shalom in Succasunna, New Jersey, and came to the cantorate after a career on the international opera stage. He has been praised by Opera Magazine (UK) and The New York Times for his “devilish manner and burly baritone” that is “robust and vocally powerful” as well as for his compelling dramatic portrayals. Joseph has performed at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Munich Philharmonic, La Palacio del Opera (Spain), Lyrique-en-mer (France), Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, and regional opera companies throughout the United States. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Flaxman’s talents have been recognized by the Liederkranz Foundation, the Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition, Opera Index, the Bel Canto Foundation Scholarship, the Orpheus Competition, Career Bridges, the Competizione dell’Opera, the Armel Opera Competition, and the MacGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase on WQXR.
Joseph had the pleasure of spending many Shabbats and Jewish holidays with congregations throughout the United States while traveling for work. In 2011 he met his wife Laura, who is also an opera singer. Their first son, Elias, was born in 2016 and their second son, Isaiah, was born in 2019 in Israel. He is excited for the journey ahead and to becoming a leader in the Jewish musical world.