Grammy-nominated vocalist Angela Brown personifies the ideal soprano: sheer vocal power; luxurious finesse; and shimmering, high pianissimos. With a charming personality larger than life, she unites opera, pops, and gospel in one sensational voice.
Angela’s highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted her onto the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages. Headlines from The New York Times read: “At last an Aida,” and CBS Weekend News proclaimed: “the future of opera has arrived!” followed by features on the front page of The New York Times, on CNN, in Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Classical Singer, Reader’s Digest, and Psychology Today.
While opera is the main catalyst for her career, Angela’s performance experience includes everything from star hostess on stage to producer and creator of Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View, an inspired show that has gained international notoriety for bringing opera to the masses in the form of an edgy, yet educational, concert presentation.
Last season held new milestones for Angela when she co-starred in the new American opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia, returned to her hometown of Indianapolis for the 2014 Yuletide Celebration series with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and sang on the newly-released and Grammy-nominated recording of “Ask Your Mama,” composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title. The 2015-16 season includes performances with Asheville Symphony Orchestra, a collaboration with Tuskegee University Choir in a Christmas extravaganza, recitals for Riverside Symphonia and St. Philip’s Concert Series, solos with Carmel Symphony, and a concert version of Porgy and Bess with Buffalo Philharmonic. Angela will reprise the role of Addie Parker in Yardbird at The Apollo in New York City this April and again for Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2017.
Earlier career highpoints include her collaboration with American composer Richard Danielpour. Her early success as Aida was immediately followed by world premier performances of Danielpour’s opera Margaret Garner in the role of Cilla with Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera and Michigan Opera Theater. The result was a triumph that led Mr. Danielpour to set the poetry of visionary Maya Angelou for Angela’s voice in an orchestral song cycle, A Woman’s Life, co-commissioned by Pittsburgh Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra, recorded in 2012 with the Nashville Symphony and released on the Naxos label in 2013.
A noted interpreter of African-American spirituals, Angela released Mosaic, a collaborative recording featuring spirituals with guitar and piano, in October 2004 from Albany Records. In 2005, a live Christmas concert with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Indianapolis Opera Chorus was recorded by WFYI-PBS and broadcast throughout the United States. She guest starred on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor radio show in 2009. In July 2010, Angela was presented in Shanghai at the World Expo 2010 as a guest of USA Pavilion and the United States Consulate. Angela was the only opera singer invited to perform for the USA Pavilion. She also opened the One Nation Working Together Rally in Washington, DC, by singing the National Anthem on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and was selected by Marvin Hamlisch to premier his song composed for her and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in honor of The Indianapolis Prize.
Throughout her career, Angela has joined forces with symphonic pops legends Marvin Hamlisch, Jack Everly, and Erich Kunzel while traveling the world for classical performances at Lincoln Center, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Capetown Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai World Expo, Moscow Performing Arts Center, and more. But, she always welcomes a return home to her beloved Indianapolis for appearances with Indianapolis Symphony for their acclaimed Yuletide pops extravaganza, the Indianapolis Opera, or to sing the National Anthem for the Colts or Pacers.
Ms. Brown’s previous solo appearances include: Metropolitan Opera; National Opera of Paris; Bilbao Opera, Spain; Teatro La Fenice; Hamburg Opera; Vienna Staatsoper; Capetown Opera; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Opera Philadelphia; Cincinnati Opera; Pittsburgh Opera; Opera Pacific; Florentine Opera; Indianapolis Opera; Michigan Opera Theater; Opera Birmingham; Dayton Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Pittsburgh Symphony; Auckland Philharmonia; Leipzip Radio Orchestra; Latvian National Symphony; Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Festival of St. Denis, France; Indianapolis Symphony; Cincinnati Pops; Cincinnati Symphony; Brevard Festival Orchestra; Roanoke Symphony; Madison Symphony; El Paso Symphony; Knoxville Symphony; Chautauqua Institution; Carmel (Indiana) Symphony; residencies and recitals at Skidmore College and Acadiana Symphony Orchestra; Calgary Philharmonic; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic; The Trumpet Awards; The Walker Theatre in Indianapolis; The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference; The Marian Anderson Award Ceremony; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Angela has performed in recital throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Africa.
A 1997 National Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions Winner, Ms. Brown received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, where she studied with Ginger Beazley. She attended the Indiana University School of Music as a student in the studio of Virginia Zeani. Ms. Brown received the Indiana University African American Arts Institute’s inaugural Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award in 2006, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions made in the arts by former members of the Institute. Ms. Brown is featured in “Nineteen Stars of Indiana,” a book by Michael S. Maurer about nineteen, living Hoosier women with successful and inspirational life stories, released by Indiana University Press in December 2008. In fall 2009, Angela received the Governor’s Arts Award from the Governor of Indiana, a Spirit of the Prairie Award from Conner Prairie in Indiana, and was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame.
2015 – Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Indiana University
2009 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award
2009 Spirit of the Prairie Award
2009 Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame
2001 Altamura/Enrico Caruso International Voice Competition
Audience Award Winner and Co-winner of Grand First Prize
2000 Richard Tucker Career Grant Finalist
1998 Sullivan Foundation Grant Winner
1998 G.B. Viotti Verdi Vocal Competition Winner, Italy
1997 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Winner
1997 Finalist Birgit Nilsson Prize, Carnegie Hall
1996 Winner of The Stewart Awards, Oklahoma City
1995 Semi-finalist – Marion Anderson International Competition
1994 Winner Opera Carolina Competition