On November 17, Angela Brown received the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Centennial Award. The award is given for meaningful contribution to the advancement of music education, performance, advocacy and/or philanthropy.
Award-winning composer Nkeiru Okoye's work inspired by the life of Dr. Maya Angelou premieres on February 10. Angela is the soprano soloist in the role of Cerise's mother.
From Aida to Tosca to Elisabetta, Angela has sung leading Verdi and Puccini opera heroines on the stages of the world.
Angela's voice has been the conduit for world premieres: A Woman's Life by Richard Danielpour and Maya Angelou; Addie in Charlie Parker's Yardbird by Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette Wimberly; Cilla in Margaret Garner by Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison.
Angela is a brilliant on-stage and on-camera personality. She brings energy and glamour to any event, virtual or live.
Angela Brown personifies the ideal soprano: sheer vocal power; luxurious finesse; and shimmering, high pianissimos. With captivating star power, she unites opera, pops, and gospel in one sensational voice. She has graced the leading opera and symphonic stages on six continents including Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, National Opera of Paris, Vienna State Opera, Capetown (South Africa) Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai World Expo, Moscow Performing Arts Center, The Metropolitan Opera, Bilbao Opera, Teatro La Fenice, Hamburg Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and more. She has been presented in solo recital throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, China, and Africa. She is a featured artist on the two-time Grammy Award® winning recording Ask Your Mama and the voice of contemporary African American opera roles of Addie Parker (Charlie Parker’s Yardbird) and Cilla (Margaret Garner) as well as the time-honored roles of Tosca, Aida, Amelia (Un ballo in Maschera), Elisabetta (Don Carlo), and Leonora (Il Trovatore).
Performances in 2024 include two world premieres. Angela will sing the soprano solo for award-winning composer Nkeiru Okoye’s new work When the Caged Bird Sings. The work is inspired by the life of Dr. Maya Angelou and will be performed in February for the University of Michigan’s University Musical Society’s series. Featuring four soloists, a narrator, full orchestra, and chorus, Angela sings the principal soprano role of “Cerise’s Mother.” In March, Angela will reprise the role of Addie Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with the Indianapolis Opera. Angela will premiere Presidential Service Medal recipient Bill Banfield’s Symphony 14 (Revelation) for soprano and symphony with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. She will also sing a selection from Okoye’s opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedomwith Louisville Orchestra.
Angela’s highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted Angela onto the world's prestigious 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.
Angela is the founder of Morning Brown, Inc., her nonprofit dedicated to the development of multicultural role models and audiences in the performing arts. The success of her signature show, Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View©1997 provided the momentum and cornerstone for an array of outreach and educational programs that have been presented in 20 USA states under the auspices of Morning Brown. From orchestras and opera companies to libraries, schools, and music clubs, the programs have reached thousands of elementary, secondary, and university students as well as intergenerational audiences. (www.morningbrown.org)
A celebrated role model for the next generation of multicultural singers, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Birmingham released a virtual performance of Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in 2021 featuring rising young artists baritone Reginald Smith, Jr., tenor Jamez McCorkle, mezzo soprano Brianna Hunter, and Victoria Okafor alongside Angela. She received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts in 2022 for her impactful career and personal commitment to diversity in role models, performers, educators, and audiences in the arts. The Willson Center for Humanities and the Arts of the University of Georgia named Angela the 2023 Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding. The Chair is presented with the support of The Delta Air Lines Foundation, and Angela is the first musician to be honored with this distinction. She is the Artistic and Educational Ambassador of Indianapolis Opera. In 2023, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music presented her with the Centennial Award for meaningful contributions to the advancement of music education, performance advocacy, and/or philanthropy.
While opera is the main catalyst for her career, Angela’s performance experience includes everything from star emcee to producer, recording artist, educator, and podcast host. She is featured in the 2022 Marian Anderson documentary, The Whole World in Her Hand, on PBS’s American Masters, and the 2021 Marian Anderson documentary, Voice of Freedom, on PBS’s American Experience. In 2020, she launched a podcast with Classical Music Indy and co-host Joshua Thompson: Melanated Moments in Classical Music, now in its seventh season. The first season landed in the top 10% of all podcasts for listeners and won Best Music Podcast of 2020 for the Black Music Podcasting Awards.
Additional milestones for Angela include singing on the Grammy Award®-winning recording of Ask Your Mama, composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title, and co-starring in the American opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird by Daniel Schnyder in the 2015 world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia. She reprised the role of Addie Parker in historic performances at The Apollo in New York City in 2016, for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Madison Opera, and in London at The Hackney Empire in 2017, for The Atlanta Opera in 2019, for Seattle Opera in 2020, Dayton Opera in 2022, and New Orleans Opera in 2023.
Earlier career high points 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 guitarist Tyron Cooper and pianist Joseph Joubert, 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 (South Africa) Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai World Expo, Moscow Performing Arts Center, and more. Her hometown of Indianapolis has welcomed her regularly for appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony for their Yuletide pops extravaganza, the Indianapolis Opera, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, as National Anthem soloist for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, and Indy Eleven, and to sing “God Bless America” twice for the running of the Indianapolis 500.
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; Leipzig Radio Orchestra; Latvian National Symphony; Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Festival of St. Denis, France; Indianapolis Symphony; Cincinnati Pops; Cincinnati Symphony; Brevard Festival Orchestra; Phoenix Symphony; 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. Angela is a proud recipient of the 2015 Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the Governor’s Arts Award from the Governor of Indiana, a Spirit of the Prairie Award from Conner Prairie in Indiana, and a member of the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame. The Carmichael Hotel in Carmel, Indiana, named the Angela Brown Dining Room in her honor and she is an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota national music fraternity.
Current Nov 2023