American baritone Jeffrey Williams has been hailed by Baltimore Sun, as “very likeable, a winning performance sung with much confidence, phrasing everything stylishly,” and by Miami Herald as possessing a “commanding, sizeable, effortless, manly baritone.”
Mr. Williams’ 2015-2016 season begins with the role of the Mandarin in Nashville Opera’s mainstage production of Puccini’s Turandot in Andrew Jackson Hall. Later that month, he will reprise the role of Luiz in Evan Mack’s opera, Angel of the Amazon, in New York state celebrating the life of Sister Dorothy Stang. In December, he will sing multiple scenes of Mack’s new opera, Roscoe, based on William Kennedy’s novel depicting New York’s gritty political life, with the Skidmore College Orchestra and lead a vocal masterclass for Skidmore College voice students. 2016 begins with an evening of Russian Romances performed by Williams and his Fall 2015 Directed Study students in APSU’s Mabry Concert Hall. Gateway Chamber Orchestra‘s Masterworks Series Concert 3 includes Mr. Williams’ premiering of Jeffrey Wood’s dramatic cycle of songs for baritone and orchestra entitled, Different Bodies, based on Kenneth Sherman’s “Words for Elephant Man.” In March 2016, Williams will be the baritone soloist in Samuel Barber’s The Lovers with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in their annual Voices of Spring program at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. In April, Williams returns to the Bach in Baltimore concert series to perform Bach’s beloved bass solo church cantata, BWV 82, “Ich habe genug.”
Williams’ 2014-2015 season included two recordings for Albany Records, Thomas Sleeper’s series of eight operas entitled Einstein’s Inconsistency (currently available) and Michael Dellaira’s riveting one-act opera The Death of Webern (soon to be released). Williams performed Handel’s Messiah excerpts with Gateway Chamber Orchestra, as baritone soloist in Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light: A Requiem at Madison Street Methodist Church, as Luiz in Evan Mack’s Angel of the Amazon in San Francisco, CA and Cincinnati, OH, as baritone soloist in Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem with Bach in Baltimore, a recital with Holli Harrison, soprano accompanied by Amy Tate Williams, piano to open the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, the Pirate King in G & S’s The Pirates of Penzance with the Young Victorian Theatre Company, and the Father in Vittorio Giannini’s Beauty and the Beast with Lyric Opera Baltimore’s production for Artscape, the world’s largest free arts festival.
In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Williams was chosen as one of eight vocal masterclass participants at the Académie Musicale de Villecroze in Villecroze, France. In late 2013, he made many concert appearances in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region. He performed alongside organist, Rebecca Owens, at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in an Advent and Christmas themed program. He performed in a string of five concert performances entitled Holiday Joy: Amazing Voices with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Julien Benichou in venues across Maryland and Delaware. He also appeared on Stephen Williams’ annual Christmas Day concert entitled Organ Noëls at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was honored to be a District winner and Mid-South Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was also awarded the Cynthia Vernardakis (Fourth Place) Award at the Orpheus National Voice Competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Mr. Williams was selected as the baritone Mary Ragland Young Artist at Nashville Opera in Nashville, Tennessee. He will perform in the annual black-tie fundraiser, La Bella Notte, appear as Fiorello and Ambrogio in their mainstage production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, perform in their education tour across Tennessee as Osmin in John Davies’ Billy Goats Gruff and Opera Outtakes, and appear as Montano and the Herald in their mainstage production of Verdi’s Otello.
Onegin 2Mr. Williams’ 2013 summer began premiering works of Composer Fellows at the John Duffy Composer’s Institute in conjunction with the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Virginia. As part of this residency, he sang in an evening of orchestra readings entitled “Martinis and Masterworks” with members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and a final staged concert featuring works of Rick Bassett, Rachel Peters, Mark Sonnenblick, and others. He was then the Ron & Phyrne Pitkin Scholar Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, New York. Mr. Williams sang the title role in Seagle’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin among other assignments throughout the summer. Mr. Williams was then called to Austria to perform the title role of Lord Ruthven in Heinrich Marschner’s Der Vampyr and featured as orchestra concert soloist with the Musikwelten Bruck Festival at the Stadttheater Bruck an der Leitha.
papageno outreachIn previous seasons, Mr. Williams has portrayed Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute (with the Young Patronesses of the Opera In-School Opera program across Miami-Dade and Broward counties as well as with Frost Opera Theater), Prince Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, Aleko in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, the Catcher/Manager in Schuman’s The Mighty Casey, Jack Point in G&S’s The Yeomen of the Guard, Strephon in G&S’s Iolanthe, the roles of the Messenger in Verdi’s La Traviata and Rabonnier in Puccini’s La Rondine with Florida Grand Opera, and others. He has also appeared in numerous scenes from the operas Doubt, The Rake’s Progress, Carmen, Frankenstein, Orphée, and others. Mr. Williams took part in two summers at Middlebury College’s Deutsch für Sänger Programm with Bettina Matthias and Jim and Ruth Ann McDonald, in Middlebury, Vermont, two summers at the John Duffy Composers Institute in Norfolk, Virginia with Rhoda Levine, John Duffy, and Alan Johnson, and two sessions of the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Ghenady Meirson. Mr. Williams has appeared in the masterclasses of Tom Krause, Helen Donath, Sherrill Milnes, Francois Le Roux, William Stone, Benita Valente, Mikael Eliason, Carole Farley, Susan Shiplett Ashbaker, Dean Anthony, and others.
Mr. Williams has a B.A. in Music magna cum laude from Muhlenberg College, a M.M. in Voice Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and a D.M.A. in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Miami, Frost School of Music. Mr. Williams is American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) affiliated.