A two time medal award winner of the American Traditions Competition, Jorell Williams has been acclaimed by The New York Times for his “magnificent, rich toned” baritone and his “perfect” comic timing, and is gaining international success on both the opera and concert stages. Upcoming engagements for the 2015-2016 season include his recital debut with the Brooklyn Art Song Society and the Eugene Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2014-15 season, Jorell made his professional debuts in the premiere of composer/conductor Matt Aucoin’s Opera Crossing with the American Repertory Theater (Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus), Jennifer Hidgon’s oratorio Dooryard Bloom with the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, The Orchestra Moves concert series with the Weill Institute of Music and Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, the world premiere of Blue Viola with Urban Arias (Directed by Emmy Nominee Tazewell Thompson), and Independence Eve, an Opera produced by American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice series. This past summer, Jorell joined the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program in productions of La Fille du Régiment, Rigoletto, and the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.
Jorell’s 2013-2014 season included important debuts in the inaugural season of Finger Lakes Opera as Dancairo in Carmen, Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina with Operamission, Jake in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess with Syracuse Opera, Younger Barber/Josh Gibson (cover) in Daniel Sonenberg’s Summer King, produced by Portland Ovations and American Opera Projects, Shaunard in La Boheme with Opera on the Avalon, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. A frequent performer of American contemporary music, he will be featured on composer David Lang’s recording of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects, returned as a Resident Artist for American Opera Projects’ 2013-2014 Composers and the Voice series, and soloist with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the United States tour of Abyssinian Mass led by Damien Sneed and composer, Wynton Marsalis.
Previous seasons include performing Fiesque in Maria di Rohan and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore with the Caramoor International Music Festival, Maximilian in Candide and the lead in Joshua’s Boots with Amarillo Opera, The Villager in his Off-Broadway debut of Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with New York City Encores, Frederick Douglass in Paula Kimper’s Truth with the New York International Fringe Festival, Henry Davis in Street Scene and the Sergeant of Police in Pirates of Penzance with Chautauqua Opera, a vocal fellowship with Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, the title role in Joshua’s Boots with Opera Theater of St. Louis, and concerts with the Mark Morris Dance Group and Copland House Center of American Music. Recently, he performed as soloist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the European premiere of Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass at the Barbican during the2012 Olympics in London. He had the honor to perform in “A Celebration of America” at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the occasion of the first Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. He also sang as soloist in Celebrating the American Spirit with Essential Voices USA, conducted by Judith Clurman along with guest artists, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara and Ron Raines and composer-arranger Larry Hochman, released on SONO LUMINUS. (CD Recording is ‘Sing Out Mr. President’, a song cycle of sixteen newly commissioned compositions)
Jorell is a recipient of the Lys Symmonette Award from the Kurt Weill Foundation, as well as top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, Liberace Foundation, Serge Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams Art Song Competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, and the Charles A. Lynam Competition.