Markel Reed, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been featured in various concerts, recitals and performances throughout the U.S., Canada and in Europe. His repertoire includes: Schaunard in La Bohème, Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and John Sorel in The Consul.
As a passionate conveyor of the operatic repertoire, Mr. Reed is a wonderful interpreter of both the standard, as well as contemporary works.
Following the shutdowns of Covid-19, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ first live season of 2021 saw Markel in the premiere of acclaimed The Tongue & The Lash composed by Damien Sneed and written by Karen Chilton. Born out of racial turbulence following George Floyd’s death, the role of James Baldwin in the piece provided an apt conduit to express the difficult topic.
In March of 2020, Markel premiered Nkeiru Okoye’s masterwork entitled Black Bottom with the Detroit Symphony. It is a musical depiction of a historically black community of the same name.
In the Summer of 2019, he originated the role of “Chester” in the premiere of Terence Blanchard’s acclaimed opera Fire Shut up in my Bones with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Following this, Mr. Reed had the pleasure of singing in the Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy winning production of Porgy and Bess.
As a member of Utah Opera’s Resident Artist Program, Mr. Reed performed the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni, Dancaïre in Carmen, Kromov in The Merry Widow and covered the role of Brian Castner in the western premiere of Jeremy Howard Beck’s The Long Walk. Mr. Reed was featured in a revue of original miniature operas as part of a collaboration between Utah Opera, the Bee (a story telling organization based in Salt Lake City) and local composers, entitled Operas on the Hive.
Prior to his residency with Utah Opera, Mr. Reed was a young artist with Kentucky Opera during the 2014-15 season where he performed the role of Count Paris in Romeo et Juliette. He has also performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Bronx Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Soo Theatre Project, National Music Festival, Utah Symphony, Opera Louisiane, dell’Arte Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, Hartford Opera Theater, Lighthouse Opera, Utopia Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Markel Reed pursued his Bachelors of Music Performance at Oakwood University and is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre program.