Brian Major, Baritone Charismatic baritone Brian Major continues to be praised by critics for his “velvety voice’ and “commanding stage presence.” In the fall of 2019, Mr. Major joined Madison Opera for their production of La traviata as Baron Douphol and covered the role of Germont. In 2020, Mr. Major returned to Toledo Opera as Marcello in La bohème, made his South American debut as Amonasro in Aïda with Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, and was slated to make his Princeton Festival debut as Germont in La Traviata (COVID19). During the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Major was engaged to make his Chautauqua Orchestra debut singing in Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s Sanctuary Road and performing selections from Porgy & Bess, his Opera on the James debut as Scarpia in Tosca, and a debut with Maryland Lyric Opera as Ford in Falstaff (COVID19). In the spring of 2021, Mr. Major returned to Opera Grand Rapids as Gary in Douglas Pew’s Penny and joined Lyric Fest for a filmed recital of Kurt Weill songs, the Princeton Festival for an Opera Gala, and Opera Delaware for a concert of Shakespeare selections. During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Major will make his role debut as Scarpia in Tosca with Opera Columbus, sing the role of Taylor in the world premiere of Undying Love at Hearing in Color in Chicago and make his Florentine Opera debut as Schaunard in La bohème. He will also return to both the Columbus Symphony to sing another Schaunard in La bohème and the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as, Opera Carolina to sing Amonasro in Aïda.
During the 2018-2019 season, Mr. Major made debuts with Toledo Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Opera Carolina in their productions of The Magic Flute and Carmen where he sang the roles of The Speaker and El Dancaïro. Other season highlights include his turn in the title role of Gianni Schicchi, a recital for the Shivers Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with The Colorado College Summer Music Festival. Mr. Major was also a featured musical guest at an Evening of Joyful Praise at the historic Great Auditorium in New Jersey and closed out his season as the baritone soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Past season credits include his debut with Opera Columbus and Columbus Symphony Orchestra in a collaborative production of Aïda as Amonasro. Mr. Major also presented Kirke Mechem’s Songs of the Slave in Boston Symphony Hall and reprised the role of Amonasro in a debut with Opera Theatre of the Rockies in their twentieth-year celebration where Mr. Major’s voice was described as “honey-filled and capable of organic, dramatic expression.”
Quickly gaining renowned acclaim for his proficiency in the iconic dramatic repertoire, Opera News praised Mr. Major’s Escamillo as “embracing the love of the spotlight” and “never losing the strength of the vocal line.” Mr. Major has performed with Opera Saratoga as Giorgio in Catan’s Il Postino, with Opera in the Heights where he gave a “sexy and despicable, full-bodied and broad” performance of the title role in Don Giovanni, with Opera Company of Middlebury where he sang the role of Germont in La Traviata, and in Montpellier, France where he performed an all-French Opera concert with Maestro Michel Plasson. Other operatic credits include Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, 1st Nazarene in Salome, and George Milton in Of Mice and Men.
An accomplished recitalist and concert artists, Mr. Major has been the baritone soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. These works were performed with The Siena Chamber Orchestra in Italy, Sun Valley Opera in Idaho, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, and the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Major has won numerous awards and honors on the competition circuit including 2nd Prize at the Harold Haugh Opera Vocal Competition, 1st prize at the Opera Ebony Vocal Competition, 3rd prize at the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, 2nd prize at the Opera at San Nicola Vocal Competition, 1st prize at Harlem Opera Theater’s Vocal Competition, 1st prize at the Atlanta Music Club Vocal Competition, and an Encouragement Prize at the Palm Beach Atlantic Vocal Competition. Mr. Major holds degrees from Morehouse College, Boston University, and Michigan State University