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 covering Giorgio Germont. In 2020, Mr. Major returns to Opera Grand Rapids as Ping in Turandot, Toledo Opera as Marcello in La bohème, makes his South American debut as Amonasro in Aida with the Theatro Municipal de Sãn Paulo and was slated to make his Princeton Festival debut as Germont in La traviata. (COVID19) During the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Major was slated to make his Chautauqua Orchestra debut singing Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s Sancutary Road as well as selections from Porgy & Bess and his Opera on the James debut as Scarpia in Tosca. In the spring of 2021, Mr. Major will return to Opera Grand Rapids as Ping in Turandot.
Recently, 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 2018-2019 season highlights included his turn in title role of Gianni Schicchi with Michigan State University Opera Theatre, a recital for the Shivers Concert Series in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a return to Colorado to sing 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 renown 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, Marcello in La bohème, 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 Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan-Williams Five Mystical Songs, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The majority of 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 Harold Haugh Opera Vocal Competition, 1st prize Opera Ebony Vocal Competition, 3rd prize Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, 2nd prize Opera at San Nicola Vocal Competition, 1st prize Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition, 1st prize Atlanta Music Club Vocal Competition, and Encouragement Prize Palm Beach Atlantic Vocal Competition. Mr. Major holds degrees from Morehouse College, Boston University, and Michigan State University.