Jorell Williams ’06
Jorell Williams ’06 has been hailed by Opera News as having “a solid vocal core and easy, natural production” and the New York Times for being “magnificent” and “rich-toned,” as well as having “perfect” comedic timing.
An American operatic baritone with a wide variety of experience from standard repertoire to premiere pieces, in the 2021–2022 season he performed the world premiere of A More Perfect Union with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Händel’s Messiah with the Newfoundland Symphony, followed by the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel in a co-production of The Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater.
He also made his company debut in L’elisir d’amore with Dayton Opera, and was featured in concert with the Caramoor International Music Festival, Seattle Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Finger Lakes Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera of the North, and Brooklyn Art Song Society.
Williams is widely recognized for his concert work, having performed as a soloist with the Omaha Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, Juneau Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Geneseo Symphony, The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, Caelis Academy Ensemble, Essential Voices USA, The Little Orchestra Society, Hudson Chorale, National Chorale, and the Harlem Chamber Players.
His career has brought him on concert tour with the Mark Morris Dance Company, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chorale Le Chateau, American Modern Ensemble, Essential Voices USA, and the Brooklyn Art Song Society.
His versatility has allowed him to work alongside some of today’s most versatile artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Damien Sneed, Jon Batiste, David Lang, and Jennifer Higdon for her 2017 Grammy®-nominated World Premiere Opera Cold Mountain with the Santa Fe Opera.
He is a winner of numerous competitions and awards: most notably the 2018 Rochester Classical Idol XII Prize and Audience Choice Award, The American Traditions Competition, The Jensen Foundation, Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, The Lys Symonette Award from the Lotte Lenya Competition, The American Prize, Serge Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams Art Song Competition, Harlem Opera Theater Competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, Harlem Opera Competition, National Association of Negro Musicians, and the Liberace Foundation.
An alumnus of the Composers and the Voice Program at The American Opera Project, Caramoor International Music Festival’s Bel Canto Program, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Westchester Vocal Institute, and Songfest at Colburn in Los Angeles, Williams has trained with the Santa Fe Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera North.
He is an advocate for artist rights and is a newly appointed artistic council advisor for On-Site Opera and the new music board for the Brooklyn Art Song Society, using his experience to consult with arts organizations on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
—Excerpted from JorellWilliams.com