Alumni In Action
Angela Brown personifies the ideal soprano: sheer vocal power; luxurious finesse; and shimmering, high pianissimos. With a charming personality larger than life, she unites opera, pops, and gospel in one sensational voice and has graced the leading opera and symphonic stages across six continents. A featured artist on the two-time Grammy Award® winning recording “Ask Your Mama,” Angela’s international reputation continues to grow.
Her highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted Angela onto the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages. Headlines from The New York Times read: “At last an Aida,” and CBS Weekend News proclaimed: “the future of opera has arrived!” followed by features on the front page of The New York Times, on CNN, in Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Classical Singer, Reader’s Digest, and Psychology Today.
While opera is the main catalyst for her career, Angela’s performance experience includes everything from star emcee to producer, recording artist, podcast host, and program creator. Her most fervent endeavor is the founding and advancement of Morning Brown, Inc., a nonprofit with the mission of bridging the gap between accessible, live-music programs and historically excluded individuals, schools, and communities. Drawing on the success of her groundbreaking show, Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View©1997, Morning Brown works to bring cultural experiences and awareness to cultural deserts. In 2020, she launched a new podcast with Classical Music Indy and co-host Joshua Thompson titled “Melanated Moments in Classical Music.” Now in its fourth season, the first season landed in the top 10% of all podcasts for listeners and won Best Black Music Podcast of 2020. She is also the Artistic and Educational Ambassador of Indianapolis Opera.
Other milestones for Angela include singing on the Grammy Award®-winning recording of “Ask Your Mama,” composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title and co-starring in the new American opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the 2015 world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia. She reprised the role of Addie Parker in historic performances at The Apollo in New York City in 2016, for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Madison Opera, and in London at The Hackney Empire in 2017. In early 2020, Angela sang Addie for Seattle Opera and and performed her outreach show Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in Portland, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Seattle. Cincinnati Opera and Opera Birmingham released a virtual performance of Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in January 2021. She is featured in the 2022 Marian Anderson documentary, The Whole World in Her Hand, on PBS’s American Masters, and the 2021 Marian Anderson documentary, Voice of Freedom, on PBS’s American Experience.
Earlier career high points include her collaboration with American composer Richard Danielpour. Her early success as Aida was immediately followed by world premier performances of Danielpour’s opera Margaret Garner in the role of Cilla with Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera and Michigan Opera Theater. The result was a triumph that led Mr. Danielpour to set the poetry of visionary Maya Angelou for Angela’s voice in an orchestral song cycle, A Woman’s Life, co-commissioned by Pittsburgh Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra, recorded in 2012 with the Nashville Symphony and released on the Naxos label in 2013.
A noted interpreter of African-American spirituals, Angela released Mosaic, a collaborative recording featuring spirituals with guitar and piano, in October 2004 from Albany Records. In 2005, a live Christmas concert with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Indianapolis Opera Chorus was recorded by WFYI-PBS and broadcast throughout the United States. She guest starred on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor radio show in 2009. In July 2010, Angela was presented in Shanghai at the World Expo 2010 as a guest of USA Pavilion and the United States Consulate. Angela was the only opera singer invited to perform for the USA Pavilion. She also opened the One Nation Working Together Rally in Washington, DC, by singing the National Anthem on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and was selected by Marvin Hamlisch to premier his song composed for her and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in honor of The Indianapolis Prize.
Throughout her career, Angela has joined forces with symphonic pops legends Marvin Hamlisch, Jack Everly, and Erich Kunzel while traveling the world for classical performances at Lincoln Center, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Capetown (South Africa) Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai World Expo, Moscow Performing Arts Center, and more. She always welcomes a return home for appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony for their Yuletide pops extravaganza, the Indianapolis Opera, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, or to sing the National Anthem for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, and Indy Eleven. Singing “God Bless America” for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 (2017) only deepened her love affair with her beloved Indianapolis and it with her.
Ms. Brown’s previous solo appearances include: Metropolitan Opera; National Opera of Paris; Bilbao Opera, Spain; Teatro La Fenice; Hamburg Opera; Vienna Staatsoper; Capetown Opera; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Opera Philadelphia; Cincinnati Opera; Pittsburgh Opera; Opera Pacific; Florentine Opera; Indianapolis Opera; Michigan Opera Theater; Opera Birmingham; Dayton Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Pittsburgh Symphony; Auckland Philharmonia; Leipzip Radio Orchestra; Latvian National Symphony; Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Festival of St. Denis, France; Indianapolis Symphony; Cincinnati Pops; Cincinnati Symphony; Brevard Festival Orchestra; Phoenix Symphony; Roanoke Symphony; Madison Symphony; El Paso Symphony; Knoxville Symphony; Chautauqua Institution; Carmel (Indiana) Symphony; residencies and recitals at Skidmore College and Acadiana Symphony Orchestra; Calgary Philharmonic; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic; The Trumpet Awards; The Walker Theatre in Indianapolis; The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference; The Marian Anderson Award Ceremony; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Angela has performed in recital throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and Africa.
A 1997 National Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions Winner, Ms. Brown received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, where she studied with Ginger Beazley. She attended the Indiana University School of Music as a student in the studio of Virginia Zeani. Ms. Brown received the Indiana University African American Arts Institute’s inaugural Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award in 2006, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions made in the arts by former members of the Institute. Ms. Brown is featured in “Nineteen Stars of Indiana,” a book by Michael S. Maurer about nineteen, living Hoosier women with successful and inspirational life stories, released by Indiana University Press in December 2008. Angela is a proud recipient of the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the Governor’s Arts Award from the Governor of Indiana, a Spirit of the Prairie Award from Conner Prairie in Indiana, and a member of the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame. The Carmichael Hotel in Carmel, Indiana, named the Angela Brown Dining Room in her honor.
current April 2022