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Markel Reed

Markel Reed headshot


Baritone Markel Reed "brings great articulate power and style" to concert, recital, and opera performances throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. A passionate conveyor of the operatic repertoire, Reed has been cited for “delight[ing] the crowd with his musical and dramatic expression” in both standard and contemporary works. At the Metropolitan Opera, Reed performed with the ensemble in productions of Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones and sang in their Grammy Award-winning Porgy and Bess in 2019. That same year, he created the role of Chester in Fire Shut Up in My Bones in its premiere at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Reed kicks off his 2023-24 season with his Virginia Opera debut as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In the winter, he returns to the Omaha Symphony and the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra to perform as the baritone soloist in Christmas celebration concerts. Reed will also perform as a soloist in a concert of works by Shawn Okpebholo, including Songs in Flight and Two Black Churches in Chicago.

In the 2022-23 season, Reed made his international debut as Joey in The Time of Our Singing with Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland. In the spring, he returned to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to sing the role of Parson Alltalk in Treemonisha, and to perform as a soloist in Damien Sneed's The Road to Freedom. Reed also joined the Omaha Symphony as a soloist in a Fourth of July celebration concert.

In 2022, he appeared as Young Emile in Terence Blanchard's Champion with Boston Lyric Opera and as Marcello in La Bohème with Opera Steamboat. Concert highlights include soloist performances in Carmina Burana with the Omaha Symphony, Wozzeck in concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Charlotte Master Chorale, and a Bach and Margaret Bonds program with the Cecilia Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall.

Reed's 2021-22 season opened with the premiere of Damien Sneed and Karen Chilton's The Tongue & The Lash at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he portrayed "a credible James Baldwin and sang through his argument with power and finesse" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). He also performed The Hope of Loving with the New York Choral Society and sang the role of Br'er Fox in Nkeiru Okoye's Tales from the Briar Patch with the Virginia Arts Festival.

As a member of Utah Opera's Resident Artist Program, Reed performed the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni, Le 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.

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