OFFICIAL BIO: LEARN MORE ABOUT BRANDON
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Brandon Bell is a baritone hailing from Suffolk, Virginia. Mr. Bell returns to Utah Opera as a member of their Resident Artist Program for the 2020/2021 season. This season, he appears with Utah Opera as Somers in Gentleman's Island, the Steward in Flight, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Samuel in Pirates of Penzance. Mr. Bell also joins the Utah Symphony as the baritone soloist for their performances of Fauré’s Requiem.
Mr. Bell was most recently slated to perform as an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera, covering the role of Hawkins Fuller in Fellow Travelers, as well as singing the roles of General Arlie and the Bartender. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, these engagements, as well as a fellowship at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute in their Program for Singers, were canceled/postponed. Additional engagements during the 2019-20 season, included Mr. Bell’s house debut with Utah Opera, appearing in their production of Silent Night as the British Major and La Traviata as Dr. Grenvil.
Recent engagements also included Mr. Bell’s portrayal of Terry in West Edge Opera’s production of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves, role and house debut as Colline in West Bay Opera’s production of La bohème; the Corporal in La fille du régiment, as a Festival Artist with Opera Saratoga; as well as performances as Sarastro in The Magic Flute and Mr. Bigbad in John Davies’ Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, as a member of Des Moines Metro Opera’s OPERA Iowa program.
During the 2017-18 season, Mr. Bell appeared as a Studio Artist at Chautauqua Opera, covering the roles of Masetto and Il Commendatore in their summer production of Don Giovanni. The season also saw Mr. Bell as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the California Symphony, as well as in multiple dynamic roles at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, including Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Luciano/Chucho in a double bill of Musto's Bastianello and Bolcom's Lucrezia, and Garibaldo in a concert production of Rodelinda with the Conservatory's Baroque Opera Ensemble.
Mr. Bell is a proud alumnus of the prestigious Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artist program; where, in the summer of 2015, he was seen as the English Ambassador in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and the L’imperial Commissario in Madama Butterfly. In 2017, Mr. Bell returned to Wolf Trap Opera to appear in the world premiere performances of Listen, Wilhelmina!, a mini-opera for children.
Other recent performance highlights include Masetto (Don Giovanni) and Pistola (Falstaff) with the Janiec Opera Company; Melisso (Alcina), Le Fauteuil and Un Arbre (L’enfant et les sortileges), and Dr. Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro) with CCM Opera d’arte. Mr. Bell, with affection and fascination for new works, was a Featured Dater in the world premiere performances of Speed Dating Tonight! by Michael Ching, and also appeared as Hymie Felderman in the workshop of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with Opera Fusion: New Works, a collaboration between Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera.
Mr. Bell was recognized with an Encouragement Award for his participation in the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, at the Utah District. He was awarded 4th Place in the 2018 East Bay Opera League Young Artist Scholarship Awards Competition and was also chosen from national auditions as a finalist in the 2018 Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition. In 2017, he received both the Third Place (Student Division) - Orpheus Da Capo Award at the Orpheus National Music Competition for Vocalists and the Leola Boyce Award, awarded by the Knoxville Choral Society. The Cleveland Foundation chose Mr. Bell as the 2015 and 2016 recipient of its A. Grace Lee Mims Vocal Scholarship, awarded in recognition of his commitment to the perpetuation of the singing of the Negro spiritual. Mr. Bell has also been the recipient of grants and awards from The Anna Sosenko Assist Trust and the Performing Arts Consortium.
Mr. Bell is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he received a Postgraduate Diploma in Vocal Performance. He additionally holds his Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.