“Williams showcased a robust baritone capable of descending to a delicate thread of sound. You sensed his sense of vocal strength throughout the earlier portions, which further emphasized a sense of him trying to put on a façade for others."
- Operawire, New York City Opera production of Laura Kaminsky’s As One
Jorell Williams is an American operatic baritone with a wide variety of experience from standard repertoire to premiere pieces. He begins the 2019 - 2020 season with the world premiere of Kamala Sankaram’s Looking at You at the HERE Center for the Arts, returns to Seattle Opera for The Falling and the Rising and Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and makes company debuts with Opera Birmingham in Independence Eve and Pacific Opera Victoria in Carmen. Mr. Williams previous season included the American premiere of Frank London’s Cuban-Yiddish Opera Hatuey: Memory of Fire with Peak Performances, followed by returns to Victory Hall Opera in The Medium, Finger Lakes Opera in La Boheme, and his New York City Opera debut, reprising the role of Hannah-Before in Laura Kaminsky’s As One.
Nov. 15, 17, 20, 22, & 24
A Soldier’s Operatic Odyssey
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What people are saying...
Dizzy Gillespie in “Yardbird” at Seattle Opera
‘Charlie Parker’s Yardbird’ at Seattle Opera offers an unlikely mashup of jazz and opera. How well does it work?
(Photo: Sunny Martini)
"As Parker’s contemporary and friend Dizzy Gillespie, Jorell Williams steals the show with his easy charm and stunning vocals that cut through the music that often overpowers the voices of other cast members. During an overpopulated and conflict-burdened funeral scene that otherwise leaves one unmoved, Williams’ “Farewell” is beautifully delivered and draws one back into the gravity of the scene."
NYFOS Debut Concert
CLASSICAL VOICE AMERICA
Song Cycles Honor Pride Month And Rise Of Feminism
(Photo: Cherylynn Tsushima)
"Two more singers – baritone Jorell Williams and soprano Devony Smith— joined Johnson for the world premiere of the six-song cycle After Stonewall, a co-commission by NYFOS and Five Boroughs Music Festival...The cycle begins with “Burning Bar,” composed by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and sung by Williams, whose voice thrilled from his thunderous lower range to his delicate falsetto. The musical style leaned on minimalism; occasional blues notes provided effective coloration."
Hannah-Before in "As One" at
New York City Opera
An Important Work Given A Powerful Performance
"The work of course can never work without the work of its two leads – baritone Jorell Williams and mezzo-soprano Briana Elyse Hunter. Williams showcased a robust baritone capable of descending to a delicate thread of sound. You sensed his sense of vocal strength throughout the earlier portions, which further emphasized a sense of him trying to put on a façade for others...Together they brought the character to beautiful life, ultimately proving to be the soul of the work itself."
Brooklyn art Song Society New Voices Series
NEW YORK CLASSICAL REVIEW
Art song trees grow in Brooklyn with three varied premieres
(Photo: Faymous Studios)
"As she told it in a program note, composer Libby Larsen was leafing through a book of three-thousand-year-old Egyptian poems when she happened upon some vivid love lyrics and heard in her mind a kind of pharaonic Dichterliebe. On Friday baritone Jorell Williams, with Brofman in gentle support at the piano, gave an impassioned reading, bordering on stentorian, of Larsen’s Pharaoh Songs that made the ancient poet’s frustration in the song “Ho, what she’s done to me—that girl!” all the more comical. Nobody knows what ancient Egyptian music sounded like, but Larsen’s modal-minor harmonies added a whiff of way-back atmosphere to these startlingly contemporary-sounding texts."