Alumni Recital: James Martin, baritone

The School of Music will present an Alumni Recital featuring James Martin, baritone on Thursday, February 4th at 8:00pm in Westbrook Auditorium.

JAMES C. MARTIN, baritone, has won critical acclaim for his performances in opera and concert as a versatile singer/actor and entertainer, with an artistic repertoire that spans from Bach to be-bop, Britten to Burleigh and Berg to Bernstein.   He has appeared to reviews of the highest acclaim with  leading musical organizations throughout the United States and abroad, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater Tour, the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, New York City Opera, Tapestry New Opera Works in Toronto, L’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, FRANCE, Theater Basel in Basel, SWITZERLAND, the Norwegian Royal Opera House of Oslo, NORWAY, the Mississippi Opera Association, and the Metroplitan Opera Guild; the music festivals of Marlboro, Ravinia, Aspen, Moab, Colmar, and Tel Aviv; concert and recital appearances with NY’s Lincoln Center in their American Songbook and African-American History series, the Collegiate Chorale, the contemporary ensemble Continuum, Caramoor, MOMA’s Summergarden series, Joy in Singing, the American Composers Orchestra, Meet the Composers, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Red: an Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony, Mississippi Chorus, and the New York Festival of Song at such distinguished venues as Lincoln Center Jazz, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the United States National Cathedral, and the Library of Congress.

Representative operatic roles include Mozart’s Figaro/Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni/Don Giovanni, Papageno/Die Zauberflöte and Publio/La clemenza di Tito, Puccini’s Marcello, Schaunard and Benoit/La bohème, and Betto/Gianni Schicchi, Verdi’s Pistola/Falstaff  and Baron Duphol/La Traviata, Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Britten’s Noye/Noye’s Fludde, Ananaias/The Burning Fiery Furnace, and Jen Jensen/Paul Bunyan, L’horloge comtoise & Le chat noir/L’enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel, Silvio/I’ Pagliacci of Leoncavallo, as well as Johann/Werther, Liberto/L’incoronazione di Poppea, Farfarello/L’Amour des Trios Oranges, Ibn Salaam/The Song of Majnun, Dr. Reischmann/Elegy for Young Lovers, #6 “Iron Hans”/Transformations, and premieres of Ibn Salaam/The Song of Majnun, Dr. Breslau/The Woman at Ottowi Crossing, Dr. Faustus/Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights and the role of the black American exploring pioneer Matthew Henson in Facing South.  Mr. Martin’s concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, the passions of Bach, the requiems of Mozart, Fauré and Brahms, and a multitude of chamber works and innovative song recitals.  He is an avid champion of the American Popular Song, specifically the works of African-American composers.

An advocate of new music, he has premiered and performed new, as well as recently discovered, concert and operatic works by many contemporary composers including George Walker, Anthony Davis, Tania Leon, Aaron Copland, Conrad Susa, Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen, Bright Sheng, Jonathon Sheffer, Lowell Liebermann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Viktor Ullmann, Luigi Dallapiccola, Stefan Wolpe, Tristan Keuris, Bohuslav Martinu and a host of others.  Equally at home in musical theater, his credits include Billy Flynn/Chicago, Joe/Show Boat, Leading Player/Pippin, Henry Higgins/My Fair Lady, Billy Crocker/Anything Goes, Quixote & Cervantes/Man of La Mancha, Lucky/Dames at Sea, Billy/Some Enchanted Evening and Bill Starbuck/110 in the Shade.

An active music educator, Mr. Martin has worked closely developing outreach programs, master classes and concert workshops with regional organizations including the Mississippi Music Conference for Church Music & Liturgy, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Opera in the Neighborhoods,” New York City Opera Education, the Hattiesburg Civic Chorus & Concert Association’s Meistersingers, and at the Juilliard School where he has frequently served as director/coordinator of its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.  He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Mr. Martin received his Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and his Master of Music from the Juilliard School, with continued studies as a young artist/apprentice and fellowship recipient with the Juilliard Opera Center, the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Les Jeunes Voix du Rhin in Strasbourg, France.  He is a recipient of the William Schuman prize, the SONY Elevated Standards award, the Theodore Presser and Irene Diamond scholarships, two Gluck fellowships and a Lilly grant.  He studied voice with David Nott, Cynthia Hoffmann and Benita Valente.  Other mentors and coaches include Steven Blier, Michael Barrett, John Humphrey, Luis Battllé, Marilyn Horne, Hermann Prey, Joan Sutherland, Reri Grist, George Shirley, Paul Sperry, Edward Berkeley, Kenneth Merrill, Diane Richardson, Owen Burdick, and Broadway legend Barbara Cook.

Other ventures and interests include directing, graphic design. and multiple collaborative arts projects including the newly formed Mississippi Vocal Arts Ensemble, as well as local fundraising  and outreach activities.  James now makes his home in Jackson, Mississippi, where he serves as Instructor of Voice at Millsaps College and Jackson State University while maintaining  an active performance and teaching schedule in both his local and global communities.

*This event is free and open to the public