Artist of the Week: Brian Major

American Baritone Brings ‘Champion’ to the Boston Lyric Opera

By Francisco Salazar

Ever since Terrence Blanchard’s opera “Champion” received its premiere in 2013, the opera has traveled to Washington D.C and San Francisco. It is also set to make its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera during the 2022-23 season.  But before that, the Boston Lyric Opera will bring the work to its audiences after having been postponed in 2020.

Leading the cast will be rising star baritone Brian Major who has performed to great acclaim in the U.S. and around the world. Major will perform the role of Emile Griffith, a legendary African-American welterweight, who made history when he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 1990.

Major has performed at the Madison Opera, Toledo Opera, Theatro Municipal de Sao Paulo, Chautauqua Orchestra, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Carolina, Opera Columbus, and Opera Company of Middlebury. This season he has performed at the Sarasota Opera in a production of “Attila” and Opera Carolina in a production of “Aida.”

Major is 2nd Prize Harold Haugh Opera Vocal Competition, 1st prize Opera Ebony Vocal Competition, 3rd prize Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, 2nd prize Opera at San Nicola Vocal Competition, 1st prize Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition, and 1st prize Atlanta Music Club Vocal Competition, among others.


For those not familiar with the baritone’s voice here are some clips from various productions and concerts.


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