Athlone Artists has announced that baritone Markel Reed has joined its roster of talent.
Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Reed grew up singing in church. His introduction to classical music came when performed as a soloist for his high school’s all-women’s vocal ensemble, and after graduating from Oakwood University, he was offered a position teaching at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He joined Chicago Lyric Opera as a part-time chorister and received coaching from Gerald Finley; he later was accepted into the Young Artist Program at Utah Opera and performed in works such as “Carmen,” “Don Giovanni,” “The Merry Widow,” and more.
He recently premiered Damien Sneed and Karen Chilton’s “The Tongue & The Lash” with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and originated the role of Chester in their production of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” He was recently engaged with the Metropolitan Opera’s production of the work, covering the roles of Foreman and Adult James, as well as covering the role of Lawyer Frazier in their production of “Porgy and Bess.”
Following six months of conversation and feedback from Athlone’s Miguel Rodriguez, Reed was certain that the company would be the right fit for him.
“I’m very cerebral,” Reed said in an official press statement, “but I’ve had to learn how to let go of a lot of the business and technical parts of singing and remind myself about having heart and leading with intention. I have a massive joy for people who sing with intention regardless of the beauty or technical accuracy of the sound. If they sing with their spirit, and their soul, that is so gratifying. That bravery is amazing and I can learn so much from that.”