Bass

Branch Fields

Branch Fields, whom Opera America described as "a bass of resonant richness," and The New York Times declared to be "a gifted young bass," is delighting audiences and critics alike with his glorious instrument and leading man looks in opera, concert and musical theater.  He has sung with Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre, Utah Opera, San Jose Opera, and many other regional companies throughout the U.S.  In concert, Branch has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Branch Fields, whom Opera America described as "a bass of resonant richness," and The New York Times declared to be "a gifted young bass," is delighting audiences and critics alike with his glorious instrument and leading man looks in opera, concert and musical theater.  He has sung with Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre, Utah Opera, San Jose Opera, and many other regional companies throughout the U.S.  In concert, Branch has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Fields' recent highlights include singing his first Méphistophélès FAUST at Opera San Jose, Palémon THAÏS at Opera Company of Middlebury, Simone GIANNI SCHICCHI on Martha's Vineyard and debuting at Bard Music Festival as Thomas Cranmaer in a concert version of Saint-Saëns HENRY VII.

The 2012-13 season was busy with his first Don Alfonso COSÌ FAN TUTTE in Bozeman in October, Sarastro DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE at Opera on the James, back to Bozeman for Frère Laurent ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, and a reprise of Méphistophélès for Opera Fort Collins in late May. This summer he was in the 12 member ensemble of Lera Auerbach's opera THE BLIND, for blindfolded audiences at Lincoln Center Festival.  He returned to Martha's Vineyard to add Mustafa L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI to his repertoire, and finished the summer with concerts at The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI, for Salt Marsh Opera, and in Middlebury for OCM's 10th Anniversary Benefit Gala.  Upcoming for Branch is a live European radio broadcast of CANDIDE from Leipzig, Germany with Mitteldeutcher Rundfunk (MDR) led by Kristjan Järvi.  In the 2013/14 season he will make his Canadian debut as 5th Jew SALOME at Edmonton Opera, a return to Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra, in R. Strauss' FEUERSNOT, the roles of Frank Maurrant STREET SCENE and Alfred Doolittle MY FAIR LADY.  Next season Branch will sing the 2nd Soldier SALOME with Virginia Opera. 

Branch's versatility as a singing actor led to his Broadway debut in SOUTH PACIFIC, understudying the role of Emile de Becque in the Lincoln Center production, sharing the stage with Matthew Morrison, Kelli O'Hara and Skipp Sudduth.  This monumental 2008 revival won 7 Tony Awards.  Mr. Fields has since reprised Emile for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater (UFOMT), Piedmont Opera, and the historic Ogunquit Playhouse earning stellar reviews.

The New York City Opera played a vital role in Mr. Fields' development as an artist.  He debuted there in 2005 as the 5th servant CAPRICCIO, and remained on their roster for the next five seasons.  As a house bass, he sang Zuniga CARMEN, Angelotti TOSCA, Major Domo VANESSA, and Gravedigger ESTHER.  Branch covered roles in productions of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, LA BOHÈME, TURANDOT, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, CAPRICCIO, ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA and LYSISTRATA.

Other recent highlights include Pistola FALSTAFF with Utah Opera, Varlaam BORIS GODUNOV with UFOMT, Don Basilio IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with Opera on the James and Colline LA BOHÈME with DiCapo Opera Theater.  His extensive list of roles performed include Raimondo LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Alidoro CENERENTOLA, Marco A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, Il Commendatore DON GIOVANNI, Samuel PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and Hosie "Roach" McClendon COLD SASSY TREE, Un Moine DON CARLO, The Foreman in Tod Machover's RESURRECTION, and Gremin EUGENE ONEGIN.

Branch toured in Minnesota with Duluth Festival Opera in the new musical drama POCAHONTAS, playing Pocahontas' husband John Rolfe.  Commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival and Virginia Opera, with music by Linda Tutas Haugen and book by Joan Vail Thorne, Mr. Fields was John Rolfe for it's world premiere in 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.

Mr. Fields is a Virginian, from Williamsburg.  His prodigious talent for singing was discovered at Virginia Tech while doing undergraduate work in chemistry.  He was accepted into the Master of Music degree program at Indiana University School of Music, where he was soon awarded the Cole and Kate Porter Memorial Scholarship and made quick progress studying voice with the great Metropolitan Opera bass, Giorgio Tozzi.  He was a member of The Singing Hoosiers, through which he garnered the attention of the late Maestro Erich Kunzel during their concerts and recordings with the Cincinnati Pops.  He can be heard on the Cincinnati Pops' album Puttin' On the Ritz (TELARC). Branch was later granted a coveted spot at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, a full scholarship institution, where he studied with Met baritone Louis Quilico, and participated in summer programs in Chiari, Lucca and Rome, Italy.  In New York City, he was placed in the studio of specialist Armen Boyajian, voice teacher of Samuel Ramey and Paul Plishka, and won 1st prize in the Saritelli-DiPanni Bel Canto Competition., 2nd in the NJAPA Vocal Competition, and was a prize winner in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition.

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