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Called “a voice for this historic moment” (Washington Post), GRAMMY-nominated baritone Will Liverman is the recipient of the 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award by The Metropolitan Opera. He opened the Met’s 2021-22 season in a celebrated “breakout performance” (New York Times) as Charles in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Following Fire’s success, the Met announced that Liverman will star in Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which will be the second opera by a Black composer in the company’s history, premiering in the fall of 2023.

 

Following performances at Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festival, Liverman’s 2022-23 season opens at the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, where he plays the Celebrant in Bernstein’s Mass. Next, the European premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s Blue takes Liverman to Dutch National Opera, where he makes his house debut as the Reverend in the Music Critics Association’s 2020 pick for “Best New Opera.”

Liverman’s new opera, The Factotum, which he stars in and composed with DJ/recording artist K. Rico, premieres at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in February 2023. Previously workshopped at the Ryan Opera Center in winter 2020, The Factotum blends classical singing with diverse musical styles, moving from hip-hop, R&B, funk, and gospel to traditional barbershop quartet to create a soul opera. Inspired by Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the piece takes place in a present-day Black barbershop on Chicago’s South Side and celebrates the strength of community and power of the human spirit.

 

Other 22-23 season engagements include performances of the title role in Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera and Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Austin Opera; appearances with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and Portland Opera; and solo recital performances at London’s Wigmore Hall.

In addition to opening the Met’s 21-22 season with Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Liverman revisited the role of Charles at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a “rich leading performance” (Chicago Tribune) described as a “beautifully vocalized … gripping portrayal” (Opera News). Further highlights from last season include reprisals of his roles in Akhnaten (Horemhab) and The Magic Flute (Papageno) at the Met Opera; Steward (Jonathan Dove’s Flight) at Dallas Opera; and performances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Aspen Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, and Chicago Sinfonietta.

 

In February 2021, Cedille Records released Liverman’s Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers with pianist Paul Sanchez – a collection of works by Damien Sneed, Henry Burleigh, H. Leslie Adams, Robert Owens, Margaret Bonds, and Thomas Kerr, plus a world premiere recording by Shawn E. Okpebholo and Liverman’s arrangement of Richard Fariña’s Birmingham Sunday. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart, and The New Yorker praised its “clarity, sensitivity, and barely contained heartbreak,” while NPR declared “velvet-voiced baritone Will Liverman is out to make the classical music canon more inclusive.” Dreams of a New Day was nominated for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards. His 2020 album, Whither Must I Wander, with pianist Jonathan King, released on Odradek Records, was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s “best classical recordings of 2020” and BBC Music Magazine praised Liverman’s “firm, oaky baritone with a sharp interpretive attitude… admirable poise and clarity of intention.”

In 2019, Liverman made history as the first-ever Black Papageno in The Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. Other notable past performances include Malcolm Fleet in Nico Muhly’s Marnie at the Met Opera; Pantalone in The Love of Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia; Silvio in Pagliacci at Opera Colorado; Schaunard in La bohème with the Santa Fe and Dallas Operas, and Opera Philadelphia; and The Pilot in The Little Prince with Tulsa Opera. Additionally, Liverman has performed the leading role of Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Seattle, Virginia, Kentucky, Madison, and Utah Operas. He originated the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Opera Philadelphia, in addition to performing the role with English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Madison Opera, and the Apollo Theater. Other highlights include the role of Tommy McIntyre in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Fellow Travelers for its Lyric Unlimited initiative; Papageno in The Magic Flute with the Florentine and Central City Operas; his role debut as Marcello in La bohème with Portland Opera; his debut with Seattle Opera as Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory; Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Beaumarchais in The Ghosts of Versailles with Wolf Trap Opera; Andrew Hanley in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera; Sam in The Pirates of Penzance with Atlanta Opera; the Foreman at the Mill in Jenůfa; and the Protestant Minister in Menotti’s The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera.

Expanding into the concert repertoire, Liverman performed the title role in a concert version of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and was a featured soloist in Brahms’ Requiem with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, Carmina Burana with Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He was also featured in concert at Carnegie Hall, in addition to appearing in Schubert’s Die Winterreise at The Barns at Wolf Trap Opera.

Awards and achievements include receiving a 2022 Sphinx MPower Artist Grant, the 2020 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, a 2019 Richard Tucker Career Grant, and a 2019 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. In 2017 he received a 3Arts Award, a George London Award, and was recognized as a classical division Luminarts Fellow by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. In 2015, he won the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition, the Gerda Lissner Charitable Fund Award, and a top prize from Opera Index.

Liverman concluded his tenure at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015 and was previously a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Seattle Opera – Il barbiere di Siviglia

"Liverman’s warm, agile baritone was enhanced by a suave and savvy stage presence.”

- Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times

Portland Opera – La bohème

"Will Liverman was an exemplary Marcello, handsome of voice, full of energy.”

- Mark Mandel, Opera News

Virginia Opera – The Barber of Seville

"Will Liverman as Figaro has a robust and rich tone and impressive rhythmic control, especially in the staccato runs, and an energetic, endearing charisma.”

- Andrew Garrigue, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Atlanta Opera – The Pirates of Penzance

"Baritone Will Liverman ably portrayed Samuel, the Pirate King’s sincere, earnest lieutenant.”

- Mark Gresham, Arts Atlanta

Madison Opera – The Barber of Seville

"The star of the evening was the young baritone Will Liverman in the title role of the barber Figaro. His voice has power and beauty throughout its impressive compass, including a ringing upper register to rival a tenor’s. Coupled with comic sensitivity and delightful physicality, Liverman must certainly be a singer to watch, and it is our fortune to hear him here.”

- Jacob Stockinger, The Well-Tempered Ear

Opera Philadelphia – Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

"Will Liverman was a vibrant Gillespie.”

- Zachary Wolfe, The New York Times

“In the role of Parker’s famed friend and colleague, Dizzy Gillespie, baritone Will Liverman sings with both security and charisma.”

- Patrick Clement James, Parterre Box

“Only in scenes with long-time collaborator and friend Dizzy Gillespie do we get an idea of Charlie Parker the musical genius and innovator. These scenes, with Will Liverman playing the beret-wearing Gillespie, crackle with electriciy, the singing of the two men achieving a truly jazzy interplay.”

- Seten Pisano, Feast of Music

 

“And for the character of Dizzy Gillespie, sung by the eloquent baritone Will Liverman, who also showed fine legato.”

- David Shengold, Opera News

 

“Baritone Will Liverman, made a promising company debut”

- Andrew Moravcsjk, Opera Today

 

“When the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (Will Liverman) appears and he sings with Parker, his friend and colleague, it feels like a jam session.”

- Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal

 

“Will Liverman as a mellifluous Dizzy Gillespie”

- Anne Midgette, Washington Post

 

“Baritone Will Liverman realized the part vividly by finding deep crevices of meaning.”

- Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer

Wolf Trap Opera – The Ghosts of Versailles

"Virginia Beach native Will Liverman made an earnest Beaumarchais.”

- Charles T. Downey, Classical Voice America

Chicago Bach Project – St. John Passion

"Baritone Will Liverman sang admirably in Debussy and Korngold selections.”

- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Minnesota Opera – The Manchurian Candidate

"Will Liverman turns the cameo role of fellow soldier Andrew Hanley into a lovely showcase for his expressive voice.”

- Todd O’Dowd, L’etoile Magazine

 

“Will Liverman had an effective cameo as Andrew Hanley.”

- Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

Harris Theater – Beyond the Aria

"Will Liverman showcased an authoritative baritone.”

- Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

 

“Then – and this was a major highlight of the evening – Liverman took over the piano and serenaded us as he played a composition he created by fusing together two works that spoke to the seasons – “If Ever I Would Love You” by Frederick Loewe and “All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern.”

- Amy Munice, Splash Magazine

Lyric Unlimited – The Magic Victrola

"Baritone Will Liverman remains primus inter pares in the field of never-overdone comic performance and educational programs. His Papageno bird-man (yes, there was a Michael Keaton joke) kept the physical comedy going, and his strong singing and phrasing – in both English and German – drew the audience in.”

- Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times

 

“Liverman’s vocally and physically agile Papageno led a uniformly fine vocal contingent.”

- John von Rheim, Chicago Tribune

South Shore Opera Company of Chicago – Concert

"Will Liverman, currently a member of the Ryan Center at Lyric Opera, proved he’s a young baritone to watch. he took Figaro’s iconic aria “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” and gave a fresh and relaxed performance, highlighting vocal agility and humorous ability. He followed thisup with a charismatic performance of the Toreador song from “Carmen” by Bizet.”

- M.L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald

Rising Stars at Lyric Opera of Chicago – Concert

"Mr. Liverman has an excellent command of legato which he sustained throughout.”

- Salvatore Calomino, Opera Today

Lyric Opera of Chicago – Barber of Seville

"Will Liverman’s Fiorello had [us] wishing he was singing Figaro!”

- Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

Utah Opera – Barber of Sevile

"Will Liverman sang the title role with warmth and a hint of mischief.”

- Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune

Grigorys aria from The Tsars BrideWill Liverman
00:00 / 05:24
"Batter My Heart"Will Liverman
00:00 / 05:53
"Edward"Will Liverman
00:00 / 04:59
Les Mamelles de TirésiasWill Liverman
00:00 / 06:49
"Heiterkeit und Frohlichkeit"Will Liverman
00:00 / 03:18
"Largo al factotum"- Il barbieri di SivigliaWill Liverman
00:00 / 04:55
"Whiter Must I Wander"Will Liverman
00:00 / 03:38
"The Owls Cry"Will Liverman
00:00 / 02:45
"The Roadside Fire"Will Liverman
00:00 / 02:16
"Let Beauty Awake"Will Liverman
00:00 / 01:41
"Shall We Gather By the River"Will Liverman
00:00 / 03:55
"Is Not His Word Like a Fire"Will Liverman
00:00 / 02:17
"He'll Bring It To Pass"Will Liverman
00:00 / 03:24
"Bright is the Ring of Words"Will Liverman
00:00 / 02:00

Will Liverman

BARITONE