Songs of the Oppressed: Music by Hall Johnson
Sunday, July 19 at 4pm ET
Songs of the Oppressed: Music by Hall Johnson embarks on the journey of the African American struggles, hopes, and dreams through the Negro Spiritual. Hall Johnson’s music and text reveals the strength, pain, and power of the African American experience that has resonated at the heart of America for over 400 years. Baritone, Joshua Conyers will take us through a journey of some of Hall Johnson’s most popular works. There will be a discussion of Hall Johnson’s life and how his struggles are still present in modern day America.
Baritone Joshua Conyers has been hailed by Opera News with “a deliciously honeyed baritone that would seduce anyone” and The New York Times as having “a sonorous baritone” that “wheedled and seduced.” Mr. Conyers, a native of Bronx, NY, is quickly being championed for his captivating performances as he continues to be recognized as one the promising young dramatic voices of today. Equally active in contemporary opera, Mr. Conyers performed the role of Jason in the world premiere of Matt Boehler’s 75 Miles, and Uncle Wesley in Carlos Simon’s Night Trip for Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative. Mr. Conyers covered the roles of Mr. Umeya in the American premiere of Huang Ruo's Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in Mandarin Chinese, and Walt Whitman in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison's Oscar, both with the Santa Fe Opera.
Mr. Conyers was a member of the Cafritz Young Artist of Washington National Opera, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. Joshua performed the roles of First Priest in The Magic Flute, John Sorel in The Consul, covered the Reverend in Jeanine Tesori’s Blue, Jim and Jake (cover) in Porgy and Bess, Giorgio Germont in La traviata, British Major in Silent Night, Donkey in The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me, and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin. Mr. Conyers performed Le Roi Marc in Frank Martin’s Le Vin Herbé, a collaboration with Wolf Trap Opera and Washington Concert Opera. In the summer of 2020, Mr. Conyers will be a Fleming Artist at the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS making his role debut as Tom Joad in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. As a Filene Artist at Wolf Trap Opera, he performed Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: A Concert of Songs, Ramiro in Maurice Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, Musiklehrer in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Monterone in Rigoletto, Count Capulet in Roméo et Juliette, and the Baritone Soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest which was recorded by Naxos Records. Mr. Conyers fulfilled his residency as a Benenson Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera performing Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Marullo in Rigoletto, Sciarrone in Tosca, Captain in Candide, and covering the Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Upcoming performance include performing the role of Eustis in François-André Danican Philidor's Le Maréchal ferrant (The Blacksmith) with Opera Lafayette.
As a concert artist, Mr. Conyers made his Carnegie Hall Debut in 2018 as the Baritone Soloist performing Mozart’s Regina Cœli, K. 276, Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Mark Hayes’ Te Deum under the baton of distinguished composer and arranger Mark Hayes with MidAmerica Productions. Also, Joshua made his debut at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2018 as the Baritone Soloist performing Maurice Duruflé Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions under the baton of conductor Anton Armstrong. In 2019, Mr. Conyers was a Soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra performing with world-renowned Maestro Gianandrea Noseda and singer-songwriter Ben Folds. Also, he was a Guest Artist at Opera Wilmington/UNC Wilmington annual Opera Symposium, in celebration of Caterina Jarboro, in conjunction with Black History Month as a Recitalist and presenting a Masterclass. Mr. Conyers opened the 2017-18 season in a gala performance with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Additional concert and oratorio credits include Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Handel's Messiah, Brahms' Deutsches Requiem, Gabriel Fauré Requiem in D minor, Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem, and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Mr. Conyers numerous vocal competition and award credits include Metropolitan Opera National Council District Winner (2010, 2011. 2015, & 2019), Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Encouragement Award Winner, Catherine Filene Shouse Career Grant Award Winner, Annapolis Opera Top Prize Winner, Career Bridges Grant Award Winner, S. Livingston Mather Scholar Competition Top Prize Winner, the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition Top Prize Winner, and the Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition Top Prize Winner.