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Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Opera star Angela Brown returns to Bloomington to perform 'Opera from a Sistah's Point of View'

Brown studied voice at IU's Jacobs School of Music

WHAT: Opera from a Sistah's Point of View, soprano Angela Brown's one-woman show
WHEN: July 30, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Musical Arts Center
TICKETS: $15 general admission, $8 students, festival passes accepted (festival passes are now sold out). Single tickets are available through the Musical Arts Center Box Office, M-F 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., on Jordan Avenue. For information, call 812-855-7433. Tickets will be available at performance locations one hour prior to the performance time. For more information or to purchase tickets online, see

July 6, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Internationally known opera star Angela Brown, who honed her craft at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, is on a mission: the down-to-earth soprano with the voice of an angel seeks to bring opera to the masses.

Brown will return to Bloomington for a July 30, 8 p.m. performance of her witty solo show, Opera from a Sistah's Point of View, at the Musical Arts Center. Cliff Jackson will accompany her on piano.

The performance is a major highlight of the Jacobs School's Summer Music Festival, which continues through Aug. 10 with Festival Orchestra performances July 22 and Aug. 5; summer band concerts on the lawn of the MAC July 7, 14 and 21; the USA International Harp Competition July 10 and July 14-15; percussion concerts July 18-20 and July 23; and the Summer Festival Chorus and Symphony Orchestra July 28. For more information about the 2010 Summer Music Festival, see

Throughout her one-woman show, Brown uses humor to "break down barriers" and help audiences better relate to opera narratives in an effort to broaden an understanding and awareness of opera. Woven throughout her commentary are powerful arias, poignant art songs and moving spiritual numbers.

"The biggest misconception about opera is that it's only geared toward elitist audiences," she has said. "Anybody could really enjoy an opera if they choose to."

The Jacobs performance will be filmed to help further Brown's effort to demystify opera through Opera from a Sistah's Point of View, which has been the subject of segments on CNN and "Oprah," among other news outlets. See the CNN segment here:

Brown said that she chose to have the MAC show recorded in part because of her strong fan base in Bloomington and in part because of the acoustics of the building. "What's better than the MAC in Bloomington for people to scream and yell?" Brown said. "It is the best place to do a live recording. The MAC is fabulous."

After studying with IU Distinguished Professor Virginia Zeani (also an internationally renowned soprano), Brown won the 1997 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, later becoming a star of the opera world after her 2004 Met debut as Aida. She has performed with the Hamburg Opera and Vienna State Opera, as well as with top symphony orchestras and opera companies throughout the U.S. She guest starred on Garrison Keillor's radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion," in June 2009. On July 4, Brown sang at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai as a guest of USA Pavilion and the United States Consulate, as part of her "We Are 1: Support a Cause for Unity" project. Throughout the solo recital, images of all kinds of people from around the world flashed on the screen.

Over the years, Brown has had many opportunities to work with Jacobs School musicians. She has worked with conductor and former IU music professor Robert Porco, performed with Jacobs Dean Emeritus Charles Webb, and still occasionally receives lessons from Zeani, her former but "still instrumental" voice coach.

"Since leaving IU, I have seen a lot of people that I went to school with in the business," Brown said. "It is nice to be able to have these relationships grow outside of Jacobs."

'Opera from a Sistah's Point of View' program

Wagner: Dich teure halle from Tannhäuser
Puccini: Vissi d'arte from Tosca (1900)
Verdi: Morro, ma prima in grazia from Un ballo in maschera
Verdi: Pace, pace mio dio from La forza del destino
Danielpour: Three Prayers from Margaret Garner
Undine Smith Moore: Come Down Angels; Watch and Pray
Hogan: Walk Together Children

For more information on Angela Brown, see