Will Liverman, baritone

Will Liverman

Called “a voice for this historic moment” (The Washington Post), GRAMMY-nominated baritone Will Liverman continues to bring his compelling performances to audiences nationwide. He starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s reopening production of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones in fall 2021, in addition to reprising his roles in Akhnaten (Horemhab) and The Magic Flute (Papageno) during the Met’s 2021-2022 season.

Following a summer at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Aspen Music Festival, additional highlights of Will’s 2021-2022 season include the reprise of Fire Shut Up in My Bones with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Spanish Inspirations with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory’s Recital Series, Florence Price's Song to the Dark Virgin with Chicago Sinfonietta, and Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Dallas Opera.

In February 2021, Cedille Records released Will’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 Will’s own 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 claimed “velvet-voiced baritone Will Liverman is out to make the classical music canon more inclusive”. His album Whither Must I Wander with pianist Jonathan King, out January 2020 on Odradek Records, was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s “best classical recordings of 2020” and BBC Music Magazine praised Will’s “firm, oaky baritone with a sharp interpretive attitude… admirable poise and clarity of intention.”

Will’s recent engagements include performing as the first ever Black Papageno in The Metropolitan Opera’s holiday production of The Magic Flute, in addition to its premiere of Philip Glass’ Akhnaten (Horemhab) and Nico Muhly’s Marnie (Malcolm Fleet). He also recently appeared as Pantalone in The Love of Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia, as Silvio in Pagliacci at Opera Colorado, as Schaunard in La bohème with Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera and Opera Philadelphia; and as The Pilot in The Little Prince with Tulsa Opera. His new opera The Factotum, written together with DJ/recording artist K. Rico, was workshopped by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Ryan Opera Center in winter 2020. The Factotum, inspired by Rossini's The Barber of Seville, takes place in a present-day Black barbershop in Chicago and combines operatic singing with hip-hop, barbershop, gospel, funk, neo soul, and R&B music.

Expanding into the concert repertoire, Will 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, in Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, in Carmina Burana with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He was also recently featured in the Sphinx Virtuosi concert at Carnegie Hall, in addition to appearing in Schubert’s Die Winterreise at The Barns at Wolf Trap Opera.

Will is the recipient of the 2020 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, as well as a recipient of a 2019 Richard Tucker Career Grant and Sphinx Medal of Excellence. Will Liverman has received a 2017 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, received the Gerda Lissner Charitable Fund Award, and received a top prize from Opera Index.

Will Liverman concluded his tenure at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015. He previously was 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.