Thursday, March 8, 2012

Portrait of the Artist: The Singer

Baritone VaShawn McIlwain, photographed March 2012, Washington, DC

An opera stage might not be the most likely place to search for a local hero,
but for music lovers in Washington, DC, that's the perfect spot, especially
when the hero in question is baritone VaShawn McIlwain. Since graduating
from DC's Duke Ellington School of the Arts, McIlwain and his booming
baritone have been thrilling listeners and critics alike. A finalist in the
Metropolitan Opera's national auditions in 2007, he's been featured in the
Washington National Opera, the Maryland Opera Studio, and the Aspen
Opera Theater Center. He's sung for First Lady Michelle Obama and was
most recently featured in the Washington, DC premiere of "Fortune's Bones:
A Manumission Requiem", written by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell of the famed Sweet
Honey in the Rock and based on the epic poem by poet/children's
author Marilyn Nelson. The photograph above was taken at his concert
at the Arts Club of Washington.

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