Baritone Reginald Smith, Jr. has been lauded as a “passionate performer” (New York Times) with an “electric, hall-filling” (The Baltimore Sun), and “thrillingly dramatic” (Opera News) voice that is “one of the most exciting baritone sounds to come along in years” (Opera News). Reginald, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a Grand Finals winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and he is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Reginald Smith, Jr.’s 2019-2020 season opens with his much-anticipated debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Jim in Porgy and Bess, followed by Amonasro in Aida with the Houston Grand Opera and the Cincinnati Opera and Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Atlanta Opera. His orchestral appearances include Christmas Pops Concerts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Oregon Symphony. Future engagements include stage debuts with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera.
Last season, Reginald Smith, Jr. appeared as Jake in Porgy and Bess with Cincinnati Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Memphis, Amonasro in Aida with Opera Idaho, and returned to the rosters of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. His orchestral engagements included the baritone solo in Carmina Burana for his return to the Houston Symphony and the bass solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at New Jersey Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, and Symphoria.
The 2017-2018 season included Mr. Smith’s company debuts with Opera Hong Kong as Amonasro in Aida, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Senator Charles Potter/General Airlie/Bartender in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers and Portland Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto. He returned to Opera Memphis to make his role debut as Taddeo in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. In conjunction with the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative’s research, Mr. Smith sang the role of Jake in a concert performance of the new, critical edition score of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Additionally, he made his concert debut with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as making his Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut as the guest soloist and narrator for the Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops. This spring, he made his Lincoln Center debut as the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Chorale. Mr. Smith was thrilled to return to his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, to perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Lexington Singers and the University of Kentucky Chorale.
During the 2016 - 2017 season, Mr. Smith made company debuts with the San Francisco Opera, the Dallas Opera, Opera Memphis and Opera Carolina, as well as making his concert debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop.
Mr. Smith has appeared in operatic performances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Toledo Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. In concert, Mr. Smith has performed with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Lexington Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra (GA), North Carolina Symphony, Johnson City Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia. Previous operatic highlights include La Boheme (Marcello), Die Fledermaus (Falke), Madama Butterfly (Sharpless), La Traviata (Giorgio Germont), The Pirates of Penzance (The Pirate King), Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Capulet) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva). Mr. Smith’s previous concert engagements includes performances of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, the Fauré and Duruflé Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, Handel’s Messiah, and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette.
In addition to receiving recognition from the Dallas Opera Guild Competition, the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition, Mr. Smith has won first place in the National Opera Association Competition: Scholarship Division, Orpheus Vocal Competition: Young Artist Division, George London Vocal Competition: Top Prize (George London Award), Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition: Top Prize, received a 2015 Sarah Tucker Study Grant, and he has received a 2016 Career Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation.