Native (Choctaw) baritone Mark Billy has a multi-faceted career in opera, recital, and concert work.
Mark recently made a surprise Madison, Wisconsin debut in the role of Giorgio Germont in La Traviata by Verdi at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He stepped in at the last minute to much success. This fall, Mark will make his Madison Opera debut singing the role of the Sacristan in Puccini’s Tosca. Mark is currently part of the touring company of Lyric Opera of the North in their production of the Pirates of Penzance as the Pirate King and the Major General. In April Mark will travel to Montana for the Wheels of Harmony tour, which is a performance tour hosted by Intermountain Opera Bozeman. Two Indigenous singers and one Indigenous pianist will present vocal works composed by Indigenous composers and a sampling of standard operatic repertoire to rural and Tribal schools across Montana.
Recently Mark joined the Oklahoma City Philharmonic at the First American’s Museum in Oklahoma- singing in Choctaw and playing the native flute.
Next season he will create the roles of Inki and Okhina in the first-ever opera written in a Native language: Shell Shaker written by Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. Mark was a 2022 finalist in the Sullivan Foundation Awards Competition.
Mark is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Opera Reading Project IDEA Fellowship and will sing Ford in Falstaff. In October, he sang the role of King’s Man in Minnesota Opera’s world premiere production of Edward Tulane, by Paola Prestini. In demand as a recitalist, this season Mark presented solo recitals at Minnesota Opera’s Luminary Art Center (inaugural), the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in their Coffee Concert Series, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, University Lutheran Church of Hope, and St. Albert the Great Church.
In the 2021-22 season, the baritone stepped in at the last minute at Utah’s 2022 Moab Music Festival. As the first-place winner of the 2018 Schubert Club Competition, the Schubert Club engaged Mark to sing and play clarinet in a recital in April 2022 as part of their Courtroom Concert Series. In the summer of 2022, he won first place in the St. Croix Valley Opera Competition and sang with orchestra in the Opera On The River Concert conducted by Joseph Li. The Minnesota Opera engaged Mark to sing a solo recital program to celebrate the opening of MNOP’s new venue – The Luminary Arts Center. In 2020 Mark was awarded the prestigious Music in Action Grant from the Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest.
For more information and Mark’s complete performance schedule visit markbillybaritone.com.