Northeast Times

Holiday Pops at the Kimmel Center

An­gela Brown

Her singing first drew at­ten­tion when she was just a little girl at the Baptist church where her grand­fath­er was the min­is­ter.

“I was born to sing,” said op­era star An­gela Brown, now per­form­ing as guest so­loist with the “Hol­i­day Pops!” at the Kim­mel Cen­ter through Dec. 21.

“I would stand in front of the mir­ror and sing in­to my hair­brush as if it were a mi­cro­phone. And I haven’t stopped since.”

In fact, all through her child­hood and teen years, Brown was singing at church func­tions, loc­al com­pet­i­tions and Broad­way-style mu­sic­als.

“I even had the op­por­tun­ity to au­di­tion for Dream­girls on Broad­way when I was 18 but I didn’t make it. It just wasn’t sup­posed to hap­pen at that time,” said Brown, who def­in­itely be­lieves in fate.

So Brown, who was born in In­di­ana­pol­is, set off to hone her craft, first at­tend­ing Oak­wood Col­lege and then In­di­ana Uni­versity. 

“I knew I would end up as a sing­er. I just nev­er real­ized what genre of mu­sic it would be — un­til I got to Oak­wood. That’s when I star­ted singing clas­sic­al mu­sic, which hadn’t even been on my radar be­fore then.”

Now mak­ing her de­but with the Philly Pops, Brown, 49, is in­ter­pret­ing hol­i­day stand­ards in­clud­ing I’ll Be Home For Christ­mas and Sleigh Ride. Al­though a win­ner of sev­er­al pres­ti­gi­ous op­era grants and awards, today Brown said she en­joys singing all types of mu­sic.

Over the years, she has traveled the world, per­form­ing with op­era com­pan­ies and sym­phon­ies, in­clud­ing the Op­era Com­pany of Phil­adelphia, the Met­ro­pol­it­an Op­era, and many more. And as if to prove her point, she men­tions that she’ll soon be off to Riga, Latvia to per­form in some Ger­sh­win con­certs.

“I love to travel and see people and places I prob­ably nev­er would have seen had I not got­ten in­to this ca­reer,” Brown said. 

As for oth­ers think­ing about a ca­reer in mu­sic, es­pe­cially clas­sic­al mu­sic, Brown ad­vises learn­ing to be your own per­son. 

“I don’t mind young­sters look­ing at me as a role mod­el, but I really don’t want them to try to be me be­cause each path to suc­cess is dif­fer­ent for each and every one of us,” she said. “This is a very tough busi­ness, but I know for me, when one door closed I al­ways looked for a win­dow to open.” ••

For tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 215-893-1999. 

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