Alvy Powell has won acclaim for his performances in the United States and abroad, both as a soloist with the U.S. Army Chorus and in independent vocal performances.
He has become one of the world’s best-known interpreters of Gershwin’s Porgy and has performed major baritone roles in Le Nozze di Figaro, Madame Butterfly, La Bohème and other operas.
He debuted at Carnegie Hall as Joe in a concert production of Shoe Boat in 2008, and returned to the hall in January 2009 for a concert production of Porgy and Bess.
Mr. Powell has performed the male lead in Porgy and Bess more than 1,200 times, including the PBS Live at Lincoln Center broadcast of the New York City Opera.
“A triumph at La Scala, Alvy Powell is Porgy, a perfect interpreter,” exclaimed Il Giornale. The critic for Il Sole wrote that Mr. Powell’s Porgy was “was intense, human and vibrant.”
He has sung the role with the major companies in San Francisco, in Cape Town, South Africa, in Sydney, Australia, and in Houston, where, USA Today commented that his Porgy was “incredibly magnetic” and the production’s “center of gravity.” He is featured in the Nashville Symphony’s recording of Porgy and Bess released on the Decca label.
Mr. Powell made his film debut as Balthazar in the BBC production of Amahl and the Night Vistors.
In his work with the U.S. Army Chorus, he first came to national prominence singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the inauguration of the President George Herbert Bush, and he was the featured performer for the 60th wedding anniversary of George and Barbara Bush at the White House.
President Gerald Ford’s family requested that he sing at the funeral of President Ford.
On the opera stage, he has appeared as Bartolo from Le Nozze di Figaro with The Virginia Opera; as Sharpless from Madame Butterfly with the Connecticut Opera, Coline in La Boheme with the Tulsa Opera, and Opera Pacific; and as Timur in Turandot with Opera Carolina, Opera Grand Rapids, and the Cleveland Opera.
Alvy Powell was bass soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Rome Opera, in a Vatican-sponsored production marking the centennial of the death of Giuseppe Verdi.
In the Washington area, Mr. Powell made his debut with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, D.C., performing Porgy and Bess in 2007.
His oratorio repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Brahm’s Requiem.
Alvy Powell, bass