Timothy Jones, bass baritone
A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Timothy Jones is rapidly emerging as one of the leading bass-baritones of his generation. A champion of contemporary works and composers, he is equally at home on the opera and concert stage as he is in the more intimate settings of chamber music and solo recital. Acclaimed throughout North and South American and across Europe, he has been hailed by fans and critics alike as a singer with a commanding vocal technique, intelligent musicianship, and a unique ability to connect and communicate with audiences. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently praised him for his theatricality, noting that he “relished the dramatic possibilities of the songs’ text and music as much with facial expressions and body language as with vocal inflections.”
During the 2009–2010 season Mr. Jones joins the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, the Portland Symphony in Maine for Brett Dietz’s Headcase, the Boulder Symphony for Frankenstein, the Symphony of Southeast Texas for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and the Arkansas Symphony as Porgy in a concert performance of Porgy and Bess. During the previous season he joined the Utah Symphony in two separate programs: in Heuser’s Immaculate, Bored, Off-Key and Vain, as well as in Argento’s A Waterbird Talk conducted by Keith Lockhart, where he was praised for being “a marvelous singing actor…his wry enjoyment was contagious.” (The Salt Lake Tribune) In addition, he performed with the Houston Symphony in Schubert’s Mass, Alabama Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9¸ Akron Symphony in Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Baltimore Symphony in Mozart’s Requieum, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major, and Ars Lyrica Houston for a concert of music by Bach.
During the 2007–2008 season Mr. Jones portrayed Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Mobile Opera, Alidoro in La Cenerentola with the Connecticut Opera, and Crown in Porgy and Bess with Opera Birmingham. He sang Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Firebird Arts Alliance, Haydn’s The Creation with the Akron Symphony, and returned to the Cactus Pear Music Festival. He joined the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble for a performance of Puts’ Einstein on Mercer Street, a piece that he premiered with the group in 2002 to rave reviews.
During the 2006–2007 season, the bass-baritone offered a diverse and appealing selection of repertoire as he joined symphony orchestras, chamber groups and festivals across the continent and abroad. Mr. Jones sang in two concert performances of operas, as Jake in Porgy and Bess with Opera Pacific, and as Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Opera Birmingham. He joined the Cleveland Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Magnificat, the Utah Symphony under Keith Lockhart for Eight Songs for a Mad King, the Jacksonville Symphony for Hadyn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and the Florida Bach Festival for St. John’s Passion. He performed Brett Dietz’s Headcase with the Detroit Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Wichita Symphony, Mozart’s C Minor Mass with the Akron Symphony, and traveled on tour with the Houston Symphony Chorus to Vienna, Prague and Budapest for performances of Brahm’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. He sang Kevin Puts’ Einsten on Mercer Street with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival in New York, and at the University of Northern Illinois. Mr. Jones was featured in performances with the Cactus Pear Music Festival, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, the Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival, Ars Lyrica, the Marshal Texas Symphony, and with the United Nations Association International Choir. He offered several recitals throughout the season in Houston, as well as ones in San Antonio, Beaumont and at Michigan State University, and sang in the world premiere of Robert Nelson’s Preacher Man at Moores Opera House at the University of Houston.
In the 2005–2006 season Mr. Jones sang Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Cleveland Orchestra, Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the Dallas Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Jacksonville Symphony, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Portland Symphony in Maine. He returned to the Pittsburgh New Music Festival, sang the role of Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Mobile Opera, and offered solo recitals at the University of Houston, and at SUNY Queens College in New York City.
In recent seasons he sang the roles of Don Giovanni with the Ebony Opera, and Crown and Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Pensacola Opera. He performed Handel’s Messiah with the Austin Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony, Handel’s Creation with the Virginia Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with the Navel Academy and at Smith College, Mozart’s Requiem with the New Haven Symphony, Wichita Symphony, and with Paul Salamunovich and the St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra in Rome, Italy. He gave performances of Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the Victoria Bach Festival, Judas Maccabeus with the Shreveport Symphony, Seven Last Words of Christ with the Texas Bach Choir, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Appleton Symphony and with a combined group of musicians from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and the Sheperd School of Music at Rice University. He performed Williams’ A Sea Symphony at Smith College, Hindemith’s When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d with the New Mexico Symphony, a concert of Gershwin’s Favorites with the Victoria Symphony, and offered several world premieres with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
Mr. Jones has appeared in productions with the Michigan Opera Theater, the Lake George Opera Festival, Opera Idaho, the Shreveport Opera, Opera Southwest, the Pensacola Opera and the San Antonio Lyric Opera, among others. His repertoire includes leading roles in The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Falstaff, Macbeth and La Traviata, as well as Porgy and Bess, Four Saints in Three Acts, The Old Maid and the Thief, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Owen Wingrave, Carmen, La Damnation de Faust, Romeo et Juliette, Die Zauberflöte, Hansel and Gretel, and Die Fledermaus.
Mr. Jones’ versatility as a performer also makes him a favorite on the recital stage, where he often collaborates with pianists Brian Connelly, Craig Hella Johnson, Warren Jones, Jeffery Sykes, Mark Alexander, and Howard Watkins. He has offered recitals throughout the United States, as well as in the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Ecuador and Canada, and had his New York recital debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2000. On the festival circuit, he has appeared on programs with the Cactus Pear Music Festival, the Victoria Bach Festival, the New Texas Festival, and the Round Top Music Festival, among many others.
An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary composers, Mr. Jones has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions, and has had works composed for him by Robert Avalon, James Balentine, Derek Bermel, Laura Carmichael, John Vasconcelos Costa, Ellwood Derr, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Heuser, Jeffrey Nytch, Doug Opel, and Joe Stuessy.
He has been heard on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and has recorded a program of art songs in Sweden.