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Baritone Jonathan Lawlor is interested in expanding the canon for the classical voice in the belief that the more versatile the performer, the more informed and interesting is their performance. He has experience both in the Early music scene, having worked with well-known Baroque groups like Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, and Marsh Chapel, and experience in the opera community working with BSYO Opera Chorus and in the Opera Maine Studio Artist Program.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in State College, Pennsylvania, Jonathan began his musical journey with the Memphis Boys choir and continues to work as a professional chorister to this day. His young exposure to Renaissance music through this ensemble launched his lifelong love for Early music. He first started training classically at Pennsylvania State University, studying under Dr. Susan Boardman. He later attended the New England Conservatory and earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, studying under Michael Meraw. While at the new England Conservatory, he had the opportunity to perform iconic baritone roles like Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme and Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. Jonathan is currently pursuing his master’s degree at Bard Conservatory’s Vocal Artist Program studying under Joan Patenaude-Yarnell and learning under the leadership Stephanie Blythe, Erika Switzer, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, and Kayo Iwama.

While in Boston, Jonathan worked frequently in the early music scene with his performance in Boston Baroque’s performance of the Messiah as one of the bass choristers. Following that performance, he worked with Emmanuel Music in their performances of every Bach cantata and with Marsh Chapel in their premiere of Robert Kyr’s Resurrection. Jonathan was contracted to work further with Boston Baroque and Emmanuel Music, but those performances were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In his first year in the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Jonathan has given many performances that succeed in this pursuit of a varied performances. His performances in Early music include bass soloist in the Bard Early Music Ensemble’s performance of Bach’s Cantata 147 in November and their upcoming performance of Cantata 111. He also performed in The Orchestra Now’s performance of Handel’s Messiah as one of their bass soloists. His upcoming performances include the VAP and TON’s performances of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen as the Forester, TON’s performance of Brahms’ Requiem as the Bass Soloist, and in Music Academy of the West’s Studio Artist Program, singing in the chorus in their production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

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