Branch Fields is an opera singer who performs in theaters throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and earned a Broadway credit in the 2008 Lincoln Center Theater revival of SOUTH PACIFIC. He has sung with the Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre, Utah Opera, Opera San Jose, and many other regional companies throughout the U.S. In concert, Branch has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, MDR Orchestra in Leipzig, National Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra. Opera America described Branch as “a bass of resonant richness.” He was seen on TNT performing with Will Farrell and Adina Menzel for John Williams’ Lifetime Achievement Award Banquet in 2016, given by the American Film Institute. He recently performed in Tim Janis’ THE CHRISTMAS ROSE at Carnegie Hall for the Open Hearts Foundation, narrated by Jane Seymour. His image is painted on the wall outside the November Theater in Richmond. Mr. Fields can be heard on the American Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Saint-Säens opera HENRY VIII, and his just released album of favorite hymns arranged by Paul S. Jones, called Be Thou My Vision. Both recordings are available on iTunes.
Branch grew up in Williamsburg from the age of 11, graduating from Bruton High School (class of ‘87). His aspirations for a singing career were born at Virginia Tech while doing undergraduate work in chemistry. While there, he sang in the chorus at Opera Roanoke, and came back to perform principal roles while earning a Master of Music degree at Indiana University. At I.U., Mr. Fields was an honored recipient of the Cole and Kate Porter Memorial Scholarship. He was a member of The Singing Hoosiers, who recorded and toured with the Cincinnati Pops. He was given a solo line in “The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” on the Cincinnati Pop’s album Puttin’ On the Ritz (Telarc). Mr. Fields was later granted a coveted spot at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, a full scholarship institution, where he studied with Met baritone Louis Quilico, and participated in summer opera programs in Chiari, Lucca, and Rome, Italy. In New York City, he was placed in the studio of the world-renowned voice teacher, Armen Boyajian, during which time Mr. Fields won prizes in several vocal competitions. He lived in New York City with his wife and 3 children from 2005 – 2012, performing with the New York City Opera, and joining the revival of South Pacific at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in 2008. Branch has been in several productions of South Pacific since, in theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada, and closer to home with Virginia Repertory Theater in Richmond, and The Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg, earning critical acclaim and nominations for Best Actor in a Musical in Boston and Richmond. He has played Sir Lancelot in CAMELOT and Alfred P. Doolittle in MY FAIR LADY, as well as Robert Kincaid in BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, all while continuing to sing opera and concerts in the classical repertory. Closer to home, you may have seen Mr. Fields perform with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra Beethoven 9th and Opera Gala), Opera in Williamsburg (in RIGOLETTO and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO), The Williamsburg Choral Guild (Dvorak Stabat Mater), the WUMC’s annual Handel’s MESSIAH, and as the guest artist for the Williamsburg Community Chapel’s Christmas concerts.
Aside from his singing, Branch grew up swimming on the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins (CGBD) here, and for his neighborhood swim team, the Queens Lake Eagles. His 3 children all swim competitively – Noah for William & Mary, Elijah for CGBD, and Trinity for the York High Falcons. Branch is also known for baking – cinnamon swirl bread, Nutella babka, and English muffins, to name a few – keeping a levain sourdough starter) going for 4 years now. During the pandemic, he also restored a 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ for his son, and took up disc golf. Branch’s wife, Mya, has worked as a physical therapist at Comber Physical Therapy, and currently at the McDonald Army Health Center at Ft. Eustis.
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