Angelo D. Johnson, Jr.
Presenter - Opera
Angelo D. Johnson Jr., known for his velvet-like true bass voice, is an accomplished recording artist, choir director, educator, and founder of the celebrated Carter Legacy Singers. A 30-year veteran in the vocal performance industry, Johnson’s talents have catapulted him to the forefront of stages throughout the United States, Europe and beyond.
Johnson’s love affair with music began when he was a young child in Cleveland, Ohio. At 15, he earned a scholarship to study voice at The Cleveland Music School Settlement and later graduated from Cleveland School of the Arts. While still in high school, he sang in his first masterclass for esteemed mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar. Quivar’s encouragement further ignited Johnson’s yearning to achieve in music, which ultimately led him to attend Morgan State University on a full vocal scholarship.
During his matriculation, he performed with notable vocal ensembles and orchestras including New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Czech Philharmonic, and the Baltimore Symphony. He also toured worldwide as a bass soloist with The Moses Hogan Chorale, The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, The Jeremy Winston Chorale, The American Spiritual Ensemble and The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers.
From 2001- 2006, Johnson sang in productions of Porgy and Bess, Macbeth, The Masked Ball, Margaret Garner, and Aida with Opera Philadelphia. In 2007, he performed his first role as Bob Becket in “HMS Pinafore” with The Dayton Opera. Most recently, he performed the role of Johannes Pafuri in a production of “Lost in The Stars” with The Los Angeles Chamber Ensemble directed by Anne Bogart.
One of Johnson’s proudest moments came in 2013 when he was asked to serve as the Assistant Director of Vocal Music at his alma mater, The Cleveland School of the Arts. While in this role, he assisted his mentor and former teacher Dr. William Woods with choral activities while also teaching voice and music theory. It was during this time that Johnson was appointed as the choir director at the historical Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Adding to his accomplishments, Johnson founded The Carter-Woods Chorale in 2012 and in 2014, he served as the choir director for the National NAACP Act-So Competition in Las Vegas.
Johnson was featured on several professional recordings over the last two decades. He sang backing vocals on jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s “Heaven and Earth” project. He also sang as bass soloist and contractor for GIA Publications from 2003 – 2009 on several of the “African American Church Music ” series recordings. He was also featured on The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers “Solace” recording.
In 2017, Johnson founded The Carter Legacy Singers (CLS), a group of former students of the late Dr. Nathan Carter, who prominently led the Morgan State University Choir to choral music fame. Under Johnson’s leadership, CLS has performed extensively throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and received an award for choral excellence from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Zeta chapter.
During its 2018 – 2019 inaugural season, the group’s performances included singing the choruses of “Carmen” at the French Embassy, “The Gypsy Princess” at the Embassy of Uzbekistan, and “Aida” at the Egyptian Embassy with the Washington Opera Society under the direction of Julien Benichou. Most notably, CLS was featured in a free concert alongside The Baltimore Choral Society with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Marin Alsop. The season culminated with CLS making their debut at Carnegie Hall, their last major performance before the global pandemic began.
Johnson looks forward to a bustling schedule with the re-opening of music opportunities post pandemic.