Joseph Michael Brent
International Opera and light opera star Joseph Brent was born on March 30, 1987 in Brooklyn, NY and is best known for his roles as Roldolfo in Puccini's La Boheme and for the title role in "Les contes d'Hoffmann" (The Tales of Hoffmann) an opéra by Jacques Offenbach. A role he first performed in Athens and is to reprise in the summer of 2013 under the auspices of the Martina Arroyo Foundation and Prelude to Performance.
Since 2009 he has performed as a substitute member of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta. His powerful voice and stage presence has earned him leading roles in Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Pirates of Penzance [Frederick], Die Fledermaus [Eisenstein], The Merry Widow [Camille], HMS Pinafore [Ralph Rackstraw], Tales of Hoffman [Hoffmann], and the operas La Traviata [Gaston/Alfredo’s cover] (in Greece) and Puccini’s La Boheme [Rodolfo] (in both the USA and Italy) He has performed at Symphony Space in NYC (appearing on stage with Leonard Limoy and Richard Thomas), Carnegie Hall, The Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland, The Festival of the Aegean in Greece and La Musica Lyrica in Italy.
Life before the arts
During his teen years he began to study and play the guitar and electric bass – briefly touring with a rock band including a performance at NYC’s CBGB’s. He briefly toyed with the clarinet and is quit proficient at the piano.
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During his 2012 Italian tour, he appeared on two telecasts; performing solo on a telethon to assist the local earthquake victims, and as part of a quartette with the cast members from Musica Lyrica’s production of La Boheme [Quartette]. Back in the States in August of 2012, Joe was brought from Georgia to San Francisco by the SF Giants, to sing the National Anthem, having been recommended by an early mentor, Tony Bennett.
Formal arts education
Joe is a member of the first full graduating class of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (The school, created by Tony Bennett, opened its doors on 2001-09-11). From there he moved “up-state” to the State University at Purchase where he studied with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Principal Double Bassist Timothy Cobb and graduated Magnum cum laude in 2009. While his core discipline was, and remains classical bass, he was accepted into the University Of Georgia at Athens (UGA) for both his Bass and Vocal talents. He received his masters in 2011 and is currently pursuing his doctorate.
Academic performances and exploring the arts
As he entered High School he concentrated on developing his voice - singing with the school at the United Nations, the World Trade Center memorials and a televised retrospective on Irving Berlin’s While Christmas. It was about this time that he put down the electric bass and began private lessons on the upright (or double) bass. After studying with Timothy Cobb for four years in NY, he continuing his studies with Milton Masciadri at the University Of Georgia (UGA). While auditioning for the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music, he was introduced to Frederick Burchinal, with whom he was to begin his vocal training in earnest.