Praised in Opera News as “a gentle actor and elegant musician” and in The Wall Street Journal for his “mellifluous baritone,” baritone Justin Austin has been performing professionally since the age of four. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, to professional opera singer parents, Mr. Austin began his singing career as a boy soprano performing at venues such as Teatro Real, Bregenzer Festspiele, Lincoln Center, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. While working with directors such as Götz Friedrich and Tazewell Thompson, he was able to realize early on his love for music and performance.

In the current season, Mr. Austin returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Ned Keene in Peter Grimes before singing Carl Nielsen’s third symphony with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Alan Gilbert. He sings in a concert tour of Our Song, Our Story, a tribute recital to African American operatic pioneers Jessye Norman and Marian Anderson, with music director Damien Sneed, giving performances in Tucson, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Akron, and Aspen. He premieres Damien Geter’s song cycle Cotton alongside Denyce Graves with Lyric Fest in Philadelphia and Washington Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center, and premieres a new edition by Damien Sneed of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the roles of Scott Joplin/Remus. 

During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Austin made his house debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Marcellus in the company premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet, while also covering the leading role of Charles Blow in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones. He joined Lyric Opera of Chicago covering the role of Riolobo in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, also making his house and role debuts as Charles in Fire Shut Up In My Bones, replacing an ill colleague within a few days notice. He starred as George Armstrong in Lynn Nottage’s and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center, and joined Des Moines Metro Opera as Thomas McKeller in Damien Geter and Lila Palmer’s American Apollo. In addition, he returned to Carnegie Hall as the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Oratorio Society of New York, joined the New York Festival of Song for their debut concert at Little Island in New York City, joined the Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall as the baritone soloist in Margaret Bonds’ Ballad of the Brown King, and presented a solo recital at the Park Avenue Armory with pianist Howard Watkins.

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“As the Father, Justin Austin made his mellifluous baritone count!” 

Heidi Waleson

The Wall Street Journal

“Young baritone Justin Austin sang ‘Peculiar Grace’… with burnished sound and vulnerability.” 

Anthony Tommasini

The New York Times

“Baritone Justin Austin as the father galvanized with his rich tones and eloquent delivery.” 

Geraldine Freedman

The Daily Gazette

“Justin Austin made a vocally arresting, visually impassioned Mordred, rendering a secondary role a star turn.”

Opera News