From: Austin, Texas. LA Opera: librettist for Annunciation, premiered by Russell Thomas in his 2023 recital.

Joshua Banbury is an emerging vocal artist and librettist working in opera and jazz.

In January 2023, he presented a recital at the Phillips Collection with pianist Aaron Diehl. In 2022, Banbury made his solo debut at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic and the National Black Theatre.

Joshua is also a fellow with the American Lyric Theatre in New York City, considered to be the country’s premier mentorship initiative for promising operatic writers. Additionally, Banbury served as the first Julius Eastman Fellow at Looking Glass Arts in the summer of 2022.

Since graduating from The New School in 2020, Joshua has enjoyed a blossoming career as a vocalist, with opportunities to sing at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Minton’s Playhouse, National Sawdust, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Soho House Austin, Google NYC, and the Carver Museum.

His opera libretti have been presented by Washington National Opera, the American Lyric Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts.

In 2022, his ten-minute opera The Burning Bush, composed by Jasmine Barnes, premiered at Washington National Opera, and was celebrated as "surrealist, clever, and precisely imagined" by The Washington Post.

Banbury was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and began writing plays and performing locally at the age of ten. He began classical voice lessons as a teenager and proceeded to win top prizes from competitions such as YoungArts, in both opera and musical theater, along with a full scholarship to study classical voice at the Austin School for Performing and Visual Arts. In 2014, he appeared in his first opera, Qadar, under the direction of Denyce Graves, with music by Tony Smalls, under the royal commission from the Sultanate of Oman.

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Photo: Kasia Idzkowska