Holiday Pops at the Kimmel Center

Angela Brown

Her singing first drew attention when she was just a little girl at the Baptist church where her grandfather was the minister.

“I was born to sing,” said opera star Angela Brown, now performing as guest soloist with the “Holiday Pops!” at the Kimmel Center through Dec. 21.

“I would stand in front of the mirror and sing into my hairbrush as if it were a microphone. And I haven’t stopped since.”

In fact, all through her childhood and teen years, Brown was singing at church functions, local competitions and Broadway-style musicals.

“I even had the opportunity to audition for Dreamgirls on Broadway when I was 18 but I didn’t make it. It just wasn’t supposed to happen at that time,” said Brown, who definitely believes in fate.

So Brown, who was born in Indianapolis, set off to hone her craft, first attending Oakwood College and then Indiana University.

“I knew I would end up as a singer. I just never realized what genre of music it would be — until I got to Oakwood. That’s when I started singing classical music, which hadn’t even been on my radar before then.”

Now making her debut with the Philly Pops, Brown, 49, is interpreting holiday standards including I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Sleigh Ride. Although a winner of several prestigious opera grants and awards, today Brown said she enjoys singing all types of music.

Over the years, she has traveled the world, performing with opera companies and symphonies, including the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Opera, and many more. And as if to prove her point, she mentions that she’ll soon be off to Riga, Latvia to perform in some Gershwin concerts.

“I love to travel and see people and places I probably never would have seen had I not gotten into this career,” Brown said.

As for others thinking about a career in music, especially classical music, Brown advises learning to be your own person.

“I don’t mind youngsters looking at me as a role model, but I really don’t want them to try to be me because each path to success is different for each and every one of us,” she said. “This is a very tough business, but I know for me, when one door closed I always looked for a window to open.” ••

For ticket information, call 215–893–1999.