William Clarence Marshall is an accomplished opera singer and Broadway veteran whose talent has graced stages all over the world. A former Aspen Music Festival Opera Theater Fellow, Mr. Marshall debuted as Bartolo in Le Nozze de Figaro with the Aspen Music Festival conducted by John DeMain. He went on to appear at Carnegie Hall in An Evening of Spirituals and as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C, receiving further acclaim for his performances as Porgy in Porgy and Bess at the Jerusalem Music Festival with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stuart Malina, Pooh-Bah in the Utah Festival Opera’s production of The Mikado conducted by Karen Keltner and Shields in Opera Ebony’s Frederick Douglass with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Swift. During the Langston Hughes Centennial, Mr. Marshall also appeared in the premiere of After Hours, A Song Cycle, an original work by Jeremie Michael inspired by the poems of the noted Black poet.
He is perhaps best known, however, for his acclaimed performance as Joe in Hal Prince’s Tony-award-winning revival of ShowBoat on Broadway, a role he reprised at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and on the Broadway national tour. Mr. Marshall has also directed and appeared in numerous productions as Amonasro in Aida, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Brundibar in Brundibar, Carl Magnus/Mr. Lundquist in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Colline in La Boheme, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte, George Washington in American Revolution, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Malcolm in Lower Ninth, Preacher Oedipus in Gospel at Colonus and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. He also created the roles of Nyame, The Sky God, and Osebo, The Leopard, in The Shadow Box Theater’s award-winning production of How The Turtle Got Its Shell: An African Tale, which was recognized as a “Notable Children’s Recording” by the American Library Association.
A gifted bass baritone, Mr. Marshall has sung locally and regionally with Opera Cleveland, Opera Western Reserve, Opera per Tutti, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. He has also made appearances with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Arts Renaissance Tremont, At Home In The Arts, CityMusic Cleveland, the Chagrin Falls Studio Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops and Maryland Symphony orchestras, the Solon Philharmonic, Time Traveller, and the Tuscarawas and Warren Philharmonics as well as several theaters, including Bad Epitaph Theater, Beck Center, Carousel Dinner Theater, Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater, Cleveland Musical Theater, Cleveland Play House, Ensemble Theater, the Fairmount Performing Arts Center, Hanna Theater, Kalliope Stage, Karamu House, Playhouse Square, Porthouse Theater and the Solon Center for the Arts. In addition, Mr. Marshall has performed with several local schools and colleges, among them the Baldwin-Wallace Men’s Chorus, the Edna Duffy Liturgical Ensemble, the Elyria High School Men’s Choir, the Firestone High School Symphonic Choir, the Forest City Singers, Jazz Arts, the Summit Choral Society and the R. Nathaniel Dett Choir of the Cleveland School of the Arts.
Mr. Marshall’s television, radio and film appearances include Live on Lakeside (WKYC Channel 3), Kaleidoscope With Leon Bibb (WEWS Channel 5), Kicking It With Kenny (Fox 8 Cleveland), WCLV, WCPN, WERE, WKSU, WRUW, The Singer’s Voice on Minnesota Public Radio, Aida’s Brothers and Sisters: Black Voices in Opera on PBS’ Great Performances, An Evening With Mike Petrone in Concert Featuring the Students of the Cleveland School of the Arts, and The Making of Porgy and Bess, a Jerusalem Music Festival command performance for the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He also appeared as a featured soloist in An African-American Christmas with Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis for Vision TV and as a featured guest on The Phil Donahue Show. His short film roles have included Oh, Amanda, And In Other News and The Lost 48 for the 48 Hour Film Project. Additionally, his voiceover talents have been heard on commercials for The American Red Cross, Case Western Reserve University, Citizens Academy, The Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Clinic, The Cleveland Playhouse, COSE, the Doleman Black Heritage Museum, First Federal Lakewood, GLIDE Memorial Church, Subodh Chandra for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Congressional Representatives Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Marcy Kaptur, Gary Norton for Mayor of East Cleveland, Hillcrest Hospital, Karamu House, KeyBank, Lincoln Electric, the Marion Ewing Kaufmann Foundation, Metro Toyota, North Pointed Star, NOAH, Re-Elect Judge Joan Synenberg, West Point Academy of Graduates and WKYC Channel 3.
William Clarence Marshall is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and makes his home in East Cleveland, Ohio, and New York City with his faithful terrier, Luciano.