Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Reflections: BAE Presents Markel Reed, baritone

February 5, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Free Admission – RSVP Required

Time and Place:
Saturday 5 February, 2022 3:00 PM EST
Bronx House
990 Pelham Pkwy S, Bronx, NY 10461

Markel Reed, baritone
Kyle P. Walker, piano

Advance Registration Required.
Attendees must be fully Vaccinated.

Concert Description:
Bronx Arts Ensemble presents an afternoon of reflection with rising opera singer Markel Reed.

The varied program includes Johannes Brahms, Ben Moore, and Black American treasure Margaret Bonds to brand new arias fresh from the Metropolitan Opera stage’s presentation of Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Terence Blanchard.

Markel Reed, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been featured in various concerts, recitals, and performances throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe

As a passionate conveyor of the operatic repertoire, Mr. Reed is a wonderful interpreter of both the standard, as well as contemporary works.

In 2019, Reed originated the role of “Chester” in the premiere of Terence Blanchard’s acclaimed opera Fire Shut up in my Bones with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.  Following this, Mr. Reed had the pleasure of singing in the Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy-winning production of Porgy and Bess.


  1. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)    

   Vier Erste Gesänge    op. 121            from biblical texts

  1. Denn es gehet Menschen Ecclesiastes (3:19-22)
  2. Ich wandte mich Ecclesiastes (4:1-3)
  3. O Tod, wie bitter bist du Sirach (41:1-2)
  4. Wenn ich mit Menschen 1 Corinthians (13:1-3, 12-13)
  5. Benjamin Moore ( 1960-Present)

    From Ode to A Nightingale              poems by John Keats (1795-1821)

  1. My Heart Aches
  2. Fade far away
  3. Away! away!
  4. I cannot see what flowers
  5.   Thou wast not born for death
  6. Adieu


III. Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

  From Banalités       Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

  1. Chanson d’Orkenise
  2. Hôtel
  3. Voyage à Paris
  4. Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)

     Three Dream Portraits          poetry by Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

  1. Minstrel Man
  2. Dream Variations
  3. I, Too
  4. Terence Blanchard (1962- Present)

  There Was a Storm text by Kasi Lemmons  (1961-Present)


For that which befalleth the sons of men

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts;

as the one dieth, so dieth the other;

yea, they have all one breath;

so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast;

for all is vanity. 

All go unto one place;

all are of dust, and all turn to dust again.

Who knoweth the spirit of man […] goeth upward 

and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, 

than that a man should rejoice in his own works,

for that is his portion.

For who shall bring him to see what shall happen after him?


So I returned

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun;

and behold the tears of such as were oppressed,and they had no comforter;

and on the side of their oppressors there was power; 

but they had no comforter.

Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been,

who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)


O death

O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man 

that liveth at rest in his possessions,

unto the man that hath nothing to vex him, 

and that hath prosperity in all things;

yea, unto him that is yet able to receive meat!

O death, acceptable is thy sentence unto the needy and unto him whose strength faileth,

that is now in the last age,

and is vexed with all things,

and to him that despaireth,

and hath lost patience!


Though I speak with the tongues of men

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, 

and have not charity,

I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,

and all knowledge;

and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, 

and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, 

and though I give my body to be burned,

it profiteth me nothing…

For now we see through glass, darkly; 

but then face to face:

now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; 

but the greatest of these is charity.


Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)


Ode to a Nightingale


My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
  My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, 
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains 
  One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
  But being too happy in thine happiness,— 
    That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, 
          In some melodious plot 
  Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, 
    Singest of summer in full-throated ease.


Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget 
  What thou among the leaves hast never known, 
The weariness, the fever, and the fret 
  Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; 
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
  Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; 
    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow 
          And leaden-eyed despairs, 
  Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, 
    Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.


Away! away! for I will fly to thee, 
  Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, 
But on the viewless wings of Poesy, 
  Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: 
Already with thee! tender is the night,
  And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, 
    Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays; 
          But here there is no light, 
  Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown 
    Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.


I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, 
  Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, 
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet 
  Wherewith the seasonable month endows 
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
  White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; 
    Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves; 
          And mid-May’s eldest child, 
  The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, 
    The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.


Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! 
  No hungry generations tread thee down; 
The voice I hear this passing night was heard 
  In ancient days by emperor and clown: 
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 
  Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, 
    She stood in tears amid the alien corn; 
          The same that oft-times hath 
  Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam 
    Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. 


Forlorn! the very word is like a bell 
  To toil me back from thee to my sole self! 
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well 
  As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf. 
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
  Past the near meadows, over the still stream, 
    Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep 
          In the next valley-glades: 
  Was it a vision, or a waking dream? 
    Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

Song of Orkenise

Through the gates of Orkenise

A waggoner wants to enter.

Through the gates of Orkenise

A vagabond wants to leave. 

And the sentries guarding the town

Rush up to the vagabond:

‘What are you taking from the town?’

‘I’m leaving my whole heart behind.’

And the sentries guarding the town

Rush up to the waggoner:

‘What are you carrying into the town?’

‘My heart in order to marry.’

So many hearts in Orkenise!

The sentries laughed and laughed:

Vagabond, the road’s not merry,

Love makes you merry, O waggoner!

The handsome sentries guarding the town

Knitted vaingloriously;

The gates of the town then

Slowly closed.

Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)


My room is shaped like a cage

The sun slips its arm through the window

But I who want to smoke to make mirages

I light my cigarette on daylight’s fire

I do not want to work I want to smoke

Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)


Trip to Paris

Oh! how delightful

To leave a dismal

Place for Paris

Charming Paris

That one day

Love must have made

Oh! how delightful

To leave a dismal 

Place for Paris

Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)


Three dream portraits

  1. Minstrel man

Because my mouth

Is wide with laughter

And my throat

Is deep with song,

You do not think

I suffer after

I have held my pain

So long.


Because my mouth

Is wide with laughter,

You do not hear my inner cry?

Because my feet

Are gay with dancing

You do not know

I die?


  1. Dream variation


To fling my arms wide

In some place in the sun,

To whirl and dance

Till the bright day is done.

Then rest at cool evening

Beneath a tall tree

While night comes gently

Dark like me.

That is my dream.

To fling my arms wide

In the face of the sun.

Dance! Whirl! Whirl!

Till the quick day is done.

Rest at pale evening,

A tall, slim tree,

Night coming tenderly

Black like me.


  1. I, too

I, too sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes.

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I’ll sit at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”



They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed. 



February 5, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:


Bronx Arts Ensemble


Bronx House
990 Pelham Pkwy S
Bronx, NY 10461 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website