Andrew Craig Brown '09 receives Grammy for work on "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
On Sunday, Jan. 26, Millikin University graduate Andrew Craig Brown '09 was recognized at the 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles for his contribution as a bass-baritone in Tobias Picker's opera "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in the Best Opera Recording category.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" is an opera in three acts that tells the story about good vs. evil, animal vs. human and nature vs. technology. With the help of the other creatures of the forest, Mr. Fox must keep his family safe from three evil farmers named Boggs, Bunce and Bean. Brown plays the role of Farmer Boggs in the production.
A native of Decatur, Ill., Brown graduated from Millikin in 2009 and went on to receive his master's degree in opera from Yale University where he appeared in the Yale School of Music productions of "Don Giovanni" as Leporello, "Le Rossignol" as L'Empreur, "Le Nozze di Figaro" as Dr. Bartolo and "Cosí fan tutte" as Don Alfonso.
Prior to taking a hiatus from music, Brown recorded the Grammy-winning "Fantastic Mr. Fox" album in 2014. The album was released to the public in 2019. Brown and others recorded the album with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
"That took a long time to get it ready," Brown said in an interview with the Herald & Review. "The Grammy nomination gave me the motivation to return to music professionally. Now I'm thinking about the future."
Brown plans to begin training in New Mexico this summer for a performance in Amarillo, Texas. The conductor and four performers, including Brown, accepted the award on Jan. 26 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Previously, Brown made his debut at the Opera San Antonio in "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis." He made his debut at the San Francisco Opera in "Madama Butterfly." Other recent engagements have included Achilla in "Julius Caesar" and Colline in "La bohème" at the English National Opera, and his debuts with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi as Chick in "Wonderful Town," and at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival of Warsaw as Il Duca Ramiro in "Maria Padilla."
Brown has sung performances of Handel's "Messiah" with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9" with the Pasadena Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Yale Philharmonia, and Bach's "Magnificat" and Handel's "Alexander's Feast" with the Baroque Artists of Champaign.