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Kimilee Bryant, native of South Carolina, has performed the role of “Christine Daae” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Switzerland, Toronto and to critical acclaim on the U.S. National Tour. She has also taken a turn as the diva, “La Carlotta” recently on Broadway and the National Tour. She is the only former “Christine” to return to Broadway and play all three leadings roles (Christine, Carlotta, and Madame Giry) in the longest-running show in Broadway history. In The Pirate Queen on Broadway, she covered the role of Queen Elizabeth I. Other NYC credits include Josephine/H.M.S. Pinafore, Mabel/ The Pirates of Penzance, Casilda/The Gondoliers, Ida/Princess Ida, and Bye, Bye Birdie at NY City Center; Elsie/The Yeomen of the Guard, Phyllis/ Iolanthe, and Aline/The Sorcerer at Symphony Space. She debuted at Lincoln Center as soloist for The National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall and appeared as soloist in a staged production of Handel’s Messiah, which was also performed at The Utrecht Early Music Festival in Holland. (“Kimilee Bryant was lovely in ‘Come Unto Him.’” -James R. Oestreich, The New York Times)
Equally at home with opera and theatre, Ms. Bryant’s other NY stage work includes: Betty Yearn in Guare’s Landscape of the Body and Stage Manager in Our Town, both at Gloria Maddox Theatre ( T. Schreiber Studio). Regional roles include: Maria/West Side Story, Marian/The Music Man, Hope/Anything Goes and Eliza/My Fair Lady. Her operatic debut was with Portland Opera as Frasquita in Carmen. Later, as a Resident Artist for the company, she performed Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Pamina in An American Magic Flute, and opera programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Among operatic roles performed are: Susannah/Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina/ Don Giovanni, Bianca/The Taming of the Shrew, and Polly/The Beggar’s Opera. She’s bowed with Opera Ontario, Boheme Opera (NJ), Opera East Texas, Aspen Opera, Piedmont Opera (NC), Sacramento Music Circus, and The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
Ms. Bryant began her love affair with the stage in Greenville, South Carolina, first in her mother’s annual dance recital at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, followed by church solos at St. Mark UMC, Berea First Baptist, and Travelers Rest UMC. Hearing her daughter sing with the radio and her record player, Karen Cromer Bryant decided to send Kimilee to her former voice teacher, the legendary Ivah Dickson. Kimilee went on to perform with the Greenville Little Theatre (Tom Sawyer, directed by Bob McClane; The Red Shoes and Babes in Toyland dir. Lake Williams; and later as a young adult as Julie in Carousel). Her first play at the Warehouse theatre was A Christmas Carol (Little Fan), followed by the Witch in The Bad Children (a retelling of Hansel and Gretel with a good witch) both at age 12; as an adult, she played Sally in Talley’s Folly and Sharon in Master Class. Also in Greenville/Travelers Rest, she was a soloist with The Singing Christmas Tree (Virginia Uldrick dir.), The Living Christmas Tree, (Floyd Parker, dir.), Travelers Rest Hunt’s Kids Show Choir (Patricia Hunt, dir.), The Greenville Savoyards, and The Greenville Symphony, and at The SC Governor’s School for the Arts. She participated in Honors All-State Chorus and won “Superior Ratings” at Solo and Ensemble competitions. In preparation for college, Ms. Bryant was awarded scholarships to Brevard Music Center (Rotary of Greenville), where she spent two summers performing roles in operas and musicals and solos with the Brevard Symphony under the direction of Henry Janiec (and later under his baton with the Spartanburg Symphony, as well).
Prior to her first semester at Converse College in Spartanburg, she won scholarships from the Greenville Music Club, the Crescent Music Club, and the Daniel Music Scholarship. While at Converse, she studied with Jane Rolandi-Gray, performed numerous roles for the Opera Workshop (Maisie/The Boyfriend, among others), won NATS competitions, the SC Federation of Music Club’s competition, and began participating in Miss America Preliminary Competitions, winning more scholarships to further her education. She played Laurey in Greer’s first ever musical production of Oklahoma! (dir. H. Robb Alverson) and eventually won the title of Miss Greater Greer, followed by Miss Berea and Miss South Carolina 1989.
At the Miss America pageant, she won two talent scholarships that helped with her graduate studies at The Manhattan School of Music, where she earned her Master of Music degree. In 1998, she won the South Carolina Metropolitan Opera Auditions. She has sung on several occasions at The SC State capital and the Governor’s Mansion, on one occasion for Maestro Gian-Carlo Menotti. Recently she sang at our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C., at a service for former congress woman Jennifer Dunn as well as for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at an event in NYC .
Ms. Bryant regularly performs concerts throughout the world, most recently in Aruba, Berlin, St. Lucia, the Napa Valley, Dallas, St. Louis, Manhattan, Long Island, Staten Island,throughout MI and PA and New Jersey (NJPAC), and in her beloved Carolinas. Her debut CD, My Favorite Things, is a collection of songs she has sung from her childhood to songs she has sung in performance throughout her career. Other recordings include “Oh Joy, Oh Rapture” with NYGASP and Carols for Cure for Broadway Cares (2010, 2011). Television and Film appearances include “The Today Show”, “Law and Order”, “Seventh Heaven”, “Ally McBeal”, “The Good Wife”, “The Following” , “Blue Bloods” and The Amazing Spiderman 2.
She is active in many charities including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Broadway Green Alliance, Homework Help (at The Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew), Screen Actors’ Guild “Bookpals”, Dog and Cat Rescue Groups, Breast Cancer Awareness groups and recently became involved with Child’s Haven in SC.
Kimilee would like to say “Thank You for the Music” to all those teachers, mentors, and supporters throughout South Carolina and worldwide. She lives Greenville, SC and her newest and best role is ‘Mommy” to three year old Aidan and their Shih Tzu, “Gypsy”. She is president of Rubylee Productions, which produces programs for performing arts venues, special events, and benefits as well as new works such as Miracolo, a new musical which has been staged in NYC with Anita Gillette ,Joy Franz, George Lee Andrews and David Cryer.