Donald Braswell II with the Three Tenors of San Antonio, William Chapman and Timothy Brit, will perform Friday in Fredericksburg as part of the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s annual fundraiser, “Return to the Cabaret!” The production will play one night only, Friday, at 6:30 p.m., at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater, 1668 U.S. 87 South, Fredericksburg.
Braswell was a top-five finalist in the 2008 season of “America’s Got Talent.”
According to an FTC news release, Braswell’s “tenor voice has thrilled audiences across the U.S. and the world.”
FTC’s fundraiser will feature a silent auction, raffle, food, drinks, in addition to the performance. All proceeds will benefit the Fredericksburg Theater Company, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
Braswell was born and raised in a quiet country town in Texas North of San Antonio. This fourth child of performing artist parents was already singing at the age of seven in local theatre with his mother. Throughout his teens, Braswell became heavily involved in local theatre productions and sought to further his acting and musical aspirations after high school.
Upon graduation from high school, Braswell planned to attend the University of Texas in Austin to study petroleum geology, an interest of his. It was at this same time that he was urged to audition for, and was awarded, upon audition, a full scholarship to study at the renowned Juilliard School in New York City. Following his college/conservatory years, Braswell was selected as one of the winners of the Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition and was also awarded an artist grant from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition. As a result of his involvement with the Licia Albanese-Puccini
Foundation, Braswell was privileged to study with the great Franco Corelli. Braswell was also privileged to be a student of Franco Bertacci. To this day he attributes his study of voice to Maestro Bertacci’s technique. Following his studies Braswell embarked upon the development of a career as a young premier operatic tenor singing lead roles in regional theaters throughout the United States and Europe. He was making huge strides as a young professional and becoming a well know seasoned veteran being coined “the singer to watch” and was on the brink of major opportunities when tragedy struck.
During a series of performances in 1995 in the United Kingdom, Braswell was hit by a car while riding a bicycle. He suffered severe damage to the soft tissue in his throat and was told by medical professionals that he might not be able to sing or speak normally again. Braswell was determined to beat the odds and spent the next few years working diligently to regain the normal use of his voice.
Without a means of survival, he and his wife moved away from New York, back to their home state, Texas to start again. With a great deal of faith, determination, and hard work, Braswell has overcome the physical obstacles that he was told he might always have and now makes his way back to the performance stage. He placed as one of the Top 5 out of over 300,000 who tried out for the hit television show “America’s Got Talent in 2008.” Since his success on the show, he has once again been catapulted into a performing arts career that is taking him on a new journey performing for audiences everywhere.
Since this time, Braswell Braswell has performed in his own variety show at The Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas Nevada, Television appearance on “The Today Show,” TBN appearances, PBS concerts and PBS sponsored artist, USA performance tours, and national fundraisers for those in need, Symphony Pops Concerts around the nation, concerts in Mexico, Carnegie Hall, radio and television guest appearances around the nation. He was the lead role in a new musical called “The Centurion,” which was performed in Pennsylvania during 2012 to all sold out audiences. Mr. Braswell has been involved in a Florida Circuit Tour for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and 2015 for communities all over the State of Florida. More can be learned about Braswell Braswell at www.donaldbraswell.com.
Executive Director Steve Reily anticipates the performance to sell out soon.
“Last time Braswell performed at FTC, it sold out quickly,” Reily said. “Everyone in attendance was thrilled with the show. Mr. Braswell is an exceptional talent, and we are honored to have him perform at FTC.”
Tickets for Friday’s event are $29 for regular seating and $75 for table seating for two, and can be purchased online at www.fredericksburgtheater.org or by calling the box office at 830-997-3588. The theater box office is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. An answering machine will answer calls after hours. For more info or directions, visit at www.fredericksburgtheater.org.