American bass-baritone Darren K. Stokes is an artist of exceptional vocal ability. An alumnus of the distinguished Ryan Opera Center of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he has had the pleasure of performing with prominent opera companies and orchestras throughout the US. The 2017/16 season started with an extended tour in Germany as Crown PORGY AND BESS, a role he later reprised that season in Ithica, New York. He made his mainstage debut with New York City Opera as Sciarrone TOSCA and went on to sing Escamillo CARMEN , also for New York City Opera on tour throughout Europe and the Middle East. Other recent performances include Figaro LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Toledo Opera and Amarillo Opera, Talbot MARIA STUARDA for Knoxville Opera and Il Maestro in Respighi LA CAMPANA SOMMERSA with New York City Opera. Recent concert appearances include Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette with the Richmond Symphony. Recent operatic engagements include Escamillo CARMEN for Hawaii Opera Theatre and LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST with New York City Opera.
Mr. Stokes has had the pleasure of performing with prominent opera companies throughout the US, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Opera Saratoga (Lake George Opera), Opera Memphis, San Antonio Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Eugene Opera and Sarasota Opera. Orchestras and orchestral festivals with whom he has appeared include the Ravinia Festival (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Cleveland Orchestra (both in Cleveland and at New York’s historic Carnegie Hall), Cincinnati May Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Distinguished conductors with whom Mr. Stokes has worked include James Conlon, John DeMain, Robert Spano, Franz Welser-Möst, Louis Langrée, Sir Andrew Davis, Jane Glover and Emmanuelle Haïm.
Experienced in a wide operatic repertoire, Mr. Stokes has performed roles in important American operas of the 20th and 21st centuries including PORGY AND BESS, TREEMONISHA, Philip Glass’ APPOMATTOX, and Jake Heggie’s MOBY DICK, as well as roles in 17th and 18th century opera including Nettuno IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA, Curio/Achilla GIULIO CESARE, Scythe IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE, Figaro LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, and Commendatore DON GIOVANNI.
In the Romantic operatic repertoire he performed roles such as Escamillo CARMEN and LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN, Méphistophélès FAUST, Banquo MACBETH, Ferrando IL TROVATORE, Marchese di Calatrava LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Colline LA BOHÈME, Bonze MADAMA BUTTERFLY,Mandarin TURANDOT and Don Basilio IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. Further roles include Fifth Jew and Cappodocian SALOME, Salieri MOZART AND SALIERI and Theseus A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.
As a concert artist, Mr. Stokes has been heard in Rachmaninoff The Bells, Elgar Elijah, Fauré Requiem, Mozart Requiem and in Anthony Davis’ Sound Breaking Away. Mr. Stokes began classical vocal study during his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Norfolk State University. Upon graduation, he pursued a career in chemistry for several years until he began to seriously focus upon an operatic career, quickly earning positions in prestigious young artist programs: Sarasota Opera (where he was awarded the Leo M. Rogers Scholarship for Outstanding Apprentice), Glimmerglass Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. Mr. Stokes is also an award recipient from the prestigious William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation.