American Bass-Baritone Darren K. Stokes Stokes is an artist of exceptional vocal ability. He possesses a voice of extraordinary richness with a broad vocal range, and he sings with a singular ease. Mr. Stokes has been in very high demand adding more than 50  roles to his repertoire since embarking on a singing career in 2002 and has had the pleasure of performing with prominent companies throughout the US.  He has sung with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Music Festival, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati May Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, San Francisco Opera, the Ravinia Festival, Opera Memphis, San Antonio Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Saratoga (Lake George Opera), Eugene Opera, and he made mainstage debuts with The Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera and the Cleveland Orchestra both in Cleveland and NYC at Carnegie Hall in recent seasons 

             On the operatic mainstage, Mr. Stokes has performed Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Calkas (Troilus and Cressida), Ferrando (Il Trovatore),  General Groves (Dr. Atomic), Mèphistophélès ( Faust),  Escamillo (Carmen and Le Tragedie de Carmen), Jake & Crown (Porgy and Bess), and Neptune (The Return of Ulysses), among many others. Important additions by way of principal role covers include Queequeg in the World Premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick for Dallas Opera and Crown (Porgy and Bess) for Seattle Opera. On the concert stage, he has performed the Messiah, Rachmaninoff Bells, Mozart’s Requiem and Salieri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri with Buffalo Philharmonic. 

             The 2016-2017 season consists of Mr. Stokes making a debut with New York City Opera, and adding Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem to his list of concert repertoire. After adding Friar Lawrence in Berlioz Romeo & Juliet with Richmond Symphony he will sing Figaro for Toledo Opera and immediately afterwards sing the Brahms Requiem for Buffalo Philharmonic.  Mr Stokes has toured through Europe with New City Opera singing the role of Escamillo in 2015 and will continue to tour in 2016.  Mr. Stokes will also tour in Germany Singing Crown in Gerswhins Porgy and Bess with the Barkhymer tour.

              Mr. Stokes’ itinery has been consistently full and his 2013-2014 season already includes a company debut with Portland Opera and a return to the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra where he sings Salieri in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri. The 2012-2013 season includes a return to Indianapolis Opera for Balshazar, a debut with The Buffalo Symphony as the Bass Soloist in the Mozart Requiem and a return to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a reprise of the Mozart Requiem.

             The 2011-2012 season offers several role and mainstage company debuts as Banquo (Macbeth) for Boston Lyric Opera, 2nd Armored Man for The Dallas Opera, and the 5th Jew and Cappadocian for the Cleveland Orchestra in a debut with the orchestra in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall.  Also in the season, Mr. Stokes returns to Indianapolis Opera and records Parson Alltalk (Treemonisha). He looks forward to a debut with The Buffalo Symphony in 2013.   Prior seasons have been equally full for Mr. Stokes. Projects in 2010 and 2011 comprised a company debut with the Washington National Opera singing the role of Jake (Porgy and Bess) along with a company debut with Lake George Opera(Opera Saratoga) in a reprise of Escamillo (Carmen). He enjoyed a first assignment with The Dallas Opera where he added the role of Queequeg to his repertoire covering Jonathan Lemalu in Moby Dick, and he was invited to return to the Ravinia Festival to sing Distant Worlds/Final Fantasy with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Other assignments in the season include role debuts as Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) for San Antonio Opera and Theseus (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in a return to Boston Lyric Opera,


            Important assignments in 2009 included a reprise of Rachmaninoff’s The Bells in debut performances with the Nashville Symphony, a company debut with Boston Lyric Opera as Zuniga (Carmen), debut performances as Mèphistophélès in Faust and Parson Alltalk and Producer #2 in Treemonisha for Opera Memphis and a company debut with the San Francisco Opera in Porgy and Bess.  Other mainstage performances in recent seasons include Neptune in Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses for Chicago Opera Theater, the Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly) for the Ravinia Festival and the Father (La Forza del Destino) in a performance with Cincinnati May Festival under the direction of the distinguished Mo. James Conlon.


            A highlight in Mr. Stokes’s 2nd season at the Ryan Opera Center was his Lyric Opera main stage debut in the lead role of General Groves which he performed as replacement for an indisposed principal.  Highlights in his first season with the company included Iphigénie en Tauride, Dialogues des Carmélites, and Salome with covers of Ferrando (Il Trovatore), the Duke of Verona (Roméo et Juliette), Mandarin (Turandot), and the Marquis (Dialogues des Carmélites). In addition to the replacement performance of  General Groves, 2007-2008 season roles include Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) on the main stage for a Student Matinee, with Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin)and Curio (Giulio Cesare) which he performs in all main stage performances. Cover assignments for the Lyric include Grenvil (La Traviata), Colline (La Bohème) which he previously performed for Sarasota Opera, and Achilla (Giulio Cesare).


            Mr. Stokes trained with distinguished young artists’ programs in addition to the Ryan Opera Center including Glimmerglass Opera and Sarasota Opera - where he was awarded the 2005 Leo M. Rogers Scholarship for Outstanding Apprentice.  He has also toured with Rick Benjamin’s Paragon Ragtime Orchestra – the world’s only year-round, professional organization performing ragtime-era music – and toured in New York State with various gospel groups.   Mr. Stokes is an award recipient from the prestigious William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation.