Lauded as “flat out brilliant” by Opera News, Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch is a leading interpreter of Mozart roles, most notably Don Giovanni, Almaviva, and Figaro, which he has performed at New York City Opera, Teatro Colón, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Warsaw, Vancouver Opera, Dallas Opera, New Orleans Opera, Portland Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Hawaii Opera, Manitoba Opera, and Lyric Opera Kansas City. Okulitch has also equally excelled in creating leading roles in contemporary opera, most notably the roles of Ennis del Mar in Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain at Teatro Real in Madrid; Seth Brundle in Howard Shore’s The Fly at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and at Los Angeles Opera; Willy Wonka in Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Atlanta Opera; LBJ in JFK with Fort Worth Opera; and Herman Broder in Ben Moore’s Enemies, A Love Story at Palm Beach Opera.
Engagements this past season included performances as the lead role of Mark Rutland in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie at English National Opera; reprising the role of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain at New York City Opera, and the role of LBJ in David T. Little’s JFK at Opéra de Montréal; and performances as General Groves in a new production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic at Santa Fe Opera. This season he returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Nico Muhly’s Marnie, performs the title role in Handel’s Saul with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Maestro Nicholas McGegan, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the San Diego Symphony, the role of Beck in Everest with Calgary Opera, and the title role in Don Giovanni with in Manitoba. Other future engagements include a return to Detroit for Don Giovanni, his Tokyo debut as Demetrius in Midsummer Nights Dream, and a return to Montreal Opera as the Protector in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin.
Okulitch’s career first garnered national attention in the role of Schaunard in the original cast of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning Broadway production of La bohème. Other career highlights include his Teatro alla Scala debut as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; his Washington National Opera debut in the role of Swallow in Peter Grimes which he also performed at La Scala; Creonte in Médée with Opera Genève; his return to Vancouver Opera as Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking; and his role debut as Leporello in Don Giovanni at Opéra de Montréal.
Other recent engagements have included Dead Man Walking (Joseph de Rocher) at Calgary Opera and Fort Worth Opera, Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Opéra de Montréal (Lieutenant Horstmayer), Menotti’s The Last Savage (Abdul) with Santa Fe Opera, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Olin Blitch) with Boheme Opera, and Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Frederich Bhaer) with Fort Worth Opera and Calgary Opera. In concert, he has been heard with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago’s Grant Park Festival, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and MasterVoices in works ranging from Beethoven’s 9th to Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Bach’s St. John’s Passion.
Okulitch can be heard on the original cast recording of Baz Luhrmann’s production of La bohème, Chausson’s Le Roi Arthus with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot, and David DiChiera’s Cyrano de Bergerac. His first solo recording, The New American Art Song, featuring the songs of Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Lowell Liebermann and Glen Roven, was released on GPR Records in March of 2011 and is available online at GPR Records and Amazon. He was praised by Gramophone for his “luxuriantly rich and well controlled” voice.
Okulitch is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including first prize from the George London Foundation, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, and the Sullivan Foundation, and second prize from the Licia Albanese / Puccini Foundation Competition. He was a previous regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Grand Council Auditions and additionally has received grants from the Singers Development Fund and from the Canada Council for Professional Musicians, as well as received the Andrew White Memorial Award and a Corbett Award. Daniel Okulitch received an artist diploma in opera from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and received his Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees in voice and opera from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. For more information, visit www.danielokulitch.com.