Derrick Ballard has appeared with opera companies and orchestras across Europe and North America, to great acclaim. For his role debut as Kaspar in Der Freischütz, Opera News wrote: “The hero of both evenings was Gärtnerplatz newcomer Derrick Ballard, whose Kaspar was sung with extraordinary fullness of tone, and whose acting painted a brilliant picture of outer self-confidence and inner conflict.” With his “warm and multi-faceted” voice (Opernwelt), he is equally comfortable on the opera and concert stage, excelling in music ranging from Baroque to modern.
In the 2011-2012 season Derrick Ballard appears at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich in new productions of The Bartered Bride (Kecal), The Mikado (Mikado), and The Cunning Little Vixen (Forester), as well as returning productions of Die Zauberflöte, The Love for Three Oranges, and Der Freischütz. He makes his role debut as the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen for the Wuppertaler Bühnen. In February 2012 Mr. Ballard makes his Austrian debut as Anton Schnappauf in Wilhelm Kienzl’s Der Evangelimann at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt.
Highlights of recent seasons include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Kaspar in Der Freischütz (Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz), Wotan in Die Walküre, Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust (Oldenburgisches Staatstheater), Leporello in Don Giovanni (Staatstheater Kassel, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater), the title roles in Handel’s Hercules (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Staatstheater Kassel, Bühnen der Stadt Gera) and Saul (Oldenburgisches Staatstheater), Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Staatstheater Kassel), and Mustafà in L’italiana in Algeri (Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Staatsoper Hannover, Staatstheater Kassel, Oper der Stadt Bonn, Theater Dortmund). Mr. Ballard made his European debut as Biterolf in Tannhäuser at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, and returned to create the roles of Toolhoolsuite and the Fifth Indian in the world premiere of Hans Zender’s Chief Joseph.
Mr. Ballard’s prior engagements include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (Townsend Opera), Baron Mirko Zeta in The Merry Widow (Emerald City Opera), and world premiere performances of Anniversary by Edward Ficklin (Voyeur Theater Ensemble) and The Captivation of Eunice Williams by Paula Kimper (Old Deerfield Productions). He has sung Giovanni in Il corsaro and Lord Rochefort in Anna Bolena (Opera Orchestra of New York), Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia (Merola Opera Program), Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia (OperaDelaware, Bronx Opera), and Angelotti in Tosca (OperaDelaware). A strong advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Ballard has created roles in several new operas, and is a founding performing member of the New York Composers Circle.
On the concert stage, he debuted in 2011 at the Handel Festival in Halle as the bass soloist in An Occasional Oratorio with the English Concert (Howard Arman, conductor), and has appeared with the Dallas Symphony as Angelotti in Tosca (Myerson Symphony Center, Vail Music Festival) and as Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de Perles with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire also includes Handel’s Messiah (Navy Chorus, Santa Fe Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic), Mozart’s Requiem and the Christmas Oratorio by Saint-Saëns (St. Luke’s Orchestra). He is frequently featured in recital, and has premiered several new works for bass soloist and chamber ensemble.
Derrick Ballard was a recipient of the biennial Erna Schlüter Prize for exceptional vocal accomplishment in 2010, a semi-finalist at the Competizione dell’Opera in Dresden, a Rothman Award winner at the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, and a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera Eastern Region National Council Auditions.