Eastman School of Music, MM
Baritone Derrick Smith has thrilled audiences in theaters around the world. Mr. Smith sang the role of Joe in Show Boat at its 50th Anniversary performance at the California Musical Theater in Sacramento. He was asked to repeat the same role at both the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre’s performances in Chicago and with Mercury Opera of Rochester, receiving jubilant praise from critics and numerous standing ovations from the audience. He has triumphed equally performing the dual roles of Porgy and Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Chicago Sinfonietta at Chicago’s Symphony Hall, Crown in Porgy and Bess with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Malmo Symfoni Orkester in Sweden. Mr. Smith performed with Opera Ebony in the debut of original opera Harriet Tubman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, singing the principal role of John Tubman. He was called on to repeat this role at the Arturo Schomberg Center in New York City and at the Metro Theater in Syracuse, NY.
A frequent oratorio and concert soloist, Derrick Smith has performed in recital with renowned soprano Renee Fleming, as well as performing as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Oratorio Society, the Chamber Group of the Toronto Symphony, and many others. His triumphant solo debut in Carnegie Hall was with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, joined by choruses from around the U.S. In 2006, Derrick was joined by Herb Smith on trumpet with Peter DuBois on piano for a glorious holiday concert in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has performed Handel’s Messiah each year around the Western New York region; and the Mozart Requiem in the Greater Rochester, NY area. Derrick has performed twice with the Virginia Consort, singing the Brahms German Requiem, as well as beautiful performances of Mozart's Missa Brevis in C Major and Haydn’s Pauken Mass. He has sung many classical and contemporary works, including performing as a soloist in Grammy Award winner Jessye Norman’s Jessye Norman Sings for the Healing of AIDS, which was held at the famous Riverside Church in New York City and telecast live on PBS, and involving performances by a cast of celebrities. Derrick trained and performed as a part of Songfest, held at Pepperdine University in California, where he sang premier performances of works by Jake Heggie and John Harbison.
Internationally, Derrick Smith performed roles from Porgy & Bess around the world, traveling with the Chicago Sinfonietta in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and Russia; with the Norrkerping Symphony in Sweden; and as a part of the VI Festival De Artes De Itu in Brazil, which was televised throughout the country. Derrick performed title role of Eugene Onegin in Russian while in Moscow, as well as singing acclaimed performances in Gershwin concerts during televised music festivals in both Moscow and Estonia.
A graduate of The Eastman School of Music, Derrick Smith has trained and performed with the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artist Program and the Brereton International Music Symposium in England under Thomas Hampson, Horst Gunter, and Brigitte Fassbaender. He has worked with coaches Angela Hawaleshka, Sherrill Milnes, and Thomas Paul, and continues to train under Benton Hess and Wayne Sanders. In addition, he was a semi-finalist of the American Traditions Competition, and a winner of the Outstanding Young Men of America Award. A winner of the New York Vocal Artist Competition and the William Warfield Scholarship, Mr. Smith and Mr. Warfield, both Rochester, NY natives, performed and recorded together, and Derrick always shines performing Mr. Warfield’s feature, “Ol’ Man River” from Show Boat.