Eric J. McConnell, bass-baritone, has received praise for his “finely pointed vocalism” and “deep and firm” low notes (Miami Herald), as well as for his “sturdy singing” (Chicago Tribune). Most recently, Mr. McConnell has performed the roles of Olin Blitch (Susannah), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Grandpa Moss (The Tender Land), Bartolo/Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Simone (Gianni Schicchi), Frank (Die Fledermaus), Angelotti/Sacristan/Jailer (Tosca), William Jennings Bryan (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Schlémil (Les contes d’Hoffmann) and Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte). A dedicated performer of new works, Mr. McConnell has had the pleasure of interpreting several roles in contemporary operas, including several world premieres. He recently created the role of Elisha Fitzgibbon in a workshop performance of Evan Mack’s Roscoe, a role which he reprised in the orchestral premiere of the opera with Albany Symphony Orchestra, performing alongside Deborah Voigt. Other world premiere roles include Retrograde/Asher in Eric Lindsay’s Cosmic Ray and the Amazing Chris, Science Officer Curium Black in Carson Kievman’s Intelligent Systems and Akala’s Father in Charles Norman Mason’s aleatoric opera Entanglements. Other contemporary roles include Gus O’Neill (John Musto’s Later the Same Evening), Aristotle Onassis (Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O) and Military Officer/Paul Amadeus Pisk (Michael Dellaira’s The Death of Webern, the recording of which can be purchased here.) Mr. McConnell finds himself equally at home on the musical theater stage. Recent performances include Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Prouvaire (Les Misérables), President Prexy (The Cradle Will Rock), Rod (Avenue Q), Ahab (Moby Dick! The Musical), Harold Hill (The Music Man), and Molokov (Chess). Mr. McConnell has also competed all over the United States, establishing a spot as a national finalist in several competitions, including those of the New York Lyric Opera and Classical Singer Magazine, and received the sole Encouragement Award in the Colorado District Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in 2017. He has trained as a young artist at Seagle Music Colony (2015) and Central City Opera (as a Studio Artist in 2014 and an Apprentice Artist in 2016).
Mr. McConnell holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied under the esteemed pedagogue W. Stephen Smith. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where he studied with bass-baritone Kevin Short. He spent the majority of the 2017-2018 season touring the Midwest as an Outreach Artist with Opera for the Young, performing in an outreach version of Dvorák’s Rusalka.
Mr. McConnell returns to his native Denver, where he will work as a Young Artist with Opera Colorado, singing Dr. Grenvil in La traviata and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro. He will also make his role debut as Figaro in Opera Colorado’s student performance of Le nozze di Figaro, and will be singing in outreach productions of Hänsel und Gretel and Roméo et Juliette as the Sandman and Frère Laurent, respectively.