“Singing powerfully with a straight-forward, burnished baritone of considerable beauty” according to OPERA TODAY, American bass Bradley Smoak has rapidly emerged as one of opera’s most exciting and sought-after young talents. In 2013 alone, Mr. Smoak makes principal debuts with New York City Opera as the Mad Hatter/King of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, Opera Omaha as Speaker in The Magic Flute, Opera Roanoke as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance and Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice as Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Principal debuts continue in 2014 as he joins Annapolis Opera as Colline in La Bohème.
The 2011/12 season saw him as Zuniga in Carmen with both Opera Charleston (opposite Denyce Graves in the title role) and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he portrayed the King of Hearts in the American Premiere of Chin’s Alice in Wonderland. Of his performance as the King, the CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW lauded “the plush, rolling tones with which he echoed [the Queen’s] orders.” Smoak has become a household name with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, performing in past seasons as Masetto in Don Giovanni, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, 2nd Soldier in Salome, as well as covering such roles as Colline in La Bohème and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin. His performance in Don Giovanni was cause for critical acclaim, as THE RIVERFRONT TIMES stated, “The best comic turns are pulled off by Bradley Smoak and his effortlessly elegant bass voice as the peasant, Masetto.” He returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2013 to take the stage as the Pirate King in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.
In 2009, Smoak made his international operatic debut with Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, playing Suleyman Pasha in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles as well as Don Alfonso di Pardo in Donizetti’s rarely produced opera Maria Padilla. Mr. Smoak’s 2010 return to Wexford Festival Opera saw him in double duty, as OPERA NEWS praised his “handsome, beautifully produced bass” as Matouš in Smetana’s Hubička, while OPERA TODAY hailed his “warm, focused sound” as Uberto in La Serva Padrona.
The 2009/10 season with Palm Beach Opera also saw many faces of Mr. Smoak in his performances of Montano in Otello, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, and Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen. Of his performance in Carmen, the PALM BEACH ARTSPAPER extolled, “Outstanding was Bradley Smoak as Zuniga, who has great acting chops and a chocolate-rich bass that was easy on the ear.” His 2010/11 season also saw bows with Sarasota Opera in Puccini’s La Bohème and Ward’s The Crucible.
Principal credits also include Schlèmil/Wolfram in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Boston Lyric Opera under famed pops conductor Keith Lockhart, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and The Bonze in Madama Butterfly with Opera North, as well as performances with Colorado Music Festival and DuPage Opera, among others. Upcoming engagements for Mr. Smoak include the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, a return to Opera Omaha as Zuniga in Carmen, as well as a debut with Annapolis Opera as Colline in La Bohème.
~ Dallas Morning News