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Cast Spotlight - Darius Gillard, Tenor

Hartford Opera Theater is pleased to present the world premiere of Fortune's Children - A Zoom Opera by David Wolfson. This opera explores the effects of the next corona virus on a family that has drifted apart. We hope you are able to attend one of two performances on Friday, October 16 or Saturday, October 17, both at 7pm. TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE and can be purchased through our website. Both performances will be presented live on Zoom. Today we're pleased to feature one of our talented cast members, Darius Gillard who will play the role of Alex in our production. Darius made his HOTOpera debut as Martin in our inclusive production of The Tender Land in 2017. We're thrilled to have Darius back for this innovative chamber opera composed for Zoom. We hope you enjoy learning about Darius and what performing in this opera means to him.


Tenor Darius Gillard is steadily gaining momentum on regional operatic circuits. Praised for his warm legato and charismatic presence, he excels in the lyric repertoire. To date, he has appeared in supporting and comprimario roles with companies that include the

Connecticut Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, Greenville Light Opera, Capitol Opera Raleigh, The Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor, and Hartford Opera Theater.

Equally at home on the concert stage, he has also made appearances with the Florence Civic Orchestra, Charleston Chamber Orchestra, Flint Symphony Orchestra, and the Detroit Festival Camerata as a

featured soloist in various oratorio works that include Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, and Händel’s Messiah. In regards to recital work, Dr. Gillard regularly presents and appears in guest artist and lecture recitals.

Dr. Gillard hold degrees from Claflin University (B.A. 2012), Michigan State University (M.M. 2014), and the University of Michigan (D.M.A. 2020). Presently he serves as Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera

at Claflin University.


We recently interviewed Darius about performing in Fortune's Children. Here's what he had to say:

HOTOpera: Is this your first time singing in an opera created for an online platform? If so, how is it different than working in person? 

Darius: Yes, this is my first time! It's different in a lot of ways but one of biggest differences for me is that the audience will have a much closer view, allowing us to make more nuanced acting choices that might not read as well on a large stage.

HOTOpera: This opera is about COVID and the effect that the virus has on a family. Do you think it's possible for COVID to bring a family closer together? 

Darius: Absolutely! I think that this sort of situation has a tendency to expose things that many prefer not to address, from racial and socioeconomic inequality to the unresolved trauma experienced by the three characters featured in this opera. But once those issues are brought out into the light, then we can begin to make meaningful strides towards reconciliation.

HOTOpera: What are you most looking forward to when we can perform together again in the real world? 

Darius: The thing I'm most looking forward to is performing with a live orchestra again!

HOTOpera: What is something fun that you want our audience to know about you? 

Darius: I'm pretty decent at replicating accents and sometimes, I test them out on people I don't know. Usually at the airport lol.


Thank you for visiting our Opera for the 22nd Century blog! Stay tuned for more features and interviews with the rest of the cast & creative team of Fortune's Children. We hope to see you on Zoom on 10/16 or 10/17 at 7pm. Visit our website to purchase your tickets today and learn more about this innovative chamber opera created for Zoom.


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