Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek

Christiaan has sung on concerts which also featured six-time Grammy Award Nominee Frederica von Stade as well as Tony Award Winners Alice Ripley and Randy Graff. He has performed with NEA Jazz Master Richard Davis. Christiaan's songwriting was featured when he opened for one of the President's campaign speeches, and he has sung opera across the US and in Italy.

Christiaan recently played Schaunard in La Bohème with Kentucky Opera and Townsend Opera, Joseph DeRocher in Dead Man Walking with the Modern American Music Project, and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Cinnabar Opera. He also sang Dancaïre in Carmen in his second summer at Music Academy of the West, where he worked closely with Marilyn Horne. While there, he sang Jule Styne's "Time After Time" for Carol Burnett at the Music Academy's Cabaret night, which prompted the quote you see at the top of this page. Christiaan recently sang cabaret in the Kansas City Lyric Opera's World War I cabaret night Over There! directed by Francis Cullinan at the National WWI Museum.

Christiaan has worked closely with the composer Jake Heggie, who invited him to sing on his Composer Salon at Opera America in New York and his Noe Valley Chamber Music concert which also featured Frederica von Stade. Mr. Heggie also asked Christiaan to sing two roles in the workshop of his newest opera, Great Scott, in collaboration with the Dallas Opera.

With Madison Opera, Christiaan played Christiano in Un ballo in maschera and Mr. Jenks in The Tender Land. He spent two summers as an Ash Lawn Opera Young Artist, singing Papageno in Mozart's Magic Piccolo, Tommy in The Music Man, and Un Ufficiale in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He has been a Music Academy of the West Vocal Fellow, a Kentucky Opera Resident Artist, an Ash Lawn Opera Young Artist, a Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist, and a soloist with the Madison Early Music Festival. He has toured Northeastern Italy singing Marco in Gianni Schicchi with La Musica Lirica.

Christiaan graduated from three world renowned institutions: Indiana University-Bloomington (IU), Boston University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a Master's degree from IU where he played an agile Papageno in Die Zauberflöte directed by Tomer Zvulun. At IU he studied voice with Timothy Noble and acting with Carol Vaness. With a full-ride scholarship to Boston University's Opera Institute he was seen as John Wilkes Booth in Sondheim's Assassins, Count Robinson in Il matrimonio segreto, Frank in The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and Charlie in Three Decembers. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he played Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas.

He is the 2010 recipient of the Orpheus Vocal Competition Nora Sands Award, and was a Phyllis Curtin Artist at Boston University.



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