Washington, D.C. native Christian Simmons, bass-baritone, was a winner in the 2023 Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition. A winner of the Opera Foundation’s 37th Annual Scholarship Competition, Mr. Simmons makes his European debut with Deutsche Oper Berlin for the 2023/24 season.
At Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mr. Simmons sings in Carmen (Zuniga), Anna Bolena (Lord Rochefort), Tosca (Sciarrone), Gianni Schicchi (Betto di Signa), Nabucco (High Priest of Babylon), Die Zauberflöte (2nd Armored Man), Madama Butterfly (Commissioner), Lohengrin (3rd Noble), La traviata (Messenger), and La bohème (Sergeant). Also in the 2023/24 season, Mr. Simmons makes his Atlanta Opera debut in La bohème (Colline) and joins the Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, singing Apollo in Orfeo and covering Vodnik in Rusalka.
In his final season as a member of the Cafritz Young Artists of the Washington National Opera, Mr. Simmons has covers in Il trovatore (Ferrando) and La bohème (Colline), and sings in Blue (Policeman), the American Opera Initiative, and the young artist performance of La bohème (Colline). Since his debut season with the Washington National Opera, he has been seen in the documentary film and studio recording of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Blue; and as Zuniga in their young artist performance of Carmen.Read more
In the 2021/22 season, Mr. Simmons was a featured soloist with Maestro Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony Orchestra, performing the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and concert aria “Per questa bella mano” at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. During the summer he performed with Barnard College in Southern Crossings (January) and Annapolis Opera in La bohème (Colline).
Mr. Simmons has performed with various festivals and companies around the world including the Morgan State University Theater, Bel Cantanti Opera Company, Washington Opera Society, Castleton Music Festival, Amalfi Coast Music Festival, Berlin Opera Academy, Bare Opera Company, and the Maryland Opera Studio. Performance highlights include Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro), Aida (King), Rigoletto (Sparafucile), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Seneca), Roméo et Juliette (Duke), La finta giardiniera (Nardo), The Wiz (Lion), and The Devil and Daniel Webster (Jabez Stone). Mr. Simmons has also been featured as the bass soloist in such works as G.F. Handel’s Messiah, J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, and Franz Schubert’s Mass in G Major.
Mr. Simmons is a winner of the Harlem Opera Theater 2017 Vocal Competition and the National Association of Teaching Singing (NATS) 2016 regional competition. He also has an honorary lifetime membership in the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA).
A graduate of Morgan State University and the Maryland Opera Studio, Mr. Simmons is a proud member of the nation’s first and largest music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. His inspiration for singing comes from a quote from the late Dr. Nathan M. Carter, “Music is ministry: it has to go beyond the page; it must inspire.”