"gorgeously warm tone"
Darren Lekeith Drone
Described as having “a gorgeously warm tone and deep resonance” (Opera News), Baritone Darren Drone is quickly making a name for himself in the opera world as an exciting up and comer. During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Drone joins the Metropolitan Opera roster as a featured soloist in Porgy & Bess, as well as joining Washington National Opera covering Mtchll in the world premiere of Carlos Simon and Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s it all falls down and Florentine Opera as Schaunard in La bohème. For the 2022-2023 season, Mr. Drone will make his Portland Opera and Opera San Jose debuts TBA.
In the summer of 2021, Mr. Drone joined the Santa Fe Opera roster, covering the roles of the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Captain in Eugene Onegin. In the summer of 2022, Mr. Drone returns to Santa Fe, singing Moralès in Carmen and covering the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff.
His 2020-21 season began with his second year of residency with Michigan Opera Theatre. During his first year with the company, roles included covering Leporello in Don Giovanni, covering the title role of Sweeney Todd, performing both the title role of Gianni Schicchi, as well as, Buoso’s Ghost, covering Tonio in Pagliacci, and preparing the role of Young Man/Man in Bar in Champion (canceled due to COVID-19). In the spring of 2020, Mr. Drone was awarded as a semifinalist in the Lotte Lenya Competition, performed with the Detroit Youth Symphony Orchestra, and was scheduled to make his company debut with Opera Maine as William in The Fall of the House of Usher (canceled due to COVID-19). In 2021, Mr. Drone made his company debut with Opera Naples as Riff in West Side Story and singing Baron Douphol while covering Germont in La Traviata. He was also set to make his role debut as the title role in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera in the Heights (COVID19 – now scenes as Enrico: Lucia di Lammermoor).
Mr. Drone began his 2018-19 season by making his role and company debut as Sulpice in Opera in the Heights’ production of La fille du regiment, followed by his debut with Opera Southwest as a resident artist, where he performed Slook in La cambiale di matrimonio and Der Heerufer des Königs in Lohengrin. The season concluded with performing the role of Officer Krupke in West Side Story, singing Antonio and covering Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and performing Bunsen in Newsies, all with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater.
Recognized on the competition circuit as well, Mr. Drone received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2017. He is a first place winner of the Benton Schmidt Competition, and won the NATS Classical Regional Competition in 2011 and 2012.
GIANNI SCHICCHI & BUOSO'S GHOST at Michigan Opera Theater
"The audience was in good hands with Studio Artist Darren Drone as Gianni Schicchi. Ideally cast in the broad comedic role, Drone has a gorgeously warm tone and deep resonance which he deployed with spot on timing." -Opera News
"Darren Drone, as the wily Schicchi, proved he has the chops,
the charisma, and the comedic nuance to excel in this role."
LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT at Opera in the Heights
"As Sulpice, surrogate father to Marie, baritone Darren Drone projects lighthearted macho charm and a drill sergeant's commanding voice." -Houston Press
AMAZING GRACE at Utah Festival Opera
"In the second act he sings 'Nowhere Left to Run' which is one of the most powerful numbers in the show. Drone's rich baritone voice is filled with such passion as he sings it, and it received the biggest applause from the audience." -Front Row Reviewers
"Darren Lekeith Drone is electrifying as Thomas." -HJ News