..."Jarrod Lee made the strongest impression, handling the dialogue for Somarone with the same comic flair he displayed as Benoit/Alcindoro in AOC's Bohème."--Opera News
"...a rich baritone voice that seems to glide effortlessly through even the most demanding passages, Lee gives a performance that is both musically refined and poignantly acted." --Opera Today
"...a seemingly effortless bass baritone and was well cast as the smarmy, garrulous Dulcamara." --Washington Post
American bass baritone Jarrod Lee hails from Sylacauga, Alabama and presently lives in Maryland. Jarrod returns to the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2017
in the roles Barone Douphol in La Traviata by Verdi and L'horloge comtoise (the clock) and Le chat (the cat) in L'enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel with the Aspen Opera Center under the baton of George Manahan, and Robert Spano. Most recently Jarrod was seen in the roles Alcinidoro, and Benoît in Puccini's La bohème, Somarone in Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict with the Aspen Music Festival and School as a New Horizons Fellow, Hlabeni, McRae, and Paulus in Lost in the Stars by Kurt Weill, SNCC Man in Appomattox by Phillip Glass, and Inmate #4 with the Washington National Opera. In addition, Jarrod is a 2016 finalist in the Harlem Opera Theatre Vocal competition and an award winner in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition. In 2013, Jarrod participated in "American Voices" at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. curated by acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming. Jarrod participated in the classical session coached by bass baritone Eric Owens. Jarrod earned a Masters of Music from the University of Maryland as a member of the Maryland Opera Studio where he worked extensively with Director Leon Major. During his time with the Maryland Opera Studio, Jarrod had the opportunity to perform with mezzo soprano Delores Zeigler, soprano Carmen Balthrop, and soprano Linda Mabbs. Jarrod has studied voice with Carmen Balthrop, Dominic Cossa, Elizabeth Bishop, Elizabeth Daniels, François Loup, and W. Stephen Smith. Jarrod has coached with a variety of musicians including: Marilyn Horne, John Moriarty, Ken Weiss, William Billingham, Stephen Gathman, Justina Lee, Kenneth Merrill, Miah Im and the late Evelyn Lear.
As a featured soloist, Jarrod has performed with the Air Force String Orchestra, the Maryland Choral Arts Society and Swim Across America (cancer research fundraiser). In addition Jarrod had the distinguished honor of singing for President Barack Obama and the First Family and Rev. AL Sharpton during their respective visits to the historic Metropolitan A.M.E Church in Washington D.C.
Jarrod has performed under the baton of Michael Borowitz, Michael Christie, Johannes Debus, John DeMain, Ronald Gretz, Michael Ingram, Timothy Long, Joseph Mechavich, Haijime Teri Murai, Tomáš Netopil and James Ross. In addition, Jarrod has performed under the direction of Edward Berkeley, Pat Diamond, Leon Major, James Marvel, Nick Olcott, Tazewell Thompson and Francesca Zambello.
A few of Jarrod's operatic roles include: Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, Basilio and Fiorello in IL Barbiere di Siviligia, Marchese in La Traviata, Simon in Naughty Marietta, Man with the Cornet Case in Postcard from Moracco, Jaggers in Miss Havisham’s Fire, Talpa in IL Tabarro, The Officer in Amelia al ballo, Joe Louis in the world premiere of Shadowboxer, an opera based on the life of Joe Louis, The Duke and Capulet cover in Roméo et Juliette, the Mikado and Pish-Tush in Mikado, The Chief of Police and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, Second Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard, Giuseppi in The Gondoliers Captain Zaretsky and Gremin cover in Eugene Onegin, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Love Potion #1, Sciarrone and Jailer in Tosca, the Sergeant in La bohème , and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Jarrod's interest in new music has assisted him in creating the role of Joe Louis in Frank Proto's Shadowboxer, an opera based on the life of Joe Louis with the Maryland Opera Studio, and covering the role of Basil in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Lowell Liebermann and Randolph from A Wedding by William Bolcom with the Aspen Music Festival and School. In addition, Jarrod had the honor of performing the roles Jaggers in Miss Havisham's Fire and the Man with the Cornet Case in Postcard from Moracco in the "Art of Argento" festival for composer Dominick Argento with composer in residence.
Jarrod has worked with Annapolis Opera, Aspen Music Festival and School, The In Series, Jacksonville Opera Theatre, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera Birmingham, Washington National Opera, Young Victorian Opera Theatre, and Zeider's American Dream Theater. In addition, Jarrod is a voice faculty member of the National Children's Chorus. He has performed in community outreach and education programs with Baltimore Musicales, D.C. Vocal Arts, Lyric Opera of Baltimore and Washington National Opera.
Jarrod earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama and studied voice with Dr. Richard Armstrong. In appreciation for the experience at Jacksonville State University, Jarrod returns periodically to share experiences and offer coaching while organizing and raising funds for a scholarship awarded to voice students of Jacksonville State University in honor of Dr. Richard Armstrong named the "Richard Armstrong Vocal Competition."