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In the news

13 Nov 2018

It was wonderful to have Morgan Smith return to the Kentucky Opera stage as Herman. When last in Louisville he was the condemned Joseph in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. I dare say that Mr. Smith may have improved even more in that short amount of time. Very rarely did I hear his voice waiver from a full powerhouse baritone, even as he was lying down, he could always be heard. Not to mention that he has the kind of voice that one can sink their teeth into.

05 Nov 2018

This Freedom season brings together a group of works all of which touch on this intensely political subject, but as works of art, not political manifestos. It establishes that an art form often wrongly thought of as an establishment playground nonetheless has a lot to say about political and social suffering,’ says David Pountney, WNO Artistic Director.

01 Nov 2018

Sung in English with projected English supertitles, "Enemies, A Love Story" is a darkly funny but moving story about Herman Broder, a ghostwriter in 1948 for a famous New York rabbi. Herman escaped from the Nazis thanks to his current wife, who hid him in a hayloft. But he’s really in love with his mistress, a concentration camp survivor, whom he also marries, according to a news release from the Kentucky Opera. And then his first wife — who supposedly died in the Holocaust — suddenly reappears.

20 Jul 2018

The stories of six falsely accused innocent people in their own words is the driving force of this opera. Their courage, strength, faith, resilience, and truth make this one of the most inspiring projects I have ever worked on,” said Robin Guarino, who heads the opera department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and will direct the production. “The Librettist David Cote has brilliantly captured their spirit and asked the question, ‘How can this happen?’"

30 Oct 2017

Morgan Smith, returning to Kentucky Opera and to this role, is a compelling Joseph De Rocher. His physical size alone is intimidating. Smith's confident baritone is a good vehicle for De Rocher's arrogance and braggadocio in the early parts of the work. Heggie writes some of his most lyrical phrases for De Rocher, and Smith is equally potent in those moments, opening up, finally, to the confession that Prejean has sought all along. 

28 Oct 2017

Morgan Smith, as De Rocher, holds a steady, cool demeanor and delivers a conflicted sense of power over his own sense of himself in front of Prejean as he sings his part. At one point, he even sings after doing a string of push-ups.

02 Oct 2017

From the outset, the tall, imposing baritone Morgan Smith made Onegin seem like any other rich 24-year-old, more a fun-loving doofus than  a cold-blooded Don Juan. Even in Act II he seemed blithely unaware that his dalliance with Olga, his best friend’s girl, should cause consternation, much less murderous rage. Some find this opera “tidier” if Onegin is a cad who gets his comeuppance, but for me this more humane portrayal lent extra shades of meaning: However arrogant Onegin might be, he’s also just guy trying to negotiate paralyzing, primitive strictures of feudal society.

27 Sep 2017

Morgan Smith, baritone, takes on the titular role with a pompous and arrogant demeanor perfect for the cynical Onegin. His dark timbres provide an aging quality to the young dandy that helps justify the jaded outlook that Onegin has toward the world and wonderfully compliments González’s youthful tone. In Onegin’s Sermon (“Were I a man whom fate intended”) Smith does well in keeping distance in his voice and not letting much emotion show as he rejects Tatyana’s letter, “the avowal of a trusting heart, the outpouring of an innocent love.” The contrast between the Onegin of the first two acts and the broken, regretful man in the final act is powerful. Smith lets himself fall completely into a tormented state of love, and one can hear the heartache in his voice as he declares his anguish in what is one of the most powerful and abrupt operatic endings.

24 Sep 2017

“One of the reasons Onegin is such a masterpiece is that Onegin himself is an enigma,” Tomer said. “Both Tchaikovsky and Pushkin were obsessed with that enigma.” For the director this opera is about a series of choices that Onegin and Tatyana make, and the consequences that result from those choices. 

19 Jul 2017

Bringing to a close this summer’s Oregon Bach Festival, artistic director Matthew Halls led the combined forces of two choirs, the OBF Orchestra and four soloists in an electrifying performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” on Saturday at the Hult Center. Tenor Nicholas Phan and bass Morgan Smith delivered commanding performances

14 Jun 2017

Acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel plays Sr. Helen, and accomplished baritone Morgan Smith plays Joseph De Rocher. Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Margaret Lattimore plays De Rocher’s mother.

15 May 2017

The documentary film, "RIDERS of the PURPLE SAGE: The Making of a Western Opera" travels from the untamed frontier that inspired Zane Grey a century ago to the intimate artistic process behind a modern American opera.

27 Feb 2017

Riders of the Purple Sage” is a brand-new opera — the first world premiere in Arizona Opera’s 45-year history — but it feels as familiar as could be. Zane Grey’s 1912 novel isn’t just a pulp-fiction classic...

As her helper, the gunslinger Lassiter, Morgan Smith gave us a stunning performance of a role in which the character’s personality gradually unfolds and grows in complexity. 

26 Feb 2017

Morgan Smith: Lassiter is the iconic cowboy vigilante. His heart is hardened, and he's been dealt a bum hand by life. 

05 Nov 2016

The sheer beauty and dramatic power of the orchestral writing in Moby-Dick was what most struck me at the  Dallas Opera's revival Friday night. Six years after its world premiere...

Broadway World: Kentucky Opera's Madame Butterfly - A Magical, Mystical Butterfly

03 Oct 2016

As for the role of Sharpless, I could listen to Morgan Smith all day long. With a diplomatic air and a rich, velvety baritone, he upheld the title of Consul and caretaker in a fatherly way.

06 Jul 2016

MacMillan constructed A European Requiem as a single, connected movement.

21 Apr 2016

Offenbach intended the nemesis to be represented, in a total of four personifications, by the same singer, and bass-baritone Morgan Smith brings them all off with marvelous variety and flair.

23 Feb 2016

Baritone Morgan Smith is known for starring in contemporary operas, having originated roles in the world-premiere productions of Jake Heggie’s “Moby-Dick” and “For a Look or a Touch.” He is also known for his ruggedly handsome face and sculpted physique...

22 Jan 2016

...My male performer of the evening. That honor goes to baritone Morgan Smith as pompous and ridiculous Count Almaviva. His seamless comic timing was unimpeachable, his final-act Dracula slant hilarious as he crept about trying to meet up with Susanna

05 Nov 2015

Baritone Morgan Smith is especially moving as Starbuck, the ship's mate who considers killing Ahab in order to save the crew from his dangerous obsessions with the titular great white whale

08 Nov 2015

Starbuck is an interesting beast to tackle. According to Smith, throughout the opera, Starbuck seems to be the only character within Captain Ahab’s close circle with “a deep, gut feeling that something’s amiss.” 

16 Aug 2015

Composed by Jack Perla with libretto by Jessica Murphy Moo, An American Dream is a deeply human and hauntingly relevant work that speaks to the universal immigrant experience. 

30 Jun 2015

Cincinnati Opera looked boldly forward for its second production with a world premiere — Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star, a product of Cincinnati’s Opera Fusion: New Works program

24 Apr 2015

You can easily tell from his booming voice – even over the phone – that Smith is an opera singer. But he is also thoughtful and sensitive. The baritone offers an insightful perspective of what it's like to wrap your brain, heart, body, and vocal cords around this complex character.

18 Jan 2015

Although Smith is in demand for the bread-and-butter standard repertory operas such as Carmen and La bohème, he keeps his performing schedule balanced with new works that project a clear social and ethical edge.

25 Jan 2015

As Rodolfo’s sidekick Marcello, Morgan Smith reproduced the vocal beauty he displayed as Starbuck in SDO’s 2012 Moby-Dick. The voice is simply gorgeous. His bursts of temperament as the archetypal volatile artist and jealous lover were wholly believable and empathetic.

15 Oct 2014

Morgan Smith has rugged good looks, striking intelligence, charismatic stage presence and a powerful baritone of mingled velvet and steel — yet he considers himself a work in progress. 

11 Jul 2014

Smith carried the strength and determination of Tadeusz with confident ease, and the power of his voice expressed the character’s defiance.

22 Mar 2013

"For a Look or a Touch," with music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Gene Scheer, tells the story of Gad Beck and Manfred Lewin, two teenagers in Berlin, lovers separated when Lewin and his family were arrested by the Nazis. 

03 May 2010

The Dallas Opera treated Mr. Heggie to a first-rate cast. Starbuck, the moral center of “Moby-Dick,” was handsomely portrayed by Morgan Smith, a sturdy baritone.

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