Acclaimed for his "darkly lustrous voice" (South Florida Classical Review), Calvin Griffin, of Columbus Ohio, just finished an exciting and unique 2019-2020 season. Mr. Griffin made his debut at Florentine Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, and was planing on making his Metropolitan Opera debut singing Brühlmann in Werther as well as covering Lesbo in Agrippina, but unfortunately, Werther was cancelled due to COVID-19. Other cancellations included Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Minnesota Opera, as well as the Doctor in Macbeth with Opera Philadelphia. Mr. Griffin was very pleased to sing with Atlanta Opera as Der Lautsprecher in Der Kaiser Von Atlantis in their “Big Tent Series”. Upcoming engagements include El Dancaïro in Atlanta Opera’s production of Carmen, as well as his Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut as Simone in Gianni Schicchi, and Tancredi in Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Mr. Griffin will return to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Death in Sāvitri, and is thrilled to officially make his Metropolitan Opera stage debut as Adult Robert in Fire Shut Up in My Bones.
Mr. Griffin recently returned to the Florida Grand Opera to sing the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, sang Eddie in Minnesota Opera's production of The Fix, debuted as a Filene Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where he sang both Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Gomez in L'heure espagnole, and covered the role of Zuniga in the Dallas Opera's production of Carmen. Other engagements included Atlanta Opera as Mother in The Seven Deadly Sins as well as Morales in Carmen, Opera Birmingham as Escamillo in Carmen, Opera on the James as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Opera Orlando as Alidoro in La Cenerentola, and returned to Arizona Opera as Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Mr. Griffin is an alumni of the Florida Grand Opera studio where he made his debut with the company stepping in as a cover to sing the role of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. In addition, he sang Zaretsky and covered Gremin in Eugene Onegin, sang Victor in Before Night Falls, and Samuel in Un ballo in maschera with the company. While in the Arizona Opera Studio, he performed the roles of the Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas, Zuniga in Carmen, Pistola in Falstaff, Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Speaker/2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, Hortensius in La fille du régiment, Colline in La bohème, and Dr. Grenville in La traviata. In 2016, he made his Opera Columbus debut as Colline in La bohème.
Mr. Griffin has participated in the Glimmerglass Festival where he sang Elviro in Xerxes, Undertaker in Porgy and Bess, Fabrizio and covered Gottardo in La gazza ladra, and covered the title role in Sweeney Todd. He spent two summers at Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist where his assignments included Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and Hortensius in La fille du régiment. Mr. Griffin sang the title role in Gianni Schicchi at the Aspen Music Festival, and he covered the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni as an Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera. He was a Studio Artist at The Wolf Trap Opera Company, as well as a participant at the Brevard Music Festival.
In concert, Mr. Griffin has sung with the Richmond Symphony as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and as soloist in Opera Columbus' Opera Swings Jazz concert. He made his Houston Symphony debut as First Apprentice in the Grammy Award winning production of Wozzeck. Other solo performances include Bach's B Minor Mass with Choral Arts Sarasota, and the baritone solos in Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem at The Ohio State University, as well as Worthington United Methodist Church.
In competition, Mr. Griffin won 1st Place in the 2017 Dorothy Lincoln Smith Voice Competition. He was the 2015 winner of the Igor Gorin Memorial Award, was awarded a Western Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award in 2014, 1st Place winner in the 2012 Tuesday Musical Club Competition in San Antonio, 1st Place winner in the 2011 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and was awarded a Central Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award in 2010. He was also a winner in the Cincinnati College-Conservatory’s Corbett Competition and was awarded the Linda Candler Award at the Brevard Music Center.
Mr. Griffin received his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen King, and his Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University.
© Kristin Hoebermann