School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

Drake Dantzler

Drake Dantzler

Headshot of Drake Dantzler
Drake Dantzler
Associate Professor of Music, Voice
Opera Program Coordinator

(248) 370-2042


Drake Dantzler is a frequent performer of Opera, Oratorio and song. Dr. Dantzler was recently hailed in Opera News as “a real find: he has a voice of molten silver, immaculate musicianship and an expressive stage persona.” Recently, Dr. Dantzler appeared as Gérald in Lakmé with Opera Theater of the Rockies, Rodolfo in La Bohéme with Arbor Opera Theater, as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Opera Theater of the Rockies and as Nanki-Poo from The Mikado with the Tupelo Symphony. Dr. Dantzler has appeared with the Ohio Light Opera as the Caliph in Kismet, Rene in The Count of Luxembourg, and the Duke of Dunstable in Patience, recorded and released on Albany Records. Dr. Dantzler also recently debuted the role of Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice: the Musical for Chicago Chamber Opera, where his voice was lauded as “honey-toned.” (Steadystyle Chicago.)


Dr. Dantzler has appeared with Central City Opera as Mr. Erlansen in A Little Night Music and as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor. In 2008, Dr. Dantzler was seen as Ufficiale in Sarasota Opera’s Barbiere di Siviglia, as Camille from The Merry Widow with the Breckenridge Music Festival, and with Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Opera as Charlie in Mahagonny Songspiel. Dr. Dantzler has portrayed Ernesto in Don Pasquale with both Opera Iowa (2007) and The Living Opera (2006). In 2005, he made his Austin Lyric Opera debut as Ruiz in Il Trovatore and he appeared with the Astoria Music Festival as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. As a young artist, Dr. Dantzler has appeared with Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Central City Opera.


Recent concert engagements for Dr. Dantzler include the Tenor Soloist in Messiah with Calvin Oratorio Society, where the Grand Rapids Press said he was, “A singer of notable contrasts, singing very softly as well as very loudly, he milked every nuance out of recitatives such as the opening, "Comfort Ye." He improvised heroically on the aria "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted" and sang with power and precision with the aria, "Thou Shalt Break Them with a Rod of Iron.” Other recent performances include Rogers and Hammerstein concerts with the Toledo Symphony and Rochster Symphony, Haydn’s The Creation with the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers and in Carmina Burana with the Warren Symphony, the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Pontiac Oakland Symphony, Oakland Chamber Orchestra and the Adrian Symphony, a recording of Friml’s Katinka with the Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor, Messiah with the Adrian Symphony, performances with the Macomb Symphony, Rochester (MI) Symphony Orchestra, Canton Symphony, and Verrada in Sousa’s El Capitan with the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Dantzler has also been a resident artist/teacher at the Vancouver International Song Institute and Interlochen Arts Camp as well as giving numerous recitals in Michigan, Tennessee, and Ohio. Dr. Dantzler’s has been praised in his recitals and concerts for inflecting his songs with “much color and nuance” (Saratoga Review) and “his suppleness of voice and a tremendous mastery of the vocal complexities of the [Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings]” (Adrian Telegram).

Dr. Dantzler's students have won numerous national and regional competitions and awards, including the NATS National Student Auditions, Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and the Hal Leonard Art Song Competition. His students have been admitted to prestigious institutions across the United States, including the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, and others. Dr. Dantzler's former students have also performed on numerous national Broadway Tours.


Dr. Dantzler holds degrees from Vanderbilt University, the Eastman School of Music, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas. Dr. Dantzler is Associate Professor of Music at Oakland University where coordinates the Opera Area. More information can be found at