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Drake Dantzler

Associate Professor of Music, Voice
Opera Program Coordinator

[email protected]
(248) 370-2042


Drake Dantzler is a frequent performer of Opera, Operetta, Oratorio and song. Dr. Dantzler was hailed in Opera News as “a real find: he has a voice of molten silver, immaculate musicianship and an expressive stage persona.” Some of Dr. Dantzler appearances in opera include Gérald in Lakmé with Opera Theater of the Rockies and Rodolfo in La Bohéme with Arbor Opera Theater. Dr. Dantzler is an operetta enthusiast, having appeared as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Opera Theater of the Rockies, Camille from The Merry Widow with the Breckenridge Music Festival and Toledo Opera, and in numerous roles with Ohio Light Opera including the Caliph in Kismet, René in The Count of Luxembourg, and the Duke of Dunstable in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience, recorded and released on Albany Records. Other a Gilbert and Sullivan credits include Frederick in Pirates of Penzance, and Nanki-Poo in Mikado with Grand Rapids Opera, Western Plains Opera, Union Avenue Opera and others.  In concert operetta, Dr. Dantzler has also appeared as Verrada in Sousa’s El Capitan with the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra and in performance and recording of Friml’s Katinka with the Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor. As a cross-over artist, Dr. Dantzler also debuted the role of Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudicethe Musical for Chicago Chamber Opera, where his voice was lauded as “honey-toned.” (Steadystyle Chicago.)

Dr. Dantzler has stage credits across the United States, with organizations such as Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Toledo Opera, the Astoria Music Festival, and Austin Lyric Opera. Some other notable professional roles include Don Ottavio from Don Giovanni, Ernesto from Don Pasquale, and Il Conte Almaviva from Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Concert engagements have taken Dr. Dantzler across the United States. As the Tenor Soloist in Messiah with the Calvin Oratorio Society 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.” Dr. Dantzler’s concert performances cross over several kinds of repertoire, including Rogers and Hammerstein concerts with the Toledo Symphony and Rochester Symphony, Haydn’s The Creation with the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Carmina Burana with the Warren Symphony, the Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Pontiac Oakland Symphony, Oakland Chamber Orchestra and the Adrian Symphony,  Messiah with the Adrian Symphony, and other performances with the Macomb Symphony, Rochester (MI) Symphony Orchestra, and the Canton Symphony.

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 across the United States and Canada. Dr. Dantzler currently tours recitals with pianist Victoria Shively focusing on music written after the year 2000. They have also premiered the piece “Needle Point” by composer Benjamin Fuhrman for tenor, computer, and prepared piano. This piece was created as a companion piece for Janacek’s “Diary of one who disappeared”, and the two pieces were presented together as a semi-staged theatrical evening. Dr. Dantzler 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 1st place nationally in the NATS National Student Auditions, Metropolitan National Council Auditions Encouragement Awards, 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 students have gone on to perform on stages across the world, and former students have performed on numerous national Broadway Tours.

Dr. Dantzler also directs the opera program for Oakland University. The program presents one complete opera each year with orchestra. Productions have included Cosí fan tutti, Gianni Schicchi/Suor Angelica, L'incoronazione di Poppea, The Pirates of Penzance, Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute, Martha (von Flotow), Street Scene, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Patience.

Dr. Dantzler is an avid voice scientist, and has presented research and lectures at the National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, The Voice Foundation Symposium, and at Michigan State Vocal Music Association conferences.

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 he coordinates the Opera Area. More information can be found at www.DrakeDantzler.com.

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