Artistic Director

Craig Fields served as general and artistic director at Opera Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia between 1994-2004, where he has produced and stage directed since 1989. Before coming to Opera Roanoke, he performed as a leading international baritone in opera theatres around the world, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Mannheim, Freiburg, Zürich, Geneva and Berlin, to name a few. His singing repertoire encompasses over thirty roles, including Don Giovanni, Germont, Count Almaviva, Amonasro, Escamillo, Papageno, Malatesta, Eugen Onegin, Sweeney Todd and Rossini’s Barber of Seville, performed more than 125 times. He has sung with José Carreras, Margaret Price, Cesare Siepi, Simon Estes, Francisco Araiza, and Hildegard Behrens. And he has sung under the direction of conductors Nello Santi, Helmuth Rilling, Adam Fisher, Donald Runnicles, Kurt Adler, Lawrence Leighton Smith and Ralf Weikert.

Before pursuing his performing career, he studied acting and stage directing at Chapman University and, after receiving his Master of Fine Art’s degree in vocal performance at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, he completed post-graduate studies at the International Opera Studio of Zürich, the San Francisco Opera Merola Program, Mannes College of Music and Dartmouth College. He has received grants from the National Opera Institute and, two separate awards from the Martha B. Rockefeller Fund for advanced opera studies, and he has studied with renowned Minnesota stage director, Wesley Balk.

Since returning to the States in 1987, he served as an associate professor of opera and vocal music at the Virginia Tech School of the Arts and he directed more than thirty-five professional opera productions around the United States. He has been a guest artist at Virginia Opera, Mobile Opera, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, James Madison University and Indiana University’s School of Music.

His productions have received critical acclaim in the national press. Opera News said of his 1993 staging of TheBarber of Seville that his “fresh perspective on Rossini’s opera was like turning Peter Sellars loose on Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather III, even shedding new light on relationships between characters.” Critics have described his work as “innovative”, “sensitive”, “audacious”, “different”, “captivating”, “weirdly visionary” and “sumptuously beautiful.”