Following his notable role debut as Alberich in Das Rheingold with the Tiroler Festspiele Erl during the summer of 2021, bass-baritone Craig Colclough begins the 2021-2022 season with his debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago, singing the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth. This new production will be directed by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Lyric’s Music Director, Enrique Mazzola. Further ahead in the season, Mr. Colclough returns to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Monterone in a new production of Rigoletto, and to his home company of Los Angeles Opera, who named him a 2021 recipient of the Eva and Mark Stern Artist Award, for performances of the St. Matthew Passion. Additionally, he reprises the role of Alberich in Das Rheingold with Nashville Opera later in the spring. Future seasons include a return to The Metropolitan Opera, returns to Tiroler Festspiele Erl and his debut with the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
During the COVID-19 impacted 2020-2021 season, Craig Colclough’s original schedule included appearances with Washington National Opera (debut) and the LA Philharmonic in the role of Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China (cancelled), Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with Opera Vlaanderen (cancelled), and Amonasro in Aida for his return to Los Angeles Opera (cancelled).
Craig Colclough began the 2019-20 season with his Metropolitan Opera debut as the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth. He also performed this role with Belgium’s Opera Vlaanderen in Antwerp during the summer of 2019 — bowing in further performances with the company in Ghent and Luxembourg in the autumn of 2019 — and returned to Arizona Opera for a role debut as Bishop Dyer in Riders of the Purple Sage. Engagements originally scheduled before the COVID-19 shortened season include his role debut as Don Pizarro in Fidelio touring with Gustavo Dudamel and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to Barcelona, Dortmund, and Luxembourg (cancelled), as well as his return to Los Angeles Opera for the title role in Le nozze di Figaro (postponed).
In the 2018-2019 season, Craig Colclough returned to Opera Vlaanderen as Telramund in Lohengrin, and Los Angeles Opera as Peter in Hansel & Gretel. He debuted with Oper Frankfurt as Fra Melitone in La forza del destino, and Opera Queensland as the Storyteller in A Flowering Tree. During the summer, he returned to the title role of Don Pasquale with the Berkshire Opera Festival.
Mr. Colclough’s 2017-18 season included significant debuts with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pistola in Falstaff, Opera Vlaanderen as Falstaff in Falstaff (directed by Oscar-winning actor Christoph Waltz), Boston Lyric Opera as Hare in the world premiere of Burke and Hare, and Dallas Opera as Peter Vogel in Der Ring des Polykrates. He also made returns to Minnesota Opera as the title role in Don Pasquale, Arizona Opera as Donner in Das Rheingold, and Los Angeles Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto.
The autumn of 2016 found Craig Colclough’s return to London for Scarpia in Tosca with English National Opera, a role which served as his debut at Canadian Opera Company later in the season. He also joined the Minnesota Opera for Doristo in L’arbore di Diana, and spent the summer singing the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff with Opera Saratoga.
In the 2015-2016 season Mr. Colclough’s performances included appearances with Arizona Opera as the title role in Falstaff and Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, for Timur in Turandot, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Additionally, he returned to English National Opera for his role debut of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, and Los Angeles Opera for Simone in Gianni Schicchi. On the concert stage, he debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Dottore Grenvil in La traviata.
In the 2014-2015 season, Craig Colclough made his European debut with English National Opera as Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West, returned to Los Angeles Opera for concert performances of Hercules v. Vampires (roles of God of Evil and Procrustes), and also debuted with Atlanta Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Lieutenant Gordon in Silent Night.
During the 2013-2014 season, the bass-baritone essayed the title role in Don Pasquale at the Arizona Opera, covered the title role in Falstaff for both San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and appeared as Bosun in Billy Budd at the Los Angeles Opera. In concert, Mr. Colcough appeared with the Orange County Philharmonic Society for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Past leading roles include Falstaff in Verdi’s Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Leporello and Il Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Collatinus in Brittain’s The Rape of Lucretia, Oroveso in Bellini’s Norma, Rambaldo in Puccini’s La Rondine, Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Friar Laurence in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Elijah in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Additional credits include the Israeli Symphony Orchestra, California Philharmonic, Capitol Records, Abbey Road Studios and the soundtrack of the film Rolled.
Minnesota Opera – Don Pasquale
In the title role, Craig Colclough is made up in black, white and gray to contrast with the bright colors around him, and he admirably doesn’t make a cartoon of this candidate for a comeuppance that’s been passed down from the days of Renaissance commedia dell’arte. He’s a decidedly human-sized Don Pasquale, believably smitten with his prospective paramour and at his best in rapidly pattered tandem with fellow bass-baritone Andrew Wilkowske as the doctor who launches the revenge plot propelling the story.”
Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press
“Bass-baritone Craig Colclough, reprising the role he debuted at Arizona, was a bluff, blustering Pasquale, adept at comic smirks, double-takes and mild attacks of lechery.His Act Three patter duet with the scheming Dr. Malatesta was a highlight. Prompted by the surtitles, they encored it, to a wildly enthusiastic reception.”
Terry Blain, Star Tribune
And in the title role, the fearless Craig Colclough, a singer-actor at once vulnerable and charismatic, embodied the opera’s ironies. No mere cartoon figure, Colclough’s Pasquale seemed to revel in the quirks of the character, sympathetic despite his faults.
Larry Fuchsburg, Opera News
Minnesota Opera – Diana’s Garden
And what a joy to encounter a bass-baritone voice as clear and powerful as Craig Colclough’s, especially when wielded by such a gifted comic actor.”
Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press
Arizona Opera – Falstaff
Bass-baritone Craig Colclough sang with excellent diction and a skillfully controlled voice all evening. He interpreted his role visually with exquisite comic timing and aurally with a wide range of dynamics and luminous bronzed vocal tones. His was a moving and sympathetic, but broadly drawn, portrayal of the fat knight.”
“Colclough is also the undisputed star of the show, mixing expert slapstick with virtuosic renditions of arias about the joys of alcohol, the uselessness of “honor” and the virile power of his own bulging belly.”
Florida Grand Opera – Norma
This is one of those rare performances when all the leads are on a particularly high level. Bass roles in Bellini generally do not offer singers the chance to show their dramatic worth. Craig Colough saw this as no obstacle and with a booming, clear and beautiful sound gave Oroveso a not often seen power. In this production he is both a loving father and also powerful leader of the Druid Resistance. His command of the long vocal line was impressive and his presence is felt even when the character is not onstage.”
“Colclough had the low bass notes and noble bearing for the Druid high priest Oroveso, his call to arms rumbling with menace.”
South Florida Classical Review
English National Opera – Girl of the Golden West
The American bass baritone Craig Colclough, displaying a warm, Italianate tone, made a striking European debut as the bitter sheriff, Jack Rance.”
“Craig Colclough is superb as sneering sheriff Jack Rance.”
“American baritone Craig Colclough makes a welcome European debut as Jack Rance.”
“The American baritone Craig Colclough does an excellent job as the sleazy Scarpia-like Jack Rance.”
Philharmonic Society of Orange County – Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Of the professional[s] brought in for the vocal solos, bass Craig Colclough distinguished himself, possessing a hefty, resonant, confident tone and a true sense of occasion.”
Orange County Register
Arizona Opera – Don Pasquale
Performances are excellent across the board, both comedically and musically. Colclough’s lascivious bluster in no way undermines his vocal gymnastics.”
Wolf Trap Opera Company – Falstaff
“Bass-baritone Craig Colclough was quite simply sensational as the considerably larger-than-life Sir John Falstaff, a dissolute knight-errant whose appetites, girth-control issues and amorous misadventures drive the entire production.Mr. Colclough wears his greasy Sir John fat suit like a second skin, embodying his character in word, deed, and appearance. He also knows how to adapt a Rossini-like basso-buffo vocal approach to Verdi’s late-Romantic era, creating a multifaceted musical and comical character that gives this production its drive as well as its overwhelming sense of fun.”
“You don’t necessarily expect that a company specializing in young singers is going to be able to field a “Falstaff” cast. The title role of the fat knight is generally seen as the province of veteran bass-baritones who can bring poignancy to, for instance, the great Act III monologue when the bedraggled old man, fresh from being dumped into a ditch by the putative object of his affections, vents his spleen — on the world, his gray hair and his aging body — before being gradually restored to good spirits by the simple act of drinking wine and sitting in the sun.But Craig Colclough — the Commendatore in last summer’s “Don Giovanni” and the title character in this production — and Tomer Zvulun, who directed that show as well as this one, proved to be strong in just such details, elevating a fairly conventional conception of the character into quite a memorable portrayal. You’ve seen other Falstaffs like Colclough’s before — a man in a fat suit with a frizzy, balding wig — but Colclough did it so consummately that it was hard to believe the singer is actually a young man. The delicacy and relish with which Falstaff peeled a hard-boiled egg — admiring it, flicking bits of shell onto a plate balanced atop his tummy at approximately the level of his chin, then consuming it — spoke volumes about his appetites. Colclough backed up the acting with a strong, expressive voice. There was occasional patchiness in the line when he went up into the upper middle part of his voice, but this was counterbalanced by a resounding top.”
“Craig Colclough gave an impressive account of the title role. Although his makeup wasn’t entirely convincing, the bass-baritone’s every move was. To match his physically spot-on characterization, he delivered consistently vivid vocalism. […]…supple articulation and a bounty of telling dynamic inflections made the text sparkle.”
Los Angeles Opera – Dulce Rosa
“The politician Aguilar, sung and acted most effectively by Craig Colclough…”
“As Juan Aguilar, the perfidious friend who eventually rises to supreme power, Craig Colclough sang with venomous power and pinpoint accuracy, which gave a lethal side to his slightly comical character.”
Wolf Trap Opera Company – The Rake’s Progress
“Wolf Trap Opera Company hit one of its highest peeks of the past decade with a bracing production of the Rake’s Progress that featured an appealing cast, well up to the challenges of Stravinsky’s prismatic score, and incisive, tightly meshed direction an design. Through it all, the heart beneath the opera’s satire beat distinctly. Craig Colclough looking quite the London banker in his bowler hat, oozed charm and smarm as Shadow. The warmth and sturdiness of his voice paid dramatic dividends throughout.”
“Mr. Colclough’s Nick gave us a superb ‘Come, master…’ and his voice was so warm and impressive you just wanted to join him. Nick’s ‘Tis not your money, but your soul’ utterance made me want to hear Mr. Colclough perform Sweeney Todd soon! There was an edginess to this scene and his singing.”
Craig Colclough sings Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony