Derrick Ballard has established himself as a versatile singer with numerous dramatic bass-baritone roles in his repertoire, such as Holländer, Wotan, Hans Sachs, Kaspar, Jochanaan, and Scarpia.
In 2021-22, he performs Zaccaria in Nabucco, Kaspar in Der Freischütz, and Jochanaan in Salome at the Staatstheater Mainz, Le Grand Inquisiteur in Don Carlos at the Theater Basel as well as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Vodník in Rusalka at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. He also made his successful debut as Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier at Garsington Opera and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra as Lautsprecher in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis.
Since the 2014-15 season, Derrick Ballard has been a member of the ensemble at the Staatstheater Mainz, where he garnered critical acclaim as Wotan/Wanderer (Der Ring an einem Abend), Filippo II, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Fiesco, Don Esteban (Der Zwerg), Dikój. Scarpia, Hans Sachs, Méphistophélès, Bottom, the Four Villains (Les contes d’Hoffmann), the bass role in Richard Ayres’ No.50 [The Garden], and in the title roles of Boris Godunov, Der fliegende Holländer, Mathis der Maler, Handel’s Saul, and Telemann’s Pimpinone.
Guest enagements have brought him to the Oper Leipzig (bass soloist in Pax Questuosa, Scarpia, Kaspar), Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden (Scarpia, Hans Sachs, Holländer), Staatsoper Hannover (Mustafà, Kezal), Staatsoper Hamburg under Kent Nagano (Nazarener in Salome), Theater Bremerhaven (Pizarro), Theater Detmold (Hans Sachs), Aalto-Theater Essen (Dulcamara, Fürst Gremin), Staatstheater Mannheim (Dulcamara), Staatstheater Cottbus (bass soloist in Mahler’s 8th Symphony), Theater Bremen (Sarastro), Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Mustafà), Theater Dortmund (Mustafà), Oper Graz (König Heinrich, Gessler) and he took over performances on short notice at the Theater Chemnitz (Hans Sachs) and the Theater an der Wien – Kammeroper (Mephisto).
Derrick Ballard has also triumphed with baroque repertoire in roles such as Joas in Porpora’s Il Gedeone (Staatstheater Kassel), Achilla in Giulio Cesare (Florentine Opera Milwaukee), the title roles in Handel’s Hercules (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Staatstheater Kassel, Theater Gera) and Saul (Staatstheater Mainz, Staatstheater Oldenburg), and he performed in An Occasional Oratorio at the Händel-Festspiele Halle.
He had already performed more than 50 roles in the US before making his European debut in 2005 as Biterolf in Tannhäuser at Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Subsequently, he joined the house ensembles of the Staatstheater Kassel (2005 to 2009), the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (2009 to 2011) and Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (2010 to 2012).
Derrick Ballard studied at the University of Denver and continued his training with Mark Oswald in New York. He began his career as an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera and in the renowned Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera. In addition, he has won several prizes at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.