Dark Sisters is a story of resilience, survival, and ultimately of hope, as seen through the eyes of one extraordinary woman. Living within the confines of a polygamist, patriarchal cult, the opera follows the journey of Eliza, a sister-wife who questions what she has been taught and emerges as a singular voice, one who is no longer content to be one of many.This haunting work by one of America's most popular and prolific composers, Nico Muhly, charts one woman’s quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden.
Dark Sisters: Prophet/King
Praised by the Washington Post for his voice of “unearthly power,” The Houston Press as a “blow away singer,” and the San Jose Mercury News as a “natural comic actor,” the award-winning bass-baritone Nathan Stark has performed on opera, concert stages throughout the United Staes, Europe and China.
Mr. Stark has performed over 50 professional roles with opera houses throughout North America, including the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera and Opera San José. Some of his noted operatic roles have included Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri, both Don Basilio and Don Bartolo in il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello and il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Colline in La Bohème, Banco in Macbeth and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stark has performed as a concert soloist with the Symphony Orchestras of Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Holland, and San Diego, as well as with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, and Chicago Philharmonic.
This season he is at the Metropolitan opera covering Angelotti in Tosca, Prison Guard in Lady Macbeth of Mtsenk, and Fourth Noble in Lohengrin. Last summer, he sang the role of Moscone in Harvey Milk for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. During the 2020-2021 season, Stark was an artist in residence with Opera San José, writing and constructing on line music programs and fundraisers for the company during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season also saw his return to Dayton Opera for the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni; Opera Santa Barbara for Fasolt in Das Rheingold; and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for Simone in Gianni Schicchi. He also appeared in a digital recital with Opera Modesto. Cancellations included company returns to the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra as the bass soloist in The Defiant Requiem and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Dr. Podsnap for the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings.
In the 2021-2022 season, Stark is scheduled to make his company debut as Nerbulone in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with West Edge Opera. He will return to Opera San José as the Sorcerer in Dido and Aeneas.
Stark has given recitals throughout the United States and Germany, concerts at the Great Wall of China, the U.S. Colombian Embassy, U.S. French Embassy, U.S. Austrian Em- bassy and the Washington National Cathedral. In 2005 he was chosen to be the featured soloist for the nationally televised opening ceremonies of the Air Force One exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library for former First Ladies, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, members of the United States Senate and Congress, and President George W. Bush.
Stark has been a recipient of awards from the 2010 Fort Worth Opera Marguerite McCammon Competition, the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, the Brentwood Artist of Tomorrow Competition, the Sun Valley Opera Competition, the Westwood Vocal Competition, the Burbank Aria Competition, the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Pasadena Opera Guild Competition, and the Opera Buffs Competition. He took first place in the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Corbett Scholarship Opera Competition and the Classical Singers Association Vocal Competition in Los Angeles, and was the 2006 San Diego District winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition.
A native of Hughson, California, Stark holds degrees in vocal & opera performance from California State University, Long Beach (B.M. & M.M.) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (A.D.) His voice teachers have included Dr. Lewis Woodward, Dr. Cherrie Llewellyn, Ms. Shigemi Matsumoto, Ms. Marilyn Horne and Mr. Kenneth Shaw.