Acclaimed by Opera News as a "standout...with a breathtakingly lush voice," American bass, Brent Michael Smith has been building an exciting international career. He joined the Ensemble at Opernhaus Zürich in 2021, and has since made multiple role debuts, with more coming.
This season, Brent begins by singing his fully-staged debut of Masetto in Don Giovanni at Opernhaus Zürich and later this season makes his mainstage debut as Il Commendatore at San Diego Opera. He debuts with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra as Raphael/Adam in The Creation by Haydn as well as debuts with the Phoenix Symphony singing the Bass Soloist in The Messiah. Rounding out his concert season, Brent sings his first Requiem in D Minor by Mozart. A major highlight this season is his professional debut as Fafner in Das Rheingold as part of Andreas Homoki’s first full Ring Cycle at Opernhaus Zürich, with Gianandrea Noseda conducting. Closing 2023-2024, Brent sings Il Comte Vaudemont in a new production of I vespri siciliani alongside Quinn Kelsey and Anja Harteros, in addition to Pietro Fléville in a semi-staged version of Andrea Chénier.
In 2022-23, Brent began with a debut as Angelotti in Tosca at Opernhaus Zürich singing alongside Jonas Kaufman, Bryn Terfel and Sondra Rodvanovsky with Gianandrea Noseda conducting. Following this, he sang Sir Gualtiero Raleigh in Roberto Devereux, a new production by David Alden’s. He made his debut as Gremin in Eugene Onegin with Noseda conducting followed by Frère Laurent in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, a new production by Ted Hufmann, recorded by and streamed on ARTE TV. He returned as Bass Soloist in Christian Spuck’s ballet Monteverdi and closed the season singing Hermit in Der Freischütz.
During the 2021-22 season, after having spent 2020-21 in the International Opera Studio (IOS), Brent sang Lorenzo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi conducted by Fabio Biondi, a revival as Pietro in Simon Boccanegra conducted by Marco Armiliato, Bass Soloist in a new ballet by Christian Spuck entitled Monteverdi and conducted by Riccardo Minasi and Cristoph Koncz; Sparafucile in Rigoletto conducted by Leonardo Sini, Count Lamoral in Arabella conducted by Markus Poschner and Pistola in Falstaff with Gianandrea Noseda conducting.
Brent jumped in for Valerii Kowaliow at Opernhaus Zürich in May 2022 to sing Raimondo in Lucia Lammermoor for two performances with Lisette Oropesa and Benjamin Bernheim with Andrea Sanguineti conducting.
He recently made his festival and role debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni conducted by James Conlon at The Ravinia Festival in Summer 2022, singing alongside Lucas Meachem, Amanda Majeski and Rachel Willis-Sorensen among others.
In the Fall of 2020, Brent joined the International Opera Studio at Opernhaus Zürich. During the 2020-'21 season, he performed in Boris Godonov, conducted by Kirill Karabits and directed by Barrie Kosky and as Pietro in Simon Boccanegra, conducted by Fabio Luisi and directed by Andreas Homoki. He was slated to perform as the Haufhofmeister in Capriccio conducted by Markus Poschner and directed by Christof Loy as well as Il Commissario in Madama Butterfly conducted by Marco Armiliato and directed by Ted Huffman, but both were canceled due to the pandemic.
In the 2019-'20 season, Brent made his role debut as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro at the Academy of Vocal Arts. In February 2020, he sang the role of Balthazar in La favorite, also at AVA.
Brent returned to Opera Philadelphia in the Fall of 2019 to sing Tchelio in The Love For Three Oranges conducted by Corrado Rovaris and directed by Alessandro Talevi as a part of the Festival O19. Brent debuted there in February of 2019 playing Peter Quince in a remount of Robert Carsen's classic production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, conducted by Corrado Rovaris.
Brent has sung around the United States at companies such as Opera Philadelphia, The Santa Fe Opera, The Ravinia Festival, Arizona Opera, Detroit Opera, Kentucky Opera, Central City Opera and The Glimmerglass Festival.
He is a former studio member/apprentice artist of the International Opera Studio at Opernhaus Zürich, The Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Michigan Opera Theatre and Central City Opera, among others.
Brent is the Third Prize winner in Il Concorso Lirico Internationale di Portofino (2021), a Finalist in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition (2021), a National Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2020), the Second Prize winner in The Giargiari Bel Canto Competition (2019), a winner of the Sachi Liebergesell Award of the Opera Index Competition (2018), the Third prize winner in the Opera Birmingham International Competition (2018) and First Prize winner of the Grand Rapids Opera Competition (2012).