Zachary James is an international opera singer and recording artist, Broadway & TV actor, 2022 GRAMMY Award winner, BroadwayWorld Vocalist of the Decade, Classical Post’s Most Innovative Artist, Verismo Magazine’s Breakout Artist of the Year and among Opera Wire’s 30 Most Influential LGBTQ+ Artists.

Acknowledged as “a true stage animal” (Opera News), Mr. James is known for his “huge, robust bass” which “resonates with force” (Bach Track), “tremendous power and presence” (The Arts Desk, London). Opera News has also referred to his instrument as “intrinsically beautiful”, a “cavernous bass” with “oomph and range”.

Recent highlights and upcoming season engagements include the Immigration Officer in Flight with Dallas Opera, the title role in Sweeney Todd with Opera Omaha, a return to Akhnaten with The Metropolitan Opera, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Cincinnati Opera, Lucius/Witch in the World Premiere of Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane with Minnesota Opera, and Sciarrone in Tosca with LA Opera.

Mr. James created the role of Lurch in The Addams Family musical on Broadway, the role of Abraham Lincoln in the world premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Perfect American at the Teatro Real in Madrid (a role he reprised for London’s English National Opera and Australia’s Opera Queensland), Oberon in the world premiere of Kristin Hevner’s Il Sogno at the Teatro Citta della Pieve in Umbria and the role of Terry in the world premiere of Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia. A winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition, Zach has also been engaged by The Metropolitan OperaLA OperaOpera OmahaMinnesota OperaDallas OperaOpera PhiladelphiaOpera SaratogaOn Site OperaVirginia OperaNashville OperaDes Moines Metro OperaArizona OperaFort Worth OperaOpera RoanaokeFlorentine OperaOpera IthacaShreveport OperaAnchorage OperaUnion Avenue OperaSchlossoper Haldenstein, Switzerland, Central City OperaAsh Lawn Opera and Knoxville OperaPhoenicia International Festival of The VoicePrototype Festival NYCMetropolis Opera ProjectChutzpah FestivalAmerican Lyric Theatre and Illuminarts Miami.

Mr. James’s orchestral concert engagements include performances with The Philadelphia OrchestraNHK Symphony Orchestra TokyoThe New York PhilharmonicNYC BalletAmerican Symphony OrchestraSymphony of the MountainsMasterVoices NYCSouthern New Jersey SymphonyCape Cod Symphony and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed cabaret acts throughout the United States including at Carnegie HallBirdlandDon’t Tell MamaMedicine ShowJoe’s PubGorilla TangoNoce Jazz Club and dozens of other venues around the United States. 

His visual album debut, Call Out (audio available on all major streaming platforms, film exclusively on YouTube), has received accolades at twenty-seven film festivals worldwide and was highly commended by London’s Classical Music Digital Awards. The groundbreaking work, featuring all female composers from the classical music industry, has been widely praised as “the direction that opera needs to go” (Opera Box Score), “protean”, “astonishing” and “jaw-dropping” (Parterre Box) and “a combo of rollicking fun and self-revealing moments. It’s a well-planned, lovingly curated, and brilliantly executed mash-up that’s exciting and intelligent…Trust me, it’s all worth watching.” (Opera Wire). His solo show, On Broadway, has played around the United States and was released as an album in 2021 on all streaming platforms.

As a stage actor, Zach originated in three Broadway shows including creating the role of Lurch in the Original Broadway Cast of The Addams Family, Thomas Hassinger in the Tony Award-winning Original Broadway Revival Cast of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, and made his Broadway debut in the 2007 National Theatre of London Broadway transfer, Coram Boy. Zach played Off-Broadway as Pasquale in The Most Happy Fella and Jo-Jo in Irma la Douce, both with Encores! at New York City Center. On screen, Zach has appeared on HBO’s Succession, on the sitcoms 30 Rock and Murphy Brown, on the 2010 Tony Awards live from Radio City Music HallPBS Great PerformancesLive from Lincoln Centerthe Late Show with David LettermanThe Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and more.

Praised by the Westdeutsche Zeitung for his “exceptional combination of passion, elegance and well‐timed pacing”, Darko Butorac has established himself as a conductor in demand with orchestras both in Europe and the Americas. He currently serves as the Music Director of the Asheville Symphony and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra

Following his debut with the Belgrade Philharmonic in January 2011, Butorac was reengaged to conduct both the season finale and the opening concert of the 2012 season. Other notable guest conducting engagements include performances with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Neuss and the Georgische Kammerorchester Ingolstadt (Germany), the Rubinstein Philharmonic of Lodz (Poland), the Xiamen Symphony (China), the Tallinn Sinfonietta (Estonia), and the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Gran Teatro Nacional of Lima, Belgrade’s Kolarac Hall, the Teatro Magnani in Italy, and the Tartu, Aspen and St. Olav summer music festivals. From 2009 to 2013 he served as the principal conductor of the Fidenza Opera Festival.

Distinguished collaborations include soprano Renee Fleming, pianists Garrick Ohlsson and Jon Kimura Parker, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, cellist Colin Carr, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons, among others. Recent highlights include performances with Béla Fleck, Ben Folds, Kishi Bashi, pianists Aaron Diehl and Stewart Goodyear, violinists William Hagen and Blake Pouliot, cellist Jamal Aliyev, and a New Year’s Eve gala with vocalists Morgan James and Erica Gabriel. The 2023-2024 season includes collaborations with Olga Kern, Jon Kimora Parker, Noah Bendix Balgley, and Sterling Elliot.

Butorac helped his orchestras emerge from the pandemic by creating programs featuring over 75 short works for chamber orchestra formations, with a focus on presenting works by underperformed composers and minorities. The Tallahassee Symphony was one of the first orchestras in the United States to move to a fully virtual format, by committing to webcasting live performances in April of 2020. 

As the Grand Prix Laureate and Gold Medalist of the Fourth International Vakhtang Jordania Conducting Competition, Butorac was invited to conduct orchestras across four continents and was was also selected to participate at the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, hosted by the League of American Orchestras and the Jacksonville Symphony

Butorac served as the Music Director of the Missoula Symphony from 2007-2019, marking a period of tremendous artistic growth of the orchestra. He challenged the ensemble with a broader repertoire, leading to greater engagement with the community and frequently sold-out performances. 

Butorac is also in demand as a public speaker on leadership. His TEDx Montana talk on the “Language of Conducting” has over 185K views on YouTube. He has appeared as a speaker on behalf of Brighthouse, a division of BCG, and was the headline speaker at the Birla Carbon International Leadership Summit in Bangkok in 2018. 

Darko is an avid traveler, having visited almost seventy countries, and is passionate about discovering the world and bringing people together through the beauty of music.

All photographs are copyright © Dario Acosta, 2023

Conductor Cody Martin was recently named Music Director at Pensacola Opera, where he has been the Director of Education and Director of the Artists in Residence Program since 2017.

During the 2022-23 season, he leads the company’s first-ever production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, as well as sharing the podium for Forty Forward, a 40th anniversary gala concert. Recent seasons have seen Martin leading productions of Die ZauberflöteDon GiovanniAs OneFlorencia en el AmazonasMan of La Mancha and María de Buenos Aires in Pensacola, as well as making his debut with Fargo-Moorhead Opera conducting Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. He was on the music staff of Des Moines Metro Opera for three seasons, most recently serving as associate conductor for Rusalka. He previously worked on productions of A Little Night MusicOrphée et Eurydice, and Falstaff in Des Moines. He was also on the music staff at Arizona Opera for two seasons, working most recently on productions of RusalkaMadama ButterflyRiders of the Purple Sage (world premiere), and La Cenerentola.  Martin’s experience also includes three seasons with Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center, where he worked as an assistant conductor and coach for productions of The Ballad of Baby DoeCosì fan tutteRigolettoSweeney ToddDon Giovanni, and Albert Herring.

An avid proponent of new opera, Martin has worked on multiple premieres, including Arizona Opera’s first world premiere, Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage, with a libretto by Steven Mark Kohn; two workshops of The Copper Queen by Clint Borzoni, with a libretto by John de los Santos; a 2014 workshop of Robert Aldridge’s Sister Carrie, and the world premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight! at Brevard Music Center.

Cody holds degrees from Murray State University and Florida State University.