Darrell Babidge: Mormon Singer

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Darrell Babidge Mormon Singer
Courtesy Nathalie Van Empel/Brigham Young University

Darrell Babidge is an opera baritone and vocal instructor at The Juilliard School, and is now chair of the voice faculty at The Juilliard School. During the summer, he is a vocal teacher at the Dolora Zajick Young Dramatic Voices in Reno, Nevada. From 2006 to 2019 he was an associate professor of vocal performance at Brigham Young University. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When Babidge first came to teach at BYU, he took to heart the words of past Church president Spencer W. Kimball when he said, “Our day, our time, our people, our generation, our BYU should produce [vocal masters], as we catch the total vision of our potential.”[1] Babidge realized he was positioned to contribute to what President Kimball envisioned and mentor students. In 2014, he received the Young Scholar Award and has coached rising opera stars, such as Rachel Willis-Sorensen, Rebecca Pedersen, Shea Owens, [2] and Mary and Jonah Hoskins.

Babidge graduated from Royal Northern College of Music with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He earned his Master of Music degree in vocal performance from BYU and a professional degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He has had an international opera and concert career. In 2004, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Faure’s Requiem and returned in April 2005 to sing in Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

His operatic roles include Dandini in La Cenerentola, Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, Silvio in Pagliacci, Ping in Turandot, and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. He sang the title role of Eugene Onegin, Guglielmo (Così Fan Tutte); Count Robinson (Il Matrimonio Segreto); Father Jackson (A Death in the Family by William Mayer); Papageno (The Magic Flute), Schaunard (La Bohème), and Rangoni (Boris Godunov).

His concert work includes Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Josef in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ, Journalist in Lulu at the Royal Albert Hall, and Sailor in Dido and Aeneas. His oratorio repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah; Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass, and Mass in C; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Dvorak’s Requiem; Faure’s Requiem; Durufle’s Requiem; and Bach’s B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat, and St. Matthew Passion.

His recordings include the role of Blacksmith in Saints on the Seas with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the role of Father Jackson in the premiere recording of William Mayer’s A Death in the Family. Television appearances also include a live broadcast of Lulu with Glyndebourne Festival Opera (also on DVD) and Opera Works directed by Jonathan Miller.

Babidge also performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their production of The Redeemer. He played the role of Joseph Smith in BYU’s November 2005 performance of Murray Boren’s opera The Book of Gold.

His wife, Jennifer Welch-Babidge, is also an opera soloist. They are the parents of five children.