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Davóne Tines

About this Artist

Heralded as “[one] of the most powerful voices of our time” by the Los Angeles Times, the “immensely gifted American bass-baritone Davóne Tines has won acclaim, and advanced the field of classical music” (The New York Times) as a path-breaking artist whose work not only encompasses a diverse repertoire but also explores the social issues of today. As a Black, gay, classically trained performer at the intersection of many histories, cultures, and aesthetics, he is engaged in work that blends opera, art song, contemporary classical music, spirituals, gospel, and songs of protest, as a means to tell a deeply personal story of perseverance that connects to all of humanity.

Mr. Tines was recently named Musical America’s 2022 Vocalist of the Year. During the 2021-22 season, he is Artist-in-Residence at Michigan Opera Theatre, culminating in his performance in the title role of the company’s new production of recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, directed by Robert O’ Hara. He is also the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s first-ever Creative Partner, in which capacity he is closely involved in developing new programs and ideas for the Philharmonia throughout the 2021-22 season.

His recent and ongoing projects include Recital No. 1: MASS—a 75-minute recital for bass-baritone and pianist that explores the liturgical Mass woven through Western European, African-American, and 21st-century traditions—and VIGIL—a music film presented by Lincoln Center that pays tribute to Breonna Taylor, the EMT and aspiring nurse who was shot and killed by police in her Louisville home, and whose tragic death has fueled an international outcry. Performances of Recital No. 1: MASS presented by Carnegie Hall and the Celebrity Series of Boston, among other institutions, are forthcoming after initial postponement due to COVID-19, and performances of VIGIL, as orchestrated by Matthew Aucoin, include engagements with the Louisville Orchestra under Teddy Abrams. VIGIL additionally serves as the middle movement of Mr. Tines’ triptych Concerto No. 1: SERMON, in which the piece is paired with “Shake the Heavens,” from John Adams’ El Niño, and “You Want the Truth, but You Don’t Want to Know,” from Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. In May 2021, Mr. Tines performed Concerto No. 1: SERMON on live and digital programs with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Further engagements during the coming season include concerts with the Dover Quartet presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, and the 2022 Ojai Music Festival, where he performs and—as a founding, core member of the American Modern Opera Company—collaborates in the company’s music directorship of the 2022 festival.

Davóne Tines is also co-creator of The Black Clown, a music theater experience inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem of the same name that animates a Black man’s resilience against America’s legacy of oppression by fusing vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes’ verse to life onstage. The piece was commissioned and premiered by The American Repertory Theater and was presented at Lincoln Center in 2019. As a founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company, Davóne Tines has been featured in productions including Henze’s El Cimarrón and John Adams’ Nativity Reconsidered, and in the original work Were You There with music by Matthew Aucoin and Michael Schachter. He has premiered works created by today’s leading living composers and directors including Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons’ Fire Shut Up In My Bones at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West at San Francisco Opera and the Dutch National Opera.

His concert appearances include performances of John Adams’ El Niño with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Kaija Saariaho’s True Fire with the Orchestre national de France, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Royal Swedish Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony and a program exploring the Music of Resistance by George Crumb, Julius Eastman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Caroline Shaw also with members of the San Francisco Symphony.

Davóne Tines is a winner of the 2020 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, recognizing extraordinary classical musicians of color, and the recipient of the 2018 Emerging Artists Award from Lincoln Center. Mr. Tines is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University, where he also serves as guest lecturer.