“I have been fascinated by the singing voice all of my life. Since early childhood I had heard the sound of my mother’s beautiful singing in our home. I’m sure this led me to pursue a lifelong career in professional singing, first as a pop singer with Disney, then in musical theatre, and finally on the grand opera stage. Later in my career, my focus shifted to directing, producing, conducting and teaching singers. Through it all, I saw firsthand the immense power of beautiful singing to touch human hearts, change minds and unite spirits. This is the old and enduring principle upon which we are building SONGBREAK: utilizing great singing to support important social causes in order to make a difference in our world. When it happens, this gives me the greatest feeling in the world!“
Artistic Director, Craig Fields began his fifteen year professional singing career as an operatic baritone, performing leading roles in opera houses around the world, including the Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Hawaii, Portland, Seattle, Zürich, Geneva, Mannheim, Freiburg, Kassel, Düsseldorf and Berlin, to name a few. He has performed as a soloist under conductors Nello Santi, Helmut Rilling, Rudolf Baumgartner, Ivan Fisher, Lawrence Smith, Ferdinand Leitner, Gerd Albrecht and performed leading opera roles alongside José Carreras, Margaret Price, Agnes Baltsa, Cesare Siepi, Simon Estes, Francisco Araiza, and Hildegard Behrens.
In 1990, he changed career directions and began stage directing for opera and musical theatre. This led to producing and directing over sixty professional productions all over the US. For over 24 combined years he served as General/Artistic Director for Opera Roanoke, Opera on the James, both in Virginia, and later for the Duluth Festival Opera, which he founded in 2005.
He was also head of an opera and vocal/choral studies at Virginia Tech’s School of the Arts in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was the founder of the Blacksburg Master Chorale and music director for the Roanoke Valley Choral Society. His choirs have concertized in England, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. He has commissioned and recorded many new works, including a 1995 commercial recording of “Requiem: For those we Love” by Jon Polifrone; on the BMC label, and available on Amazon.com.
He received his musical training in California from Chapman University under Dr. William Hall and an MFA degree from California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. He then completed post-graduate studies at Mannes College of Music in NYC, Dartmouth College, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Opera Merola Training Program and Zürich Opera’s International Opera Studio in Switzerland. He was awarded the prestigious Walt Disney Arts Scholarship, a George London Foundation award, and two Martha B. Rockefeller grants for post-graduate vocal studies.
In 2015, he led MacPhail’s Sonomento on a European tour where they competed with choirs from all over the world at the International Brahms Choral Festival in Germany, garnering two silver medals for excellence. He was music director for Minnesota Concert Opera from 2013-15 and is currently an artistic consultant, conductor, and voice teacher.