Equally at home in opera and musical theatre, and involved with the development of over two dozen new works, Brian DeMaris currently serves as Principal Conductor of Anchorage Opera and Artistic Director of Music Theatre and Opera at Arizona State University. He has led productions with Anchorage Opera, Opera Columbus, El Paso Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Syracuse Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, American Lyric Theatre and American Opera Projects. He has served as Associate Conductor of New York City Opera, Assistant Conductor of Florida Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, Resident Conductor of Ashlawn Opera Festival, and Répétiteur at Opera Theater of Saint Louis. He has appeared at the United Nations, the Aspen Music Festival, Boston’s Jordan Hall, New York’s Studio 54, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Alice Tully Hall, and in recitals, competitions, and master classes throughout the United States and abroad. He is the 2nd place winner of the 2013 and 2015 American Prize in Opera and Musical Theater Conducting. He was previously Director of Opera and Musical Theatre at Ithaca College and founding Music Director of the Mill City Summer Opera in Minneapolis.
DeMaris has also taught at Aspen Music Festival, New England Conservatory School of Continuing Education, Lawrence University, George Mason University’s International Opera Alliance, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and “Meet the Artist” at Lincoln Center. He has served on numerous panels with Opera America and the National Opera Association, and presented master classes with the National Association of Teachers of Singing, New York State Music Teachers Association, New York State School Music Association and the Arizona Music Educators Association. He’s presented master classes at numerous universities and programs across the U.S., and his students have performed on Broadway, film and television, and at opera companies and festivals throughout the world.
A frequent performer and advocate of contemporary music, he conducted the Middle Eastern premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women with the Israel Chamber Orchestra at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, as well as the world premiere of Stefan Weisman’s Darkling with American Opera Projects at the Classical Stage Company with additional performances in Gniezno, Poland, at Frei Universität in Berlin, Germany, the New York City Opera VOX Festival and the United Nations. He also leads the world premiere recording of Darkling, released on Albany Records in 2011. DeMaris was also involved with the professional American premiere of Richard Rodney Bennett’ s Mines of Sulphur at Glimmerglass Opera, which was broadcast on NPR and BBC, released on the Chandos label, and nominated for a Grammy Award, as well as the world premieres of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket and John Corigliano’s revised version of The Ghosts of Versailles at Opera Theater of Saint Louis, for which he provided assistance with the preparation of the published piano-vocal score through G. Schirmer. He has worked with Beth Morrison Projects and also served as Resident Conductor of American Lyric Theater in New York, through which he has done several workshops of new works including The Golden Ticket at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Adam and Eve at Symphony Space and Why Is Eartha Kitt Trying To Kill Me at Le Poisson Rouge. He has produced developmental workshops of half a dozen new works at Arizona State University with professional collaborators including American Lyric Theatre, Beth Morrison Projects, and Phoenix Theatre. Also a composer himself, his musical “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” received a developmental workshop at Ephrata Playhouse in the Park in 2003, and his art songs have been performed in recitals throughout the United States. His 2022 album "Gratitude" (available on iTunes and Spotify) features his complete songs for voice and piano.