Praised for “the easy caramel syrup of his voice” (Opera Today), Mexican-American
baritone Armando Contreras is quickly becoming a standout in the world of opera. In
2023, Mr. Contreras began the year singing the role of Cesar Chavez in the workshop of
Dolores with West Edge Opera. He later performed his fifth Dandini in Kentucky Opera’s
production of La cenerentola. He returned to Salt Marsh Opera for the third time,
performing the role of Papageno in their production of The Magic Flute. This summer,
Armando performed the leading role of Lt. Gonzalez in the stage premiere of
Aleksandra Vrebalov and Debroah Breevort’s The Knock. Upcoming engagements
include Older Thompson in Glory Denied with Art Song Colorado. Baritone soloist with
Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Opera Fort Collins and Salt Marsh Opera.
In the 2021/2022 season, Mr. Contreras was a part of the world premiere of Aleksandra
Vrebalov and Deborah Breevort’s The Knock, singing the lead role of Lt. Roberto
Gonzales with The Glimmerglass Festival. Other highlights of his 2021-22 season
included making his debut with Salt Marsh Opera as Moralès in Carmen, reprising the
role of Diego Rivera in Frida and the Bravest Girl in the World with Central City Opera,
joining Opera Steamboat in The Three Feathers as The King/Rat, making his Denver
Philharmonic debut in L'elisir d'amore as Belcore and singing the role of Dandini in La
cenerentola with Tri-Cities Opera, Syracuse Opera and Salt Marsh Opera.
In the 2020/2021 season, Mr. Contreras was seen as Ernesto in the US premiere of
Bizet’s Don Procopio with Pacific Opera Project, Il Conte in Le nozze di Figaro and
Marcello in La bohème with Boulder Opera, and Diego Rivera in Frida and the Bravest
Girl in the World with Opera Steamboat. In the summer of 2021, he covered the role of
Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with The Glimmerglass Festival.
Equally comfortable in concert repertoire, he has performed as the bass soloist in
Handel’s Messiah with the Missouri Oratorio Society and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the
Kansas City Ballet. He also appeared as Papageno in a concert featuring operatic
selections by Mozart with The Cleveland Orchestra, a concert he will again perform with
the Colorado Symphony in 2022.
Mr. Contreras has had extensive training including at The Glimmerglass Festival as a
Young Artist, Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist, Lyric Opera of Kansas
City as a Young Artist and Central City as a Studio Artist.
Accolades from the vocal competition circuit include Mr. Contreras receiving the Top
Prize after completion of the Central City Young Artist Program, being named a finalist
in the 2020 Kyrenia Opera Vocal Competition and participating in the 2019 Dorothy
Lincoln Smith Voice Competition where he was the Regional Winner.
A strong proponent of education, Mr. Contreras holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice
Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master’s degree in the same
major from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The Glimmerglass Festival
"The easy caramel syrup of his voice grows ever richer as it vaults imploringly in prayer, and he makes compelling sense of Gonzalz's emotional landscape - a heavy combination of resentment, compassion, and duty-bound determination."
Russell Janzen, Opera Today 11/11/21
The Denver Philharmonic
"Armando Contreras brought both of his characters to life with his comical expressions and spirited baritone voice."
Julia Mertes, DU Clarion 11/08/21
Pacific Opera Project
"Armando Contreras was an effective Ernesto."
Maria Nockin, Broadway World 06/05/21
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
"Armando Contreras was a dignified Count who relished his superiority over the rest of the household and showed occasional flashes of anger. His Act II aria, "Hai gia vinta la causa...Vedro mentr'io sospiro" ("I've won the cause...Should I see my servants happy while I'm sad?) mixed rage with disappointment, and resolve. Most impressive was his last scene discovery that he had chased his own wife."
Maria Nockin, Broadway World 03/08/21
Pacific Opera Project
"Armando Contreras as Fillipo the hotel manager, is another baritone with gravitas and he is quickly making his mark in the opera world."
Loren Lester, Schmopera 07/02/18
Central City Opera
"The smugglers Dancaire and Remendado were played for both comedy and intensity by Armando Contreras and Nathan Ward."
Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera 07-12-17