Paul Berkolds, bass baritone, Co-Coordinator of the VoiceArts Program at CalArts, attended the University of Washington as an undergraduate and received his Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California.
Berkolds has extensive performance experience and an extremely diverse repertoire ranging from Bach to Andrew Lloyd Webber to Harry Partch, and most everything in between. During his 30 year career, he has performed opera, musical theater, oratorio, solo recital and new music in the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, England, Taiwan, the Baltic States and Australia. Recent collaborations have included premieres or first performances of works by Ben Johnston, Harry Partch, Ian Xenakis, Anne Le Baron, David Diamond, William Brooks, and Frank Denyer.
Berkolds has appeared with operas companies in Houston, Dayton, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Detroit, Orlando, Washington DC and New York and spent three years on the Third National Tour Phantom of the Opera. Recent Southern California concert performances have been with Green Umbrella, MicroFest Concert Series, Monday Evening Concerts, Jacaranda Concerts, as well as with Other Minds in San Francisco.
He is an original and ongoing participant of vir2Ualcage.org, a multi-media interactive website which promotes the examination, performance and documentation of the Song Books of John Cage. His renditions of this unique work have been performed in the US, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia. Of particular note was the Los Angeles collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company during the troupe’s 2010 farewell tour.
Berkolds’ voice can be heard on the Grammy-winning CD of Harry Partch’s “Plectra and Percussion Dances” which was selected as Best Classical Compendium 2015.
Berkolds is a first-generation American born of Latvian parents and has performed and taught in Latvia. He was recently selected as an alternate Fulbright candidate to develop a course on American Vocal Music at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy in Riga, Latvia, where he will be in residence during the Spring 2015.