“Craig Verm is possessed of one of the finest, most mellifluous baritones of his generation and his pronouncements rang out with great presence in the house. His generous rendition of Haly’s aria was one of the evening’s many highlights.”
— James Sohre, Opera Today
“Disappointment was soon banished, though, by a gutsy portrayal of Don Giovanni, richly sung, by Craig Verm. He certainly embodied the Don’s manipulative narcissism, with a sadistic streak, a gym-toned torso adding to his magnetism…with a warm, well-controlled baritone, he could be a next great Don for our day.”
— Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Praised for his “arrestingly vibrant” and “robust” baritone, Craig Verm has brought his riveting dramatic portrayals to stages around the world. Following a number of COVID-19 cancellations, Mr. Verm made a return to the stage in the title role of Don Giovanni with San Antonio Opera, as well as a return to Madison Opera for the role of Jupiter in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. Highlights of his 2023-24 season include a house debut with Florida Grand Opera as Marcello in La bohème. In the 2022-23 season, Verm once again sang Don Giovanni, this time with the Charleston Opera Theatre, appeared as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony for their Holiday Pops Concert, performed the role of Ping in Turandot with Opera Colorado, and reprised the role of Doug Hansen in Joby Talbot’s Everest, a role he created at the Dallas Opera, at the Barbican Centre with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Recently, he received high praise for his performances of the title role in Billy Budd for Des Moines Metro Opera. John van Rhein of the Chicago Tribune said, “The strong baritone voice, strapping physique and winning stage presence of Craig Verm created a sympathetic Billy” and Opera Today said Verm “was every moment the star vocal and theatrical presence that galvanized the performance.” In the 2017-2018 season, Verm made an impressive debut as a last-minute substitute in the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni for The Dallas Opera for which he received critical acclaim. In the 2019-2020 season, Mr. Verm continues his long-standing relationship with Pittsburgh Opera, opening their season as Don Giovanni, followed by performances of Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas.
Mr. Verm has made international debuts on stages including Lyric Opera of Chicago as Albert in Massenet’s Werther; Escamillo in Carmen at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, where he later returned as Billy Budd; at Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse as Sid in Albert Herring; as Ramiro in L’heure espagnole with the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands; and as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at Seiji Ozawa’s Ongaku-juku Festival. Frequently sought after for new works, Mr. Verm created the role of Doug Hansen in Judy Talbot’s Everest at Dallas Opera, sang the title role of Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera, and was heard as George in Of Mice and Men at Tulsa Opera. In the fall of 2017, he returned to Opera Philadelphia for War Stories, a production which pairs Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with Lembit Beecher’s I have no stories to tell you.
Equally adept within the realm of oratorio, his other concert appearances encompass performances of Glass’ the CIVIL warS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with the Pittsburgh Symphony; Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra; Gounod’s Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cécile with Les Escales Musicales d’Evian; Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Alexandria Symphony; he sang William Schuman’s cantata, Casey at the Bat with the Reno Philharmonic; Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Boston Youth Symphony; Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Philharmonic; Bach’s Mass in B minor at Portugal’s Aviero Music Festival; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as a guest artist at Brown University; as well as Faure’s Requiem with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and Schubert’s Mass in G and Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. He has also sung Haydn’s Creation with the Robert Page Festival Singers at the Virginia Arts Festival as well as on tour in Vienna and Budapest, Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, as well as performances of Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. He has also presented solo recitals under the auspices of The Dallas Opera, the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and at West Liberty University.
He enjoys a strong relationship with Pittsburgh Opera, where he has sung the lead baritone role of Tom Joad in Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Zurga in Les pêcheur de perles, Papageno, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Ping, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, the Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd, Angelotti in Tosca as well as Guglielmo in student performances of Così fan tutte. Other recent performances include Marcello, Minskman in Dove’s Flight, and Ping with Austin Lyric Opera; Papageno, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and Adonis in Venus and Adonis with Florentine Opera; Ned Keene in Peter Grimes and Mercutio with Des Moines Metro Opera; Marcello and Zurga with Nashville Opera; Schaunard in La bohème with Opera Philadelphia; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Lyrique-en-Mer/Festival de Belle-Île; Joseph Pitt in Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America with Fort Worth Opera; Astolfo in the world premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream and Hermann in Les contes d’Hofmann with Santa Fe Opera; Count Almaviva and Falke in Die Fledermauswith the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh; and the title role of Eugene Onegin, Guglielmo, and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen with Aspen Opera Theater. He has also joined symphony orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Angelotti, Marullo in Rigoletto, and the Mandarin in Turandot, and the San Francisco Symphony for Fidelio with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.
He received his Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music where his performances included title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Markheim. He was graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He was also a 2006 national semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is also a former member of the young artist programs of Santa Fe Opera and Cincinnati Opera.