School of Music
College of Performing and Visual Arts
Armando Contreras-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. Recently, Mr. Contreras stepped in for American baritone, Nathan Gunn to sing the title role of Santiago in the workshop performance of The Old Man and the Sea with the Beth Morrison Projects. This season he was a soloist for The Colorado Chamber Orchestra and Opera Fort Collins. Upcoming engagements include Moncada in Zorro with Arizona Opera, Baritone soloist in the Brahms Requiem with The Omaha Symphony and Older Thompson in Glory Denied as a Guest Artist with the Cleveland Institute of Music.
In the 2022/2023 season, 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. In the summer of 2023, Armando performed the leading role of Lt. Gonzalez in the stage premiere of Aleksandra Vrebalov and Debroah Breevort’s The Knock.
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.
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 and the Colorado Symphony. 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, Central City as a Studio Artist, and the Aspen Music Festival.
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.