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Damian Norfleet

 Damian Norfleet is an interdisciplinary performing artist, creator, and collaborator who “brings a full range of emotions” (Boston Globe) and commands the stage with a strong presence,  powerful singing, and "rubber-limbed dancing" (New York Times). Across spoken word, poetry,  and art songs, his output explores language and phonemic awareness.  

As a young artist, Damian served as the associate principal bassoonist of the Orchestra of the  Pines; studied vocal pedagogy with Dr. David Jones and Dr. Robert Sataloff; attended  masterclasses with Dalton Baldwin, Warren Jones, and Denyce Graves; was mentored by Tom  Krause; and enjoyed a brief stint as a resident artist at the acclaimed Academy of Vocal Arts in  Philadelphia. This was the moment when Mr. Norfleet turned his attention to acting. Immediately upon leaving AVA, Mr. Norfleet was accepted into the acting studio of actor/director  Pete Pryor and later studied Shakespeare performance with Sybil Lines of the Royal  Shakespeare Company. (Fun fact: Damian studied West African dance with Jeannine Osayande) 

Norfleet traversed the United States as the lead actor, vocalist, and saxophone soloist of the  nationally touring production In the Mood: A 1940s Musical Revue. He played the role of Smith  in the 2012 Drama Desk Award-nominated production of The Threepenny Opera. In 2014,  Damian performed at the Guggenheim Museum as part of the Works & Process performing  arts series. Soon thereafter, he portrayed Terrence Roberts in the world premiere of the play  Little Rock, which earned him and the cast a Barrymore Award for Best Ensemble. Damian  Norfleet performed with Andre Braugher in the feature film Emily & Tim, starring Olympia  Dukakis, and was the featured performer at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Beacon of  Liberty Award honoring Terrence McNally. Mr. Norfleet has performed principal roles with  Glimmerglass Opera, Portland Opera, and appeared in concert at Lincoln Center. Damian  regularly collaborates with two socially conscious, activist orchestras: The Dream Unfinished  and Ensemble Pi. 

Mr. Norfleet has appeared as a guest artist at the New England Conservatory, Boston;  conducted a vocal health seminar for the performers at Hong Kong Disney, and presented at a  symposium for student artists from Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He has workshopped,  developed, and directed new works with the John Duffy Institute for New Opera, American  Opera Project, and the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU|Tisch. Damian co curated Love in Times of Alienation (2017) and Young, Gifted, and Black (2020) with the  Concerts in the Heights ensemble, both presented at New York’s Lehman Art Gallery. In 2020,  Damian was commissioned to write Kendi’s Secret, a piece for solo voice, in response to Dr.  Ibram Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist for Ensemble Pi's Reparations Now! concert; 2021 began  with Courtney Bryan’s Blessed (a collaboration with composer/pianist Courtney Bryan,  filmmaker and visual artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden, and sound designer Rob Kaplowitz) for  Opera Philadelphia’s Digital Commission Series. 2022 begins with a premier of a new piece by  Grammy-nominated composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia.