Jake Skipworth is an up and coming baritone with a powerful voice and a commanding stage presence. He was an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera for four seasons, where he sang the Commissionario in La traviata and has covered numerous roles such as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Moralès in Carmen, Haly in L'Italiana in Algeri, Thierry in Dialogues des Carmélites, and Blind Man in Rootabaga Country. This spring, he covered Sharpless at St. Petersburg Opera for their 2019 production of Madama Butterfly. He returns to the company in Fall 2019 to cover Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow and in 2020 to cover the title role in Rigoletto.
During the 2015-2016 season, Jake was a studio artist with Chautauqua Opera, where he sang the Commissionario in La traviata, covered Pish-Tush in The Mikado, and performed in the musical theatre review, opera scenes, and other outreach projects. Prior to his work at Chautauqua, he sang Schaunard in La bohème with the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra and Zuniga in Carmen with Heartland Opera Theatre. He also performed as a young artist at Wichita Grand Opera, where he covered the Mandarin in Turandot and Rodrigo in Don Carlo, and sang Baron Grog in The Grand Duchess. Prior to his residency at Wichita Grand Opera, he spent the summer at the Chautauqua Institute, where he sang the Sergeant in the mainstage production of La bohème, Harlequin (Ariadne auf Naxos) in the scenes program, and studied with Marlena Malas.
He completed his Master of Music in Opera Performance from Wichita State University, where he performed the role of Rucker Lattimore (Cold Sassy Tree), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Frank (Die Fledermaus), and Elder Ott (Susannah). He also won the 2015 WSU Concerto Competition, where he sang "Quand la flamme de l'amour" from Bizet's La Jolie Fille de Perth. While at Wichita State, he studied with Alan Held and coached with Samuel Ramey. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jake received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Oakland University, where he sang the roles of Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutte) and Marco (Gianni Schicchi).
In 2014, Jake sang King Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors) with Opera Kansas and also served as the baritone for their educational outreach program. He also attended the Canta in Italia summer program, where he sang the title roles in scenes from Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, and Gianni Schicchi. In the competition circuit, Jake was the 2019 winner of the Adult Men category at the Southeastern NATS competition, the 2015 winner of the Naftzger Young Artist Voice Competition, 1st place in the senior men's division of the 2011 Michigan NATS competition, 1st place in the 2012 Oakland Symphony Orchestra Concerto/Aria Competition, and winner of the 2012 Matilda Award in Voice Performance at Oakland University. He also received scholarships from the Casa Italia George & Phyllis Muccianti Fund and the Koch Cultural Trust.
Jake, the 2019 winner of the Florida District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, is currently based in Tallahassee, Florida. He studies with David Okerlund.