In her operatic days, singer Darla Wigginton has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Choral Society and at Lincoln Center in New York. She had the honor of appearing at San Francisco Opera in over 200 shows with the world-famous company. Operas included I Pagliacci, War and Peace, Boris Gudunov, Carmen (as Manuelita), Christophe Colombe (with Derek Jacobi as narrator), Turandot (filmed for PBS), Madama Butterfly, and many more.
As a soloist, she performed with the opera companies of Portland, Connecticut, Illinois, San Jose and Eugene as well as with Natchez Opera Festival, Festival Opera, Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Festival, Opera Barga (Italy), Pocket Opera, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Oakland Lyric and Oakland Opera Theatre, Lamplighters Music Theatre, Theatreworks, Bronx Opera, West Bay Opera, San Francisco Lyric, Il Piccolo Teatro in Brooklyn, and American Opera Projects.
On the concert stage, Ms. Wigginton has performed with the San Francisco Symphony (conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas) as Alto Soloist/Courtesan in Le Rossingol, in Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Dvorak's Stabat Mater with Sacramento Choral Society, Mozart's Requiem with Sacramento Philharmonic (conducted by Michael Morgan), Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah and a chamber orchestra production of Handel’s Atalanta as well as concerts and recitals in California, Mississippi, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Vermont and Oregon.
A versatile performer, Ms. Wigginton has performed on the musical theatre/operetta stage as Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar, Amy in Where's Charley, Katisha and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, Tessa in The Gondoliers, the title role in Iolanthe, the Madwoman in the Attic in Jane Eyre, Stepmother in Into the Woods and Liebeslieder/Charlotte (cover) in A Little Night Music. One of her favorite performances was in Stephen Sondheim's Follies (performed at the stunning Paramount Theater in Oakland) with Michael Morgan conducting and fellow performers Rita Moreno, Sharon McNight and Val Diamond.
She has worked on original pieces with new composers at Theatreworks, George Coates’ Performance Works, The Marsh and the SomArts Festival in the Bay Area and The Friends and Enemies of New Music and American Opera Projects in New York. Works include an original production entitled Flurry Tales (Rusty Magee), which performed at Lincoln Center in New York, staged readings of The Mistress Cycle (by Beth Blatt and Jennifer Gierling), and with multimedia visionary George Coates A Virtual Sho.
In collaboration with Anja Strauss, Ariela Morgenstern and Lara Bruckmann, the group Girlkulture, a classical cabaret performing the music of Holläender, Weill, Spoliansky, Gershwin and Cole Porter, performed concerts and shows at Florence Gould, Cinnabar Theater, Old First Concerts and many club appearances.
Favorite roles include Oakland Opera Theatre's West Coast premiere of Philip Glass' Akhnaten - in which Ms. Wigginton played Nefertiti to countertenor Paul Flight's Akhnaten - which was called "one of the musical events of the year" by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Other favorites were the role of Mrs. McLean at Festival Opera (under the direction of Josemaria Condemi), Lucretia in Rape of Lucretia (with the exceptional Melody Moore as Female Chorus), Ned Rorem's "Our Town" at Festival (a world premiere), Elmire in Tartuffe (meeting and working with composer Kirke Mechem and being directed by genius actor/director Ken Tigar), and Tisbe in "Cenerentola" with actor/director John de Lancie.
It was a true honor to perform for so long with those who continue to make the world a better place through musical performance. La musique et la vie!