Singing Actor Biography
Before dedicating his professional activities to stage direction and singing actor training, Scott began his career and studies as a singing actor. He has performed throughout the United States and Italy in over 300 performances of more than 35 leading roles, and in soloist appearances with the Indianapolis Opera, Opera Western Reserve, Oberlin Opera Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, Olney Theater Center, Indiana University Opera Theater, DuPage Opera Theater, Opera Circle Cleveland, and Cleveland Opera Theater. This experience enriches his work as a director and educator with unique insight.
Plain Dealer music critic Donald Rosenberg has called Skiba’s baritone “properly dark and menacing,” in his “dashing” portrayal of Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress. Other performance credits include the title roles in Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro and Eugene Onégin, Iago (Otello), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Tonio (I Pagliacci), Rabbi (L’amico Fritz), Mandryka (Arabella), Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance), Giorgio Germont (La Traviata), Baron Zeta and Cascada (The Merry Widow), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Lancelot (Camelot), Marcello (La Boheme), King Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Sky Masterson (Guys & Dolls), and Michele (Il Tabarro). Washington Post writer Peter Marks called his performance of Escamillo, “The sole embodiment of sun-baked passion. His delivery of the classic ‘Toreador Song,’ as well-known as any in opera, commendably eludes triteness. He imbues it with an appealing brashness.”
Skiba is also an accomplished performer of new and 20th century operatic and theatrical works including the title role in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Captain Balstrode (Peter Grimes), and Horace Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe). A recent performance with Theater Ninjas garnered critical attention from the Cleveland Plain Dealer “…in barges an artsy Marlboro Man-esque August Strindberg (Scott Skiba, oozing je ne sais quoi), who proceeds to seduce the maid and Mrs. Ibsen while deprecating Ibsen's manliness…” and his performance of Marco in William Bolcom’s A View From the Bridge earned high marks from Charles H. Parsons in the American Record Guide who wrote, “The Highlight of the show was the Marco of Scott Skiba: a rich, dark burr to his baritone coupled with a magnetic stage presence for a powerful performance. His heart-wrenching singing of ‘Ship Called Hunger’ was the dramatic heart of the drama.”
Named “A Riveting Presence” by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for his portrayal of Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden, the Pittsburgh born baritone has extensive experience as a recitalist and Oratorio soloist. Performances include Carmina Burana, the St. John Passion, Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Israel in Egypt, Messiah, In Terra Pax and Christmas Oratorio as featured soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra / Indianapolis Opera, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Cleveland Philharmonic, Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation Gala, the Ingenuity Festival, the annual celebration of art and technology held in downtown Cleveland, Oberlin Black River Singers, Cleveland Choral Arts Society, Chagrin Valley Studio Orchestra, The Master Singers, Inc. Chorale of Northeast Ohio, Columbus Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with the late Erich Kunzel.
Scott has performed as a guest recitalist at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, University of Central Missouri, and Indiana State University and as a featured soloist on The McGraw Hill Companies' Young Artists Showcase, on 96.3 WQXR - The Classical Radio Station of the New York Times, in what host Robert Sherman called "A beautiful performance of excepts of Schumann’s Dichterliebe."