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Soprano Darlene Bennett's 2022 season brought the happy return to live performances in concerts across Long Island. Darlene produced an album of recordings a la "Mostly Mozart" recently in October and included the great aria "Casta diva" from Norma by Bellini - a personal favorite. The new year will bring Darlene's first turn as a professional chorister in a fully stage production of Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni with the Lakeland Opera in Florida.
2020-2021 brought opportunities to record for virtual offerings. Darlene celebrated International Women's Day in 2020 with songs of Florence Price and Clara Schumann and followed with an album of Baroque to Modern arias in the fall of 2021.
Highlights from 2018 - 19 included a return to New York Lyric Opera in October 2018 as La Fèe in Cendrillon (concert version) after her debut in May as Donna Anna in the Don Giovanni Quartet, Weill Hall Gala Opera Scenes. Darlene also appeared with Opera Night Long Island concert series in August and November 2018.
Spring/Summer 2019 highlights included Sherrill Milnes' "Opera as Drama" program in March 2019, a return to Opera Night Long Island in April 2019, and her professional role debut as the Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro (recitatives in English, arias/ensembles in Italian) with Geneva Light Opera (Geneva, NY) in July 2019. Darlene enjoyed a second role debut as Mother Jeanne in Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Savannah Voice Festival in August 2019, closing out the season with two concerts in Weill Recital Hall in New York City and in Huntington, NY as a soloist with the Huntington Choral Society.
Prior to 2018, as the mother of a child with autism, Darlene spent a number of years focusing on her son’s care and education, while preserving and nurturing her passion for singing.
Darlene performed a number of Mozart roles in the early years of her career including Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Carolina, Kentucky Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra), Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera (Wolf Trap Opera) and Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor (Juilliard Opera, National Symphony Orchestra), as well as Verdi's Gilda in Rigoletto (Chautauqua Opera). Other notable credits included covers in Parsifal and Ghosts of Versailles (Metropolitan Opera) and numerous concert/oratorio engagements. Darlene is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center and the University of Michigan.