Hailed for his “big bronze voice” and commanding stage presence, baritone Adrian Smith has garnered acclaim for performances across the country.  Of his Count Monterone in NC Opera’s Rigoletto, critics said, “Adrian Smith’s Monterone poured out imposing tone in his outrage against the Duke.” Of a performance of La fanciulla del West, critics said, “Adrian Smith’s well-voiced Larkens was memorably affecting.” 
​Adrian’s recent performances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in a return to Lynn Conservatory, as well as Schubert’s beloved Winterreise in recital. He also rounded out his repertoire of J.S. Bach’s solo bass cantatas with BWV 158, Der Friede sei mit dir. Additional engagements include appearances with the North Carolina Opera as Count Monterone in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and the roles of Ethan and Owens in the North Carolina premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, based on the epic civil war novel. Previous seasons’ performances include Alidoro in La Cenerentola and Zuniga in Carmen, both with El Paso Opera, and Lycos in Hercules vs. Vampires with North Carolina Opera. As a regular guest with the Asheville Lyric Opera, he has performed as Doctor Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He was a member of the Apprentice Artist program at the Santa Fe Opera for two seasons, performing roles such as Larkens in La fanciulla del West, Friar Jean in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and the Major Domo in Strauss’ Capriccio.  

In past seasons, Adrian performed Colline in La bohème with Opera North and Angelotti in a concert performance of Tosca with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. His debut performances included King Arthur in Camelot at Glimmerglass Opera, Dr. Grenvil in Atlanta Opera’s La traviata, and The Dodo in the U.S. premiére of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Additional credits include Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, The Old Doctor in Vanessa, Frère Laurent in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Geronimo in Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, Marquis de la Force in Dialogues des carmélites, and the title role of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.  

On concert stages, Adrian’s engagements include Brahms’ Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Frère Laurent in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, and Händel’s Messiah and Dettingen Te Deum. A passionate interpreter of the music of J.S. Bach, he has been heard in Magnificat, Mass in B Minor, St. John Passion and Christmas Oratorio, as well as several cantatas, including BWV 82 Ich habe genug and 56 Ich will den Kreutzstab.

A native of Hickory, North Carolina, Adrian holds degrees from Lenoir-Rhyne University and Boston University. He was a prize winner in the Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition, the Shreveport Opera Competition, the Birmingham Opera Vocal Competition, and in 2016 he received First Place in the South Carolina District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.