OTO is elated to announce the commission of a new work for voice and chamber ensemble by composer ​Damien Geter​. The text of this new work is adapted from the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s novel​, Invisible Man​, which lyrically interrogates themes of racism and identity for African Americans. This will be the first musical setting of its kind for this text. OTO is proud to commission an African American composer for the first time in the company’s history (and only the second commission since 2015 ​Hercules vs. Vampires ​by Patrick Morganelli). We are thrilled Mr. Geter is able to collaborate between two high-profile commissions from Washington Choral and Washington National Opera. This new work will explore urgent questions of social injustice and will be produced for streaming audiences—stay tuned to for announcements of artists and production details!

At OTO, the project is the story and the story is the project. And how and why we tell stories through music will continue to be a moving target in 2020 and beyond as the nation and world grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. The performing arts are experiencing upheaval within changing social and political paradigms and we will continue to adapt our mission to create, develop, and produce new work. OTO intents to abide by its ​“plucky”​ reputation, adapting and staying flexible in uncertainty—the only way there is to make art.



Biography Damien is a diverse artist whose credits include performances ranging from the operatic stage to the television screen. Damien’s 2019-2020 season includes appearances with the Metropolitan Opera (Undertaker in Porgy and Bess), Seattle Opera (Colonel in The Rising and the Falling), Eugene Opera (Angelotti in Tosca). Other appearances included roles with Seattle Opera in the role of the Undertaker, and covering the role of Jake in Porgy and Bess; with Vashon Opera in the role of Colline in La Boheme and Dr. Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata with Portland Opera. More roles include the Four Villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Colline in Puccini’s La Boheme; Alcindoro (La Boheme), Bass Slave (The Difficulty of Crossing a Field – David Lang), and Soloist (Little Match Girl Passion – David Lang) A highly sought after singer on the concert stage, Damien’s repertoire in that realm includes Elijah, Beethoven 9, Brahms’ Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, and Mozart’s Requiem, to name a few. Damien made his TV debut in the role of John Sacks on NBC’s Grimm. He was also seen in Netflix’s Trinkets which aired in spring of 2019.

A native of Chesterfield County, VA, Damien is also a composer whose piece An African American Requiem is due to premiere with Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony in January, 2021.

He is the owner of DG Music, Sans Fear Publishing.



CLIMATE OF GUILT: Admissions and Extinction (2020)