Praised by both Opera News and the Washington Post for his "powerful, rich warm baritone," Elias Mokole is equally at home in recital, musical theatre and orchestral concerts, as well as opera. Since 2005, he premiered three major Verdi roles, Nabucco in concert at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Amonasro in concert performances of Aida at Radio France, and as Rigoletto with Fargo–Morehead Opera. During the 2008-09 season, Mokole appeared as soloist in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Society and the Oregon State University Chorus, as Raphael in Haydn's Creation with the University of Nebraska-Omaha chorus and orchestra, and in recital with the Oregon Coast Music Association, and in recitals at the Britzer Gemeindesaal in Berlin and Paris. Upcoming engagements include soloist for Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs for the Saint Cecilia Day Concert in Omaha, NE and Handel's Messiah for the Briar Cliff's 2010 "Christmas at the Orpheum" in Sioux City, IA.
Performance highlights include: Germont in La Traviata and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor for Dayton Opera, Sharpless in Algiers [Africa], with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and for Minnesota Opera, Scarpia in Chattanooga Symphony and Opera's production of Tosca, Ford in Falstaff with Greensboro Opera, Elijah with the Walla Walla Symphony, and as the title role in Gianni Schicchi in Des Moines. Internationally, the artist recently was the soloist in Handel's Messiah, Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium in Japan [Osaka, Tokyo], as Valentin in Faust and the Mozart Requiem [Paris], as Agamemnon in Offenbach's La Belle Helene at UNESCO [Paris], in Lyon with L'Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain as soloist in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 14 and with the Dayton Philharmonic as soloist for the Brahms Requiem.
Mokole received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has participated in several international competitions winning the following awards: the Maryland Prize in the Baltimore Opera International Voice Competition, the Union League Prize for Arts in Chicago, and top prizes in the MacAllister International Voice Competition. His training continued at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia [artist diploma]; concentrating on study of style, language, and stage experience. Mr. Mokole was then selected for the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Artist in Residence Program [LOCAA], where he had the opportunity to perform principle roles with the Opera Center as well as singing minor roles in Lyric's mainstage productions. In contemporary works, Mr. Mokole had the rare opportunity to work with composer Patrick Lama on the role of Ba'al in his opera KAN'AAN; for orchestra, choir, and four soloists on ancient ugaritic poems. Additionally, he sang the Paris premier of Lama's Le lit de l'etrangere, a cantata for soprano, baritone soloists and orchestra; based on the poems of Mahmoud Darwich sung in Arabic. Additionally, Mr. Mokole has appeared as a singer in two independent films. The Lost Door was filmed in Paris and released in Italy and Germany in spring of 2005. The second film, For Me, directed by Yann Kilbourne, features Mokole singing the famous Charles Aznavour tune in a unique setting. This film was recently selected for the 8th annual Festival des Tres Courts and was presented in a program called "Around Musique" in May 2006 at Le Grand Rex Cinema in Paris, France.
From 2000-05, at the Paris American Academy, Mokole conducted intensive courses in French language, diction, voice, as well as leading classes exploring the medium of opera through text, vocal color, and its evolution from past to present. In June 2004 at the American Embassy in Paris, sponsored by the French American Foundation, he presented a recital themed "Americans in Paris" featuring the music of Ives, Copland, and Barber as well as excerpts from the Jardins de Paris by French composer Marc Berthomieu. Mr. Mokole has additionally performed his "Americans in Paris" recital in Iowa, Nevada, and South Dakota.
In addition to performing, Elias Mokole is committed to the education of the next generation of singers. He has served on the faculties of the American Academy in Paris, France, and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and University of Nebraska Omaha. Mokole is the Artistic Director of the Festival of Song and Arts Academy [songfestival.org], in addition to lecturing and conducting master classes throughout the United States, as well as abroad.