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Lecturer (Voice), Coordinator of Minor/Non-Major Voice Study

Sparks Web

Timothy W. Sparks (Lecturer) has appeared with opera companies in the United States and Europe, including The Israel Vocal Arts Institute, Operafestival di Roma, Jacksonville Lyric Opera, First Coast Opera, North Carolina Opera, Greensboro Opera Company, Triangle Opera, National Opera Company (A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute), Brevard Music Center, Capital Opera-Raleigh, and Durham Savoyards, Limited. His representative operatic roles include Conte Almaviva, Anatol, Rodolfo, Don José, Nemorino, Don Ottavio, Ferrando, Prince Ramiro, Jaquino, Ralph Rackstraw, and Enoch Snow. With a commitment to contemporary music, Mr. Sparks has participated in the premiere of several new stage works by Joel Feigin, Benton Hess, Tom Lohr, D.J. Sparr, and Zachary Wadsworth.  Highlights of these performances include the role of Sebastian in Long Leaf Opera’s world premiere production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, by Joel Feigin, and during Long Leaf Opera’s inaugural 2007 Summer Festival, the role of Adonis in a premiere of Venus and Adonis by Zachary Wadsworth.  The tenor’s 2002 performance in Starbird, a children’s opera by Henry Mollicone, with North Carolina Opera was captured on videotape and rebroadcast on PBS in April of 2005. In 2015, Mr. Sparks participated in the North Carolina premiere of D.J. Sparr’s chamber opera Approaching Ali, with North Carolina Opera.

In concert, Mr. Sparks has appeared with the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Statesboro-Georgia Southern Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Eastern Music Festival, Belleayre Music Festival, Breckenridge Music Institute and Festival, University of Notre Dame, Duke Artists Concert Series, Smedes Parlor Concert Series at St. Mary’s School, North Carolina Bach Festival, North Carolina Master Chorale, Concert Singers of Cary, Voices-The Chapel Hill Chorus, Choral Society of Greensboro, Greensboro Oratorio Society, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Tar River Orchestra and Chorus, Coastal Carolina Community Chorus, and Hillyer Community Chorus. Mr. Sparks has performed the tenor solos in oratorio and concert works by Bach, Beethoven, Britten, Gounod, Handel, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Alice Parker, Puccini, Respighi, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, and Schubert.  In April of 2006, he returned to Ohio as the tenor soloist for the Canton Symphony Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary celebration performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  In January 2011, his recording of the Arnold Schönberg chamber orchestra transcription of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde was released by Centaur Records, Inc.  In April 2012, Mr. Sparks was a soloist with the European Youth Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, in a performance of Beethoven’sChoral Fantasy, Op. 80.  Equally comfortable in operatic roles, oratorio, or as a recitalist, Mr. Sparks is active as a soloist throughout North Carolina and the United States.

Mr. Sparks currently serves as a Lecturer in Voice at UNC-Chapel Hill and was an Instructor of Voice at Meredith College for ten years. Many of his voice students have gone on to top conservatories for graduate degrees, ultimately pursuing performance opportunities with regional opera/theater companies, symphonies, and Broadway national tours. Also, his music education students have all found placement with high profile music programs in secondary school systems. Each summer, Mr. Sparks teaches and performs for the International Young Artists Project, based in Monte San Savino, Italy. Mr. Sparks is an active adjudicator, a member of N.A.T.S., having served as a state district officer and as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Governor, and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda. The tenor received his BM in Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MM with the Performer’s Certificate in Voice from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers include Joel R. Adams, Dominic Cossa, Fredric Moses, Dr. Terry Rhodes, and John Maloy.

  • Office: 3110 Kenan Music Building
  • Email:
  • Phone: (919) 522-6962
  • Website:

Prof. Sparks is Mental Health First Aid, Haven, Safe Zone, Harassment & Discrimination Prevention, and Title IX Awareness and Violence Prevention certified.

unnamedGustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) Arnold Schönberg Chamber Orchestra Transcription. Timothy W. Sparks, tenor; Ellen Williams, mezzo-soprano; Duraleigh Chamber Players (Scott Tilley, conductor). Centaur Records: CRC 3044. 2011.

  • Tenor Timothy W. Sparks sings with a vigor and beauty highly reminiscent of the esteemed American tenor James King, but with a little  more sweetness and lyricism, which is ideal for this more reticent orchestration.  His singing is beyond reproach.  If you are anxious to get to  know this Mahler masterpiece in a whole different way, this release is definitely worth seeking out…the result is a stunning success. (Gregory Berg, Journal of Singing, January/February 2012)
  • Timothy Sparks has a strong lyric tenor with enough Heldentenor tendencies to be convincing in the more declamatory passages. (Christopher Abbot, Fanfare, September 2011)
  • The vocalists, mezzo-soprano Ellen Williams and tenor Timothy Sparks, give accounts of the songs that are natural, unforced, and filled with poetic insights. (Phil Muse, Audio Video Club of Atlanta, March 2011)

unnamed (2)Three Triangle Tenors provide fund-raising concerts performed on behalf of charitable nonprofit organizations throughout North Carolina. For Three Triangle Tenors CDs, contact Quail Ridge Books and Music, in Raleigh, NC (800-672-6789) or