Darren gained his Bachelor of Music in Piano from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Elizabeth Powell, as well as degrees in Law and Ancient History from Sydney University in 1998. In 2001 he graduated with a Masters in Piano from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University where he studied with Natasha Vlassenko and Max Olding. Following this, in 2003 Darren spent time in Germany at the Musikhochschule Trossingen, working further on the solo Piano and Lieder repertoire. At around this time his interest in opera grew and he began to make this his primary area of interest. He completed a Masters in Opera Répétiteur at the Sydney Conservatorium with Stephen Mould and in 2014 graduated with an Artist’s Diploma in Opera Répétiteur from the highly regarded Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he was accepted with a full scholarship and awarded the Leonard Hancock Memorial Prize.
In 2014 Darren was a staff répétiteur for the Music Academy International Opera Program in Trentino, Italy, where Renata Scotto was a guest teacher, and was also invited to the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in Brisbane, Australia working with, among others, John Fisher (The Met, La Scala), Robert Lloyd and Richard Hetherington (ROH). In 2013 he attended the Georg Solti-Peretti Accademia répétiteur’s course in Barcelona, Spain, where staff included Sir Richard Bonynge, Jonathan Papp and Pamela Bullock. Darren has also worked privately with Victor Morris (former Head of Music, English National Opera) in Sydney.
Professionally, Darren has played orchestral keyboard for the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Opera Australia (Peter Grimes, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk , The Makropulos case), worked for the Chelsea Opera Group, London (Don Quichotte) as well as Opera Queensland (Così fan tutte). He also worked on Paul Bunyan with British Youth Opera. Darren was a staff répétiteur at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2011-12 and worked on, among other pieces, La finta giardiniera, Trouble in Tahiti and King Arthur. Darren was engaged by Sydney Independent Opera from its inception, playing Il tabarro, L’occasione fa il ladro and The wandering scholar. He was also a vocal coach at the Australian Institute of Music. He has performed as a concert accompanist in numerous gala concerts, Lieder, artsong and operatic recitals in the UK, Germany and Australia, including for the Royal Over-seas League at Australia House in London.
Darren also has experience as a conductor with the University of Technology, Sydney, Music Society, conducting the Faure Requiem and the Schubert Stabat Mater among other works by Bach, Tallis and Bernstein. Similarly, he assisted the conductor of the Sydney Community College Choir.
Darren has been the recipient of a number of grants and awards including from the Australia Council, Guildhall School Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Opus 50 Charitable Trust as well as the Leonard Hancock Memorial Bursary at the Guildhall School. He has also been kindly supported by Mr Michael Crouch AO.
Darren is represented professionally by the Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV) and is based in Berlin, Germany.