performer, Ronald M. Banks has worked as a singing actor for more than 20
years in musical theatre, opera, concert, choral and drama. Lately his career
has centered on musical theatre, but he has ventured into film appearing
in short films, including Musashi under director Boris Schaarschmidt,
and No Connections directed by Jesse Levy. Both films are currently
in post production.
Ronald starred in the title role of Sweeney Todd with East West Players in Los Angeles in a performance described as "magnificent", "robust, multi-layered", and by the Sondheim Review as "beautifully voiced" and by the Los Angeles Times as a "towering portrayal". For this performance Ronald has garnered a 2006 Garland Awards Honorable Mention as well as ReviewPlays.com Best Performance of 2006.
has played the King of Siam and the Kralahome in Rodgers and Hammerstein's
Other musical theatre roles include creating the role of Chao for the Broadway-bound revival of Flower Drum Song in 2001 at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. He also understudied both leads, Wang Chi Yang/Sammy Fong and Chinn in this show. In 2003 he performed the roles of the First Councilor, Thief, Soothsayer, Russian Admiral, and British Sailor in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park/Alliance Theatre/North Shore Music Theatre critically hailed production of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures. Other roles include Peron in Evita and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for CLOSBC, Count Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music, Pangloss/Voltaire and other roles in Candide, and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance for San Diego Comic Opera (now Lyric Opera of San Diego).
In 2000 in the Theatre League production of Evita with Valerie Perri, while performing in the ensemble, Ronald was tapped to play the role of Juan Peron when both the actor playing Peron and his understudy were taken ill. Called out of the chorus in between the matinee and evening performances, he went on in the role with two hours to prepare and saved the show, performing the role for two more performances. Subsequently he was promoted to the role of Peron's understudy for the remainder of the tour.
has performed in more than 70 operas in his career, first in the chorus,
then in comprimario roles, and then as a solo performer with San Diego
Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Comic Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera,
South Bay Opera, Riverside Concert Opera, Pacific Lyric Opera, Pacific
Chamber Opera and San Luis Obispo's Mozart Festival. In the late '90's
he concentrated on a solo career doing major roles such as the title role
in Rigoletto in 2000, "performed masterfully by Ronald Banks",
Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, the title role of Don Pasquale,
Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, Kezal in The Bartered Bride,
is committed to bringing live music and drama to children, having worked
Ronald has spent decades working in concert, recital, choral and liturgical music as a soloist and choral singer. He has performed the bass solos for Los Angeles Chamber Singers, San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, El Centro Symphony, San Diego Philharmonic, San Diego Master Chorale and many churches and temples throughout Southern California, in such works as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Bach's Coffee Cantata, Missa Brevis, Wachet Auf, Magnificat, Cantata No. 68, Missa Brevis by Kodaly, The Creation, Faure Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Ein Deutches Requiem, and many others. As a choral singer he has lent his bass-baritone voice to choirs across Southern California in literally hundreds of concerts, most recently backing up Michael Crawford in concert.
Ronald has performed the art songs of Vaughan-Williams, Schubert, Schumann, Rorem and others in recital. Noted for his fine diction and authentic pronunciation he has performed in English, Italian, French, German, Russian, Czech, Polish, Spanish, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Thai and Japanese.