Until the 2019-20 season, Derrick Ballard was a member of the Staatstheater Mainz, where his roles included Scarpia, Hans Sachs, Méphistophélès, Bottom ("A Midsummer Night’s Dream"), Wotan/Wanderer ("Der Ring an einem Abend"), Filippo II ("Don Carlo"), Figaro ("Le nozze di Figaro"), Fiesco ("Simon Boccanegra"), Dikój ("Kátja Kabanová") as well as the title roles in "Der fliegende Holländer", "Mathis der Maler", "Saul" and "Boris Godunov".
During his time in Mainz, he appeard regularely as a guest at the Oper Leipzig (Scarpia, Kaspar), the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden (Scarpia, Hans Sachs, Holländer), the Staatsoper Hannover (Kezal), the Staatsoper Hamburg under Kent Nagono (Nazarener in "Salome"), Theater Bremerhaven (Pizarro in "Fidelio"), Theater Detmold (Hans Sachs), as wellas taking over performances at short notice at Theater Chemnitz (Hans Sachs) and Theater an der Wien – Kammeroper (Mephisto).
He had already performed more than 50 roles in the US before making his European debut in 2005 as Biterolf in "Tannhäuser" at Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Subsequently, he joined the house ensembles of the Staatstheater Kassel (2005 to 2009), the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (2009 to 2011) and Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (2010 to 2012), where his repertoire included Figaro in "Le nozze di Figaro", Mustafà in "L’italiana in Algeri", Dulcamara in "L’elisir d‘amore", Leporello in "Don Giovanni", Raimondo in "Lucia di Lammermoor", Sarastro in "Die Zauberflöte", Kaspar in "Der Freischütz", Kezal in "Die verkaufte Braut", Forester in "Cunning Little Vixen", Méphistophélès in "Faust" and Wotan in "Die Walküre". Guest engagements at that time brought him to the Oper Leipzig (bass soloist in "Pax Questuosa"), Oper Graz (König Heinrich in "Lohengrin", Gessler in "Guillaume Tell"), the Aalto-Theater Essen (Dulcamara; Prince Gremin in "Eugen Onegin"), the Staatstheater Mannheim (Dulcamara), the Staatstheater Cottbus (bass soloist in Mahler’s 8th), the Theater Bremen (Sarastro) as well as the Staatsoper Hannover, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and the Theater Dortmund (all as Mustafà).
Derrick Ballard has also triumphed with baroque repertoire in roles such as Joas in "Il Gedeone" (Staatstheater Kassel), Achilla in "Giulio Cesare" (Florentine Opera Milwaukee), the title roles in Handel’s "Hercules" (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Staatheater Kassel, Theater Gera) and "Saul" (Staatstheater Oldenburg). In 2011 he performed in "An Occasional Oratorio" at the Händel-Festspiele Halle.
Derrick Ballard studied at the University of Denver and continued his training with Mark Oswald in New York. He began his career as an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera and in the renowned Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera. In addition, he has won several prizes at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.