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Longing for Orpheus is a musical project by actor and multi-instrumentalist Derek Smootz. With a stylistic range including Chillout, New Age, and Dreampop, his music has been featured on podcasts such as JourneyScapes and Ultima Thule (the world's longest-running Ambient music show). 

Derek was classically trained as pianist and vocalist, graduating from the Texas State University school of music.He has performed in numerous operettas and musical productions - Strephon in Iolanthe, Florian in Princess Ida, and Giuseppe Palmieri in The Gondoliers (Gilbert and Sullivan Austin) , Cliff in Cabaret, and Rochester in Jane Eyre: The Musical (receiving Best Actor in a Musical from Broadway World Austin in 2019). 

Beyond Longing for Orpheus, Derek has collaborated with Juilliard-trained Soprano Michelle Hache, to create the opera-infused project Zephyrium. He is an active member of the Irish Traditional Music community, playing flute and bouzoki in sessions with the band O'Malarkey.

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