He began his formal voice training with the Newark Boys Chorus, and studied as a piano and music education major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
While at Oberlin, he also took secondary voice lessons with Richard Anderson, and began his operatic career at Oberlin in Benjamin Britten"s A Midsummer Night"s Dream as Oberon. After leaving Oberlin, Ragin worked with singer Max van Egmond for a summer session at BPI and went to Europe to pursue his career in Baroque opera. Derek Lee Ragin made his London recital debut at Wigmore Hall in 1984.
This was followed by a debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1988 in George Frideric Handel"s Giulio Cesare, a recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1991, and a performance at the Salzburg Festival in Christoph Willibald Gluck"s Orfeo with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra in 1990.
Foreign the soundtrack of the 1994 film Farinelli, his voice was electronically blended with that of soprano Ewa Malas-Godlewska to recreate the famous castrato"s voice. He sang Joe in the 1986 Crucible Theatre Sheffield production of Carmen Jones.
Son of Henry R. (stepfather) and Ethen Yvonne (Young) Delaney.