American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for both her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in repertoire that ranges from the music of Handel, Praetorius, Bach, and Mozart to the modern sounds of Berg, Carter, Glass, and Zorn.
Kiera Duffy’s 2011-2012 season will include her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire under Pierre Boulez and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Handel’s Messiah, as well as joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their new original baroque fantasy, The Enchanted Island. She returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) under music director Gustavo Dudamel for performances in Los Angeles and on tour in Caracas, which will be simulcast in movie theaters across North America. She will also be heard under Michael Tilson Thomas in David del Tredici’s Syzygy with the New World Symphony in Miami and San Francisco Symphony in San Francisco, then on tour to Ann Arbor and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York. Ms. Duffy’s first commercial recording, “Richard Strauss: The Complete Songs, Volume 5” with legendary pianist, Roger Vignoles, will be released on Hyperion Records in October 2011, following her very successful Wigmore Hall debut with Vignoles in 2010.
Ms. Duffy began her prolific concert career with her New York Philharmonic debut in Pierre Boulez’s Pli selon pli: “Improvisation II sur Mallarmé” under the baton of Lorin Maazel, then returned as Venus in the critically acclaimed performances of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre under Alan Gilbert. She has gone on to sing György Ligeti’s seminal works, Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, for her first performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has since returned in Pierrot Lunaire and Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica. Ms. Duffy debuted with the San Francisco Symphony in Messiah and returned in Mozart’s Requiem and Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, both under Michael Tilson Thomas. She made her London Symphony Orchestra debut singing Cunegonde in Candide under Kristjan Järvi, Atlanta Symphony debut with Mozart’s Coronation Mass with Roberto Abbado, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut in Carmina Burana with Andreas Delfs, and sang Berg’s “Lulu Suite” with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein at Bard Summerscape. Ms. Duffy has appeared with much success at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Despina in Così fan tutte, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, and the US premiere of Elliot Carter’s What Next?, all under the baton of James Levine. In addition to her varied work in modern music, Ms. Duffy excels in baroque music and has worked extensively with the baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire, most notably in performances and a recording of Handel’s music written for the British monarchy and in Michael Praetorius’s Christmas “Vespers.” Other concert appearances have included engagements with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra (Carnegie Hall debut), Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Fort Smith Symphony, Palm Beach Symphony, California Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and the Metropolis Ensemble at New York’s newest destination: The Times Center.
Ms. Duffy was a finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film, The Audition, which recently has been released on DVD by Decca. On the operatic stage, Ms. Duffy has been seen as Queen Tye in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Atlanta Opera, Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, as well as the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Ghita in Vicente Martín y Soler’s rarely performed opera, Una cosa rara, at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Violet Beauregard in the European premiere of The Golden Ticket and Florestine in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Wexford Festival in Ireland, and the Center for Contemporary Opera’s new production of Morton Feldman’s only “anti-opera,” Neither, at the Brut Wien. Her varied operatic repertoire has also taken Ms. Duffy to New York City Opera’s VOX Showcase for John Zorn’s monodrama, La machine de l’être, the Spoleto Festival for Pascal Dusapin’s To God, and Arizona Opera as Fatmé in Grétry’s Zémire et Azor.
Kiera Duffy was an accomplished pianist before pursuing singing and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Ms. Duffy is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition from such esteemed organizations as the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Young Concert Artists International Competition.