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Kishna Davis, soprano

Kishna Davis

Photo © by Lisa Kohler

Soprano Kishna Davis is widely acclaimed throughout the U.S. and Europe for her performances in opera, with orchestras, and as a solo concert artist.

Her signature operatic role is Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (New York City Opera, John de Main, conductor; Opera Company of Philadelphia, Indianapolis Opera, Virginia Opera; San Francisco, National Symphony; Cleveland, Berlin, Rome, Prague Symphonies).  She has also performed the title role in Puccini's Suor Angelica (Juilliard Opera), Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking (Baltimore Opera), Nedda in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci (Opera Memphis), the title role in Puccini’s Tosca (Metro Lyric Opera of New Jersey), Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Indianapolis Opera), Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème (Metro Lyric Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera), and the title role in Verdi’s Aida (Metro Lyric Opera).  At the Altenburg Opera Festival in Germany, she portrayed Medoro in Handel’s Orlando and performed concert scenes from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino and Dvorák’s Rusalka.

As a member of the Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera, she sang the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, a role she repeated at Western Opera Theatre.  As a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, she sang the title role in Carlyle Floyd’s Susannah, conducted by James Conlon, and also appeared as Musetta.  She performed Diedre Murray’s jazz opera The Running Man in Lenox, MA.

She has performed excerpts from Porgy and Bess with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolftrap, Baltimore Symphony conducted by Yuri Temirkanov, Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bobby McFerrin, and the Oregon, Pacific, Phoenix, and San Francisco Symphonies.  She has performed songs from Porgy and Bess in Martinique, on tour with the Morgan State University choir in Prague, with the Chicago Sinfonietta on a European tour, and in Rome and Siena under Yuri Temirkanov.

She has been soprano soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic.  She has sung arias from Kurt Weill’s opera Street Scene (Phoenix Symphony) and André Previn’s song cycle Honey and Rue (Annapolis Symphony).  She sang the soprano solo in Leslie Dunner’s Songs of a Motherless Child with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Dallas, Baltimore, and Annapolis Symphonies.

Ms. Davis has performed the soprano solos in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music (Cleveland Jazz Fest), arias from Handel oratorios (Marin Alsop conducting the Colorado Symphony), and Maria’s songs from West Side Story (Spokane Symphony), and appeared with the Evansville Philharmonic and the Sunshine Pops Orchestra in southwest Florida.  She has twice been soloist in the National Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Gala at the Kennedy Center.  In November 2008, she premiered Songs of Harriet Tubman with the Western Piedmont Symphony.

A winner of the Baltimore Opera Competition, Ms. Davis earned her master’s at The Juilliard Opera Center.  She also holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Morgan State University.

February 23, 2009