KEARSTIN PIPER BROWN
Most recently, Kearstin Piper Brown triumphed in Utah Festival Opera’s 2016 season in two major roles: Bess and Sarah in Ragtime, and was acclaimed by the press for her “star power” as a “gifted and strong performer”. In the 2017-18 season she will cover Dame Shirley in Adam’s Girls of the Golden West with San Francisco Opera, perform the Emanciapation Oratorio with the Rochester Oratorio Society as well as Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with San José Chamber Orchestra. In 2018/19 she will return to San Francisco Opera for her main stage debut (and cover) as Clara in Heggie’s Wonderful Life.
In previous seasons Ms Brown made her successful debut with the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York as Epiphany Proudfoot in the world premiere of Falling Angel by Mark Scearce, and was heard as High Priestess in Aida with Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano. Other recent engagements included Violetta with Lyric Opera Utah, Musetta with Dayton Opera, Micaëla with Arbor Opera Theater and Clara in Porgy and Bess at the Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli (Italy). She performed Euridice in Gluck’s Orpheus with Opera Memphis and Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Cincinnati Opera, where she also portrayed the role of Mrs. McDowell in the world premiere of Rise for Freedom: John P. Parker Story by composer Adolphus Hailstork and Masha in Richard Wargo’s comic one-act opera The Music Shop.
Ms. Brown has performed her signature role Bess with numerous companies, most recently with Utah Festival Opera, Opera Kazan, Skylight Music Theatre, Dayton Opera, Virginia Opera and the Belarusian Philharmonic Orchestra Minsk. In addition, the European Porgy and Bess tour of the New York Harlem Productions brought her Bess to such prestigious venues as the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and the Komische Oper Berlin. Another important touring production of the Gershwin classic was with Cape Town Opera, where she premiered the role in 2009 and subsequently went on tour to the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Festival Hall London and the Israeli Opera.
The versatile soprano has also sung concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center, with the American Spiritual Ensemble, and she toured with the 3 Mo’ Divas (sister group of the 3 Mo’ Tenors). Further highlights of Ms. Brown’s performances as a soloist include concerts under the auspices of Cincinnati Opera and Opera Ebony, a gala of American music with the Moscow City Orchestra, the Festival Classique’s Opera Under the Stars Concert with the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and the Edison Awards Gala 2010 with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, both of which were televised live in the Netherlands, as well as concerts with the Lebanon Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and Pops Orchestra, the Cedar Rapids Chorale and Symphony, and the Hines-Lee Opera Ensemble in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. She scored an early success as Sarah in the Light Opera Works Chicago regional premiere of Ragtime, earning her a “Best Actress in a Musical” nomination from the Black Theater Alliance of Chicago. In addition she has appeared in theater productions with the Studio Theater, Roundhouse Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences.
Ms Brown holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University School of Music. She was a Young Artist at the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, the Opera Colorado and the Utah Festival Opera, as well as Artist-in-Residents with Dayton Opera, Opera Memphis and Cincinnati Opera. She has been a prize winner in several international competitions, including the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition 2009 (3rd prize), the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation 2010, and most recently, the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition 2011.