B I O G R A P H Y
American soprano Kearstin Piper Brown is delighted to embark upon her New Orleans Opera debut in Porgy and Bess as Bess. This season Ms. Brown made debuts with Syracuse Opera, Finger Lakes Opera, the Gateways Music Festival, and returned to Opera in Williamsburg as Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice after her debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute. She also made virtual appearances with the American Spiritual Ensemble and Nicole Heaston’s Purple Robe Song Series. Last season kept Ms. Brown busy with many concert and recital performance in the United States and Austria. Coming up, Ms. Brown will debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, return to the Rochester Oratorio Society for Dett’s The Ordering of Moses, and will resume leading the cast in the world premiere of Lynn Nottage and Ricky Ian Gordon's Intimate Apparel at the Lincoln Center Theater.
Earlier, Ms. Brown made her San Francisco Opera stage debut in It's a Wonderful Life by Jake Heggie and Gene Sheer. Other operatic highlights of Ms. Brown's career include Musetta with Dayton Opera, Euridice in Gluck's Orpheus with Opera Memphis, Violetta with Utah Lyric Opera, Micaëla with Arbor Opera Theater, and Clara in Porgy and Bess at the Teatro di San Carlo. She portrayed the role of Mrs. McDowell in the world premiere of Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story by Adolphus Hailstork with Cincinnati Opera and sang with the Center for Contemporary Opera as Epiphany Proudfoot in the world premiere of Mark Scearse's Falling Angel. Ms. Brown also began work on Glenn McClure's new piece, Promised Land: An Adirondack Folk Opera.
Ms. Brown has performed the role of Bess worldwide with Opera Kazan, Skylight Music Theatre, Dayton Opera, Virginia Opera, Utah Festival Opera and the Belarusian State Philharmonic Orchestra, Minsk. In addition, the European Porgy and Bess tour of New York Harlem Productions brought her Bess to such prestigious venues as the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and the Komische Oper Berlin. Another touring production of the Gershwin classic was with Cape Town Opera, where she sang at the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Festival Hall London, and the Israeli Opera.
Highlights of Ms. Brown’s performances as a concert soloist include an appearance at the Palais Augarten in Vienna, a gala of American music with the Moscow City Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Summer of 1915 with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Lebanon Symphony, the Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem with the Rochester Oratorio Society, the Festival Classique’s Opera Under the Stars concert with the Residentie Orkest, 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 Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Cedar Rapids Chorale and Symphony, Rochester Early Music Festival, KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, and the Hines-Lee Opera Ensemble at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Brown starred in a gala concert Our Songs – The Music of African American Composers at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center with Opera Ebony, and the year before she was heard at Jazz at Lincoln Center under the auspices of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. The versatile soprano has also toured with the 3 Mo’ Divas (sister group of the 3 Mo’ Tenors), and 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 in Chicago, and made a triumphant returned to the role with the Utah Festival Opera. In addition, she has appeared in theater productions in the Washington DC area with the Studio Theater, Roundhouse Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences.
Ms. Brown was a prize-winner in several international competitions, including the Montserrat Caballé International Competition, the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, the Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Pucinni Foundation International Vocal Competition.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Ms. Brown is a graduate of both Spelman College and Northwestern University. She is an active member of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for Women, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Gateways Music Festival in Association with the Eastman School of Music, and a fill-in Classical Radio Host for WXXI Broadcasting.