American soprano Kearstin Piper Brown is delighted to begin her season with a return to Opera in Williamsburg as Musetta in La Bohème. She also headlined First Inversion's Holding on Through Song IV and made her PBS Great Performances debut in Lynn Nottage and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel opera at the Lincoln Center Theater. Kearstin performed at the reopening of the Hochstein Performance Hall in Rochester, will make her debut with Santa Fe Opera in the world premiere of This Little Light of Mine, and debut with the Binghamton Community Orchestra. Later, Kearstin will make her Carnegie Hall debut singing the music of J.S. Bach and Margaret Bonds with the St. Cecelia Chorus of New York, and debut with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Handel's Messiah. Future engagements include a concert with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, a recital at the Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, and a debut with Opera Parellèle in The Shining.
Last season, Kearstin began her season with a return to First Inversion as a soloist in Holding on Through Song. She then return to Finger Lakes Opera for two recitals with baritone Jorell Williams before making her debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Later, she headed back to New Orleans Opera to sing Musetta in La Bohème before debuting at Merkin Hall in concert with the New York Festival of Song. She also premiered Zaid Jabri's Southern Crossings and a sang a recital with the Berkshire Opera Festival.
Last season, Ms. Brown made debuts with the Dallas Symphony, New Orleans Opera, 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.
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 Orfeus 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, New Orleans Opera, 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 appearances with the Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Residentie Orkest - The Hague, Moscow City Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Lebanon Symphony and Chorus, SanJose Chamber Orchestra, and Cedar Rapids Chorale and Symphony. She had also bee heard at the Palais Augarten in Vienna, in the Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem with the Rochester Oratorio Society, the 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.