Recipient of a 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Handel, and Mozart to the modern sounds of Carter, Feldman, and Mazzoli.
A prolific concert artist, Ms. Duffy has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmoinc (this season), London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Orchester, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Simon Bolivar Orchestra and Detroit Symphony. She has collaborated with many of the celebrated conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Loren Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kristjan Järvi, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Spano.
In the fall of 2016, Ms. Duffy premiered the role of Bess McNeill in Missy Mazzoli’s new opera Breaking the Waves with Opera Philadelphia and the Prototype Festival in New York City. Her performance garnered widespread critical acclaim from such publications as the New York Times, Opera News, Wall Street Journal, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. WQXR in New York City declared hers the Top Female Operatic Performance of 2016.
Ms. Duffy made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Das Erste Blumenmädchen in Parsifal under Daniele Gatti, and with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. She has also appeared on the operatic stage with Seiji Ozawa’s Ungaku Juku Festival in Japan, Opera Philadelphia, Spoleto Festival USA, Prototype NYC, Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, RB Schlachter Presents, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Central City Opera, and Wexford Opera. At the Tanglewood Music Festival she performed Elliot Carter’s only opera, What Next?, Così fan tutte, and Don Carlo, all under the baton of James Levine.
As a chamber musician Duffy has been featured at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Marlboro Music Festival, Ojai Festival (this season), Bard SummerScape Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival and the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. She has sung recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, New York City’s Rockefeller University, and at St. Louis’ Washington University.
Duffy’s interpretations of modern and contemporary repertoire have garnered wide acclaim. She has performed often with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series in works of Schoenberg, Berio, Ligeti and Unsuk Chin; with the New York Philharmonic in compositions of Ligeti and Boulez; with the Metropolis Ensemble in works of Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as reinterpretations of Berlioz by young composers Vivian Fung, Brad Balliett, Ryan Francis, Sayo Kosugi, Nicholas Britell and Caroline Shaw. As part of the 2012 American Mavericks series she toured David del Tredici’s Syzygy with members of the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Duffy’s growing discography includes Richard Strauss’ Lieder, Volume 4 with pianist Roger Vignoles for Hyperion; Carmina Burana with Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Orchester and Kristjan Järvi for Sony; a DVD of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Simon Bolivar Orchestras under Gustavo Dudamel for Deutsche Grammophon; and famed filmmaker Susan Froemke’s documentary, The Audition, for Decca, which chronicles the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions of 2007.
Duffy was a Grand Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a first-place winner of the Marian Anderson Competition in Philadelphia, and has also been recognized by the Young Concert Artists International Competition and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenberg Competition. She was an accomplished pianist before pursuing degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Duffy serves as an ambassador for the charity Sing With Haiti, which seeks to rebuild and support the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after it was destroyed in the earthquake of 2010.
In addition to being a culture vulture, Duffy enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and meditating. She has hiked Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks, and hopes to visit Glacier, Smoky Mountain, and Zion in the near future. She lives in South Bend, IN, where she is the Head of Undergraduate Voice Studies at the University of Notre Dame.