“Hunter is a mezzo-soprano of astounding vocal and dramatic range.”
— Jennifer Goltz, Opera News
Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun, Beekeeper/Seed-Keeper — Santa Fe Opera
Blue, Mother — Washington National Opera (debut)
Die Fledermaus, Orlovsky — Opera Theatre Saint Louis
Briana Hunter has been hailed by Opera News as “a mesmerizing mezzo-soprano with a fiery theatrical presence and dynamic vocalism.” Ms. Hunter begins her 2019-2020 season in performances of Augusta Read Thomas’ Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun with the Santa Fe Opera. Following her acclaimed performances creating the role of Mother in Jeanine Tesori’s Blue at the Glimmerglass Festival, she reprises the role this spring for her debut at the Washington National Opera. A graduate of the Gerdine Young Artist Program, she returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in May for her role debut as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus.
Ms. Hunter recently debuted under the auspices of New York City Opera and American Opera Projects as Hannah Before in Laura Kaminsky’s As One at the Kaufman Music Center in New York. Additional recent performances include creating the role of Dee Dee Reyes in Hillard and Boresi’s The Last American Hammer with UrbanArias in Washington, D.C.; Annie and Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess at the Glimmerglass Festival; and Giovanna in Rigoletto and Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 at Michigan Opera Theatre, for which she won the Encore Michigan award for Best Performance in an Opera. At the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, she performed the role of Flora in La Traviata for Patricia Racette’s directorial debut, as well as Pvt. Stanton in the world premiere of An American Soldier. She made her Lincoln Center Theater debut for a workshop of Intimate Apparel by Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage, directed by Bartlett Sher, and returned for a gala performance of Camelot starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Additional roles include the title role of Carmen with the Music Academy of the West and Mercédès at Michigan Opera Theatre, El Paso Opera and Knoxville Opera; Jo in Little Women, Wowkle in La fanciulla del West, and Madeleine Audebert in Silent Night at Michigan Opera Theatre; Rachel in the world premiere of Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom with American Opera Projects; Play by Play in the world premiere of Bum Phillips: An All-American Opera at LaMama Experimental Theater; and Ida in Die Fledermaus at Sarasota Opera. As an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, she covered the roles of Lucinda in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and performed the roles of Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Ruggiero in Alcina for the Apprentice Artist scenes.
An accomplished stage actress, Ms. Hunter has worked with Tony and Academy Award winning playwright Mark Medoff in a production of his play Gunfighter–A Gulf War Chronicle, in addition to developing and starring in an original double bill titled Infinite Variety/For Every Passion Something under the direction of the Royal Shakespeare Company and presented in a two-week run at the Fringe Festival in Scotland. At the Manhattan School of Music, she performed in the institution’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues in addition to singing with the American Musical Theater Ensemble for productions of Godspell and Ragtime.
Ms. Hunter is a Lotte Lenya Competition finalist and winner of the Lys Symonette Award from The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. She participated in the I SING BEIJING program where she performed at The National Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Hunter holds a M.M. from Manhattan School of Music and a B.A. from Davidson College. Originally from Malvern, Pennsylvania, she currently resides in New York City.