“Knowledge, maturity, and vocally conveyed reflection are more pronounced in the important characters alongside [Cio-Cio San]…in Kelsey Lauritano’s deeply grounded servant Suzuki.”
— Wiesbadener Kurier
Francesco da Rimini, Paolo — Oper Frankfurt
Hercules, Lichas — Oper Frankfurt
The Cunning Little Vixen, Fox — Oper Frankfurt
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Japanese-American mezzo Kelsey Lauritano has been hailed by the New York Times for the “warmth” and “heroism” of her voice, Opera News for her “wondrous power” and “remarkable beauty of tone”, and by the Boston Globe for her “rippling wine-dark voice with a low range of staggering strength.”
Kelsey is currently an ensemble member of Oper Frankfurt. In the company’s 22/23 season she will make four role debuts, as the Second Lady in a brand new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (dir. Ted Huffman, cond. Steven Sloane), as Paolo in a new production of Mercadante’s Francesca da Rimini (dir. Hans Walter Richter, cond. Ramón Tebar), as Lichas in a new production of Händel’s Hercules (dir. Barrie Kosky, cond. Laurence Cummings), and finally as The Fox in Ute Engelhardt’s prize-winning production of The Cunning Little Vixen (cond. Jonathan Stockhammer). She will also revive the role of The Musician in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (dir. Àlex Ollé) starring soprano Asmik Grigorian and the role of Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (dir. R.B. Schlather).
Last season Kelsey made two exciting role debuts on the Oper Frankfurt mainstage, as Dorabella in Christof Loy’s acclaimed production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and as Suzuki in a new production by R.B. Schlather of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. She also revived the roles of Wirtstochter in Humperdinck’s Königskinder and Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto. On the concert stage she was heard as the Alto soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor at Tiroler Festspiele Erl, conducted by Giedrė Šlekytė, and in Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah with the Bayerisches Rundfunkorchester, under the baton of Howard Arman.
During the 20/21 season, Kelsey appeared at Oper Frankfurt as Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium (dir. Hans Walter Richter, cond. Sebastian Weigle), as the Alto Soloist in a newly staged version of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (dir. Katharina Thoma, cond. Karsten Januschke), and as the Mezzo-soprano soloist in Nur wer die Sehnsucht Kennt, a fully staged Tchaikovsky Liederabend by director Christof Loy (filmed in cooperation by Unitel & Hessische Rundfunk, streamed for a limited time through ARTEconcert). Unfortunately due to Coronavirus regulations, Lauritano was unable to make her Frankfurt debuts as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and as Fragoletto in a new production of Offenbach’s Die Banditen. She finished her season at Tiroler Festspiele Erl performing as the Wirtstochter in a new production by Matthew Wild of Humperdinck’s Königskinder.
Previous seasons in Frankfurt, while still a member of the company’s Opernstudio, have included successful debuts as Emilia in Rossini’s Otello (dir. Damiano Michieletto / shared production with Theater an der Wien), as Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto, as the Third Wood Nymph in Dvořák’s Rusalka, Enrichetta di Francia in a new production of Bellini’s I Puritani, and as Eine Spanierin in Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang (CD: Oehms Classic).
Additional highlights include debuts with The Oregon Symphony, Boston Early Music Festival, The New World Symphony, Music Academy of the West, New York Song Festival, Virginia Arts Festival, Nürnberger Symphoniker, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Kelsey completed her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she also received her Bachelor degree and was granted the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music. She is the winner of Music Academy of the West’s 2018 Marilyn Horne Song Competition and has received additional prizes from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition and the Gerda Lissner/Liederkrantz Song Competition. In 2013, she won the Hal Leonard Musical Theater Competition (University Division) and was named a 2012 Presidential Scholar in the Arts by Former U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.