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 the Boston Globe for her “rippling wine-dark voice with a low range of staggering strength, combined with a splendid stage presence”.
Lauritano is currently a second year member of the Opernstudio at Oper Frankfurt. In the upcoming season she will appear as Emilia in Rossini’s Otello, a shared production directed by Damiano Michieletto with Theater an der Wien, as the Fischverkäuferin / Dritter Herr / Handleser in Martinů’s Julietta, Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and the Fox in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen. In the winter, Lauritano will make her Oregon Symphony debut singing and acting the role of Ariel in a new adaption of Sibelius/Shakespeare’s The Tempest and her Austrian debut with Tiroler Festspiele Erl as the Third Wood Nymph in a new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka. She will return to Erl in the summer of 2020 to sing the Wirtstochter in a new production of Humperdinck’s Königskinder.
During the 2018/19 season, Lauritano made her European operatic debut singing the Third Wood Nymph in Dvořák’s Rusalka with Oper Frankfurt. Also with Oper Frankfurt, she sang the role of Enrichetta di Francia in Bellini’s I Puritani, Olga in Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe/The Merry Widow, Eine Spanierin in Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang, and Mrs. Nolan in Menotti’s The Medium. That same season, she joined Boston Early Music Festival in the role of Melissa for their new production of Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina and as the winner of Music Academy of the West’s 2018 Marilyn Horne Song Competition, toured a full recital program, which included a world premiere song cycle by Ricky Ian Gordon, to London, New York, Chicago, and Santa Barbara.
In the 2017/18 season Lauritano was seen as Venus in Monteverdi’s balletic opera Il ballo delle Ingrate conducted by William Christie. She reprised the title role in a concert version of L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel) conducted by Emmanuel Villaume in Alice Tully Hall and Diane in Juilliard Opera’s production of Hippolyte et Aricie (Rameau) conducted by Stephen Stubbs. She also performed Luciano Berio’s avant-garde song cycle, Circles with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida and Thomas Adès’ dramatic musical monologue, Life Story, in a concert dedicated to the composer at The Juilliard School. In the summer, Lauritano sang her first Cherubino in Music Academy of the West’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), conducted by James Conlon.
In the 2016/17 season, Lauritano debuted at the Virginia Arts Festival where she starred opposite William Burden in Kept: A Ghost Story, a new opera by Kristin Kuster and Megan Levad. She also debuted as Cleofe in La Resurrezione (Handel) with the Boston Early Music Festival in a concert production led by Stephen Stubbs and Paul O’Dette. She finished her summer in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany, singing concerts with the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, including an opera gala with the Nürnberger Symphoniker and a Liederabend recorded and broadcast by the Bavarian Radio, BR-Klassik.
In past seasons, Lauritano played the Stewardess in Juilliard Opera’s production of Flight by English composer Jonathan Dove as well as the title role in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and made her professional operatic debut as a 2015 Gerdine Young Artist with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In concert, she appeared with the Juilliard Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem (alto soloist) at Alice Tully Hall, with the New York Festival of Song at the Lincoln Center Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and with Juilliard415 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art conducted by Jordi Savall. She also starred in the Little Orchestra Society’s original children’s concert about Leonard Bernstein at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City.
Lauritano recently completed her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she also received her Bachelor of Music degree and was granted the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music. She has received prizes from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition and the Gerda Lissner/Liederkrantz Song Competition. In 2013, she placed 1st in the Hal Leonard Musical Theater Competition (University Division) and in 2012, was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts by President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. Lauritano is a proud recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Grant from The Juilliard School.