Kearstin Piper Brown, praised for her “thrilling singing” (Opera Now) and recognized as “a rising talent to watch” back in 2007 (The Cincinnati Enquirer) has become one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos in the US.
In 2024, she makes her company debuts with Florida Grand Opera as Nedda as well as with the Metropolitan Opera as Evelyn in Fire Shut up in My Bones. She will also perform the world premiere of Two Corners with Finger Lakes Opera in cooperation with Cincinnati Opera.
In 2023, Ms. Brown made her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the world premiere of The Walkers by Daniel Bernard Roumain, sang Wendy Torrance in Paul Moravec’s The Shining, first with Opera Parallèle in San Francisco and subsequently with Atlanta Opera as well as Micaëla in Carmen with Indianapolis Opera.
In 2022, she resumed performances in the lead role of Esther in Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera Intimate Apparel with Lincoln Center Theater (as part of the joint Metropolitan Opera’s New Works Program), for which she won several awards, including the World Theater Award for “Outstanding Debut Performance in an Off-Broadway Production”. Intimate Apparel is featured on PBS’ Great Performances series.
Other career highlights of her recent past were Musetta and Bess, both with New Orleans Opera, Dorothy Jean Hamer in Chandler Carter’s This Little Light of Mine with Santa Fe Opera as well as Clara in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life with San Francisco Opera, where she also covered Dame Shirley in John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West.
Ms. Brown has performed her signature role Bess with numerous companies such as Utah Festival Opera, Opera Kazan, Skylight Music Theatre, Dayton Opera, Virginia Opera, and the Belarusian Philharmonic Orchestra Minsk. In addition, the European Porgy and Bess tour of the New York Harlem Productions brought her Bess to such prestigious venues as the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and the Komische Oper Berlin. Another important touring production of the Gershwin classic was with Cape Town Opera, where she premiered the role in 2009 and subsequently went on tour to the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Festival Hall London, and the Israeli Opera.
On the concert stage, she most recently performed Nkeiru Okoye’s Songs of Harriet Tubman with the Rochester Philharmonic and premiered Nailah Nombeko’s Fortitude at the Skaneateles Festival. She made her debuts at Carnegie Hall with the Cecilia Chorus of New York, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in a musical celebration of Juneteenth. She also had resounding successes with recitals dedicated to the music of Black composers at Steven Blier’s New York Festival of Song and the Berkshire Opera Festival.
2023-24 sees her returns to the Rochester Philharmonic and the Atlanta Symphony as well as her debut with the Oregon Symphony.
Ms. Brown holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University School of Music. She was a Young Artist at the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, the Opera Colorado, and the Utah Festival Opera, as well as Artist-in-Residents with Dayton Opera, Opera Memphis, and Cincinnati Opera. She has been a prize winner in several international competitions, including the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition 2009 (3rd prize), the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation 2010, and the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition 2011.