Described by Opera UK as a “heroine [with] poise, expressive singing, excellent vocalism, and a dark and full tone”, Canadian soprano Kirsten MacKinnon has captured the attention of audiences across North America and Europe. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music under the mentorship of Professor Edith Wiens, she held the Alfred Greenberg Memorial fellowship during her studies, and was also a grant holder of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers.
Kirsten’s credits for the Curtis Opera Theatre include Mimì La bohème, Die Gräfin Capriccio, Countess Le nozze di Figaro Die Echo Ariadne auf Naxos, title role Iolanta, La Ciesca Gianni Schicchi, Elettra Idomeneo, Fox Cunning Little Vixen, Micäela Carmen, Lisa La Sonnambula and Mrs Gobineau The Medium. Kirsten has also sung Annina La traviata with Opera Philadelphia; Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Chautauqua Music Festival and finished this season as Micäela (cover) at Glyndebourne Festival.
Other recent operatic highlights include Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Aix-en-Provence Festival on tour to Beijing, concert performances as part of Dallas Opera’s “Institute of Young Women” Project, Pamina Die Zauberflöte for Canadian Opera Company and Countess Le nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera.
In addition to her operatic engagements, Kirsten has performed in concert with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Curtis Chamber Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has also given recitals in Vancouver, Philadelphia, New York, Bayreuth, Neumarkt, and Spoleto.
In 2017, Kirsten was a Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, placed Second in the 2015 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and was a grant winner in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition. She was also recently the Grand Prize winner at the Canadian Music Competition in Montreal, Quebec, and Classical Singer magazine’s voice competition.
Kirsten will begin the 2017⁄18 season with a return to Glyndebourne Festival for Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte. She will also sing Micaëla Carmen at Opera Philadelphia and Inès L’Africaine at Oper Frankfurt, before joining Frankfurt as a member of the ensemble from the 2018⁄19 season.