Praised for her vocal beauty, seamless technique, and abundant musicality, soprano Nadine Sierra is being hailed as one of the most promising emerging talents in the opera world today. The youngest winner to date of both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition, she is already making a name for herself through her performances with top opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world.
Having made her professional debut as a teenager with the Palm Beach Opera, she received her first national exposure at just 15, when she sang “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi on NPR’s young artist showcase From the Top. After graduating from New York’s Mannes College of Music, she entered the Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, where she made her company debut in 2011, creating the dual roles of Juliet and Barbara opposite Thomas Hampson in the world premiere production of Christopher Theofanidis’s 9/11 opera, Heart of a Soldier.
In the 2015-2016 season, Sierra debuts at the Opéra National de Paris, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and Berlin Staatsoper. She sings her first Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for her inaugural performances in Paris, followed by Gilda in Rigoletto with both the Met in December and La Scala in January. In March, she joins Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper to sing her first Amor in a new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice designed by Frank Gehry and presented as part of the Berlin Festtage. Other engagements in the coming season include returns to San Francisco Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia.
Verdi’s Gilda was the vehicle for Sierra’s debuts at the Atlanta Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Italy’s Teatro di San Carlo, as well as for her recent return to Boston Lyric Opera, where she first appeared as Tytania. Her other notable engagements include last season’s debuts in Valencia as Norina in Don Pasquale and Zurich as the title character in Lucia di Lammermoor. She returned to the San Francisco Opera to sing Musetta in John Caird’s new production of La bohème and the Countess in John Copley’s iconic staging of Le nozze di Figaro. In concert, Nadine debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in both Cleveland and Miami for Orff’s Carmina Burana and gave a George London Foundation recital at the Morgan Library in New York City. Other past season highlights include appearances at Italy’s Teatro di San Carlo and the Glimmerglass Festival and with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. In recital, the soprano has appeared at venues ranging from Carnegie’s Weill Hall to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she has performed alongside both Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson.
A winner of numerous vocal competitions, Sierra placed first at the Neue Stimmen, Montserrat Caballé, and Veronica Dunne International Singing Competitions in 2013. Three years earlier, she won first prizes at the George London Competition, Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, and Loren Zachary Competition. A recipient of both the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s Study and Career Grants, her numerous previous competition wins include the 2007 Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition and the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as recounted by Nick Romeo in his book Driven: Six Incredible Musical Journeys (2011), a chapter of which is devoted to Sierra’s Grand Finals triumph. Sierra has also been featured as the subject of an Opera News “Sound Bites” column and the cover story of Uptempo magazine’s inaugural issue.
A native of south Florida, the American soprano was born in 1988 to a Portuguese mother and an American father of Puerto Rican and Italian descent.