Mezzo-soprano, Kristen Choi, has been hailed by Opera News as a “powerhouse in the making” for her portrayal of Suzuki in Madame Butterfly. In the 2017-2018 season she will make a role debut as Hermia in Virginia Opera’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Miss Choi will also debut the role of Ruth Sherwood in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with the Seattle Symphony and return to the role of Suzuki in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Madama Butterfly. Last season she made her European debut at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and the Opéra National de Bordeaux reprising her role as Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide. Making her Kennedy Center debut, Miss Choi sang the role of Suzuki in Jun Kaneko’s production of Madame Butterfly at Washington National Opera. She also returned as a Santa Fe Opera apprentice to perform in the ensemble of the world premiere of Mason Bates’s Opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.
Engagements of the 2015-2016 season included Cherubino in Sarasota Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro and Paquette in Glimmerglass Opera’s stunning production of Bernstein’s Candide, directed by Francesca Zambello. As an apprentice of the Santa Fe Opera, she made her house debut singing the role of Wowkle in Puccini’s La fanciulla del West .
During the 2013-2014 season she was an emerging artist with Virginia Opera where she covered the comical role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Highlights include covering the role of Meg Page in Falstaff and singing the role of the Third Spirit in The Magic Flute. In the summer of 2013 she portrayed the independent heroine, Jo, from one of the most beloved stories of American literature, Little Women at Opera North. Her talents also extend to musical theater, performing the role of Lady Thiang in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I eighty-five times.
During the 2012 – 2013 season she played the role of Tisbe in Townsend Opera’s production of La Cenerentola in Modesto, California and during the winter season, Ms. Choi participated as an apprentice at Sarasota Opera where she performed various concerts and outreaches for the public. As an apprentice artist, Ms. Choi had the rare opportunity of performing the original pre-revised music of Verdi’s Falstaff as the character of Meg Page in Sarasota Opera’s “Verdi’s Times” concert. In the spring Kristen sang the famed arias from Bizet’s Carmen with orchestra. As a winner of the Young Musicians Foundation’s concerto competition, she was offered the chance to perform Carmen’s fiery music with their prestigious orchestra.
Other roles include: Lady Thiang (The King and I) with Opera North, Dorabella (Così fan tutte) with Pacific Opera Project, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with West Bay Opera, St. Teresa II (Four Saints in Three Acts) with Opera Parallèle in San Francisco, Sesto (La clemeza di Tito) with BASOTI (Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute), the Old Prioress (Dialogues of the Carmelites) and Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Awards and honors include: Lotte Lenya Competition Semi-finalist, San Diego Metropolitan National Council District, encouragement award from the MONC Regionals, Career Bridges Grant, Jensen Foundation Finalist, scholarship with the Pasadena Opera Guild and East Bay Opera League in Oakland, California. Ms. Choi placed first in the vocal category of the Couer d’Alene Young Artist Competition and is the recipient of the Lisa Kavelage award from the Henry and Maria Holt Competition. In 2010 she won third place in the Y.E.S. Foundation for the arts competition in San Francisco, California.
Ms. Choi has also performed several concerts as a mezzo-soloist including a performance with the Y.M.F orchestra of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder. A native of California, Ms. Choi holds a master’s degree of music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.