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Maria Kanyova - Nedda
Previously at Portland Opera: La Traviata, 2008
Of Maria Kanyova’s summer 2005 performances as Madama Butterfly, the Denver Post raved, “Making her striking Central City debut in the demanding title role, soprano Maria Kanyova hardly could be more convincing with her appropriately youthful appearance and ability to convey the young wife’s innocence, vulnerability and pain. More important, she possesses a pure, forceful voice with a pleasing, soft edge – and she knows how to use it.” The American soprano has received equal praise for her portrayals of the leading heroines in Italian, French, German, Russian and Czech opera with companies throughout the United States.
During the 2009/10 season, Maria Kanyova makes her European operatic debut at the Wexford Festival, reprising her critically acclaimed Marie Antoinette in James Robinson’s new production of The Ghosts of Versailles, under the baton of Michael Christie. Having previously made her triumphant debut in the role at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Ms. Kanyova is only the third artist to take on the challenges of this seminal role since the opera’s world premiere in 1991. She returns to St. Louis in 2010 as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, and performs scenes from Nixon in China in concert with the Phoenix Symphony. This season also sees the release of a new recording of Nixon in China on the Naxos label, featuring Ms. Kanyova as Pat Nixon.
Last season, in addition to The Ghosts of Versailles in St. Louis, Ms. Kanyova returned to Dallas Opera as Mimì in La Bohème; reprised her signature role of Violetta in James Robinson’s production of La Traviata at Portland Opera, conducted by Stephen Lord; and essayed the title role of Madama Butterfly at Madison Opera.
Ms. Kanyova began the 2007/08 season with a return to New York City Opera, reprising her role as Nedda in the Stephen Lawless production of I Pagliacci, first seen at Dallas Opera in 2005/06. For Los Angeles Opera, she essayed the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen. Later in the season, she bowed at Boston Lyric Opera as Adina in James Robinson’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore, conducted by Stephen Lord, and returned to Opera Colorado as Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, conducted by Marin Alsop, which was recorded for release on the Naxos label.
Following critically acclaimed performances of the title role of Jenůfa in a new production by Sir Jonathan Miller at Glimmerglass Opera in the summer of 2006, Maria Kanyova made her debut as Gretel in a new Douglas Fitch production of Hansel and Gretel at Los Angeles Opera, conducted by Alan Gilbert. At Utah Opera she performed what has become one of her signature roles—Violetta in La Traviata—and made her role debut as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore in a new James Robinson production at Opera Colorado.
Maria Kanyova enjoys a special collaboration with New York City Opera. Her debut there as Mimì, opposite Rolando Villazón, was telecast on PBS to great critical acclaim. She opened the company’s 2003/04 Season in the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica in a new production by James Robinson, conducted by George Manahan. Other roles at City Opera include Violetta, as well Corinna in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims. Maria Kanyova received both the Betty Allen Prize (the company’s largest award) and the Richard F. Gold Career Grant for her achievement with the company.
Highlights of past seasons include her company and role debuts as Nedda at Dallas Opera, conducted by Graeme Jenkins; a return to Opera Colorado for her role debut as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in the celebrated James Robinson production; her Boston Lyric Opera debut as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin conducted by Stephen Lord; her role debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Opera Colorado (also a Robinson production); and the title role in Madama Butterfly at Central City Opera in a new production by Catherine Malfitano making her directorial debut. A further highlight was Maria Kanyova’s return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as the obsessive-compulsive wedding planner in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding, directed by Robert Altman and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
The American soprano made her debut at Opera Theater of St. Louis as Pat Nixon, a role she has also sung at the Ravinia Festival under Marin Alsop, as well as at Chicago Opera Theater. She has also made her debuts with the Houston Grand Opera as Mimì, and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the Dew Fairy and Sandman in concert performances of Hänsel und Gretel led by Marek Janowski. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, she has performed the title role in Madama Butterfly, under Bruno Bartoletti; Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera; and Violetta in La Traviata; as well as the Dew Fairy and Sandman in the Richard Jones production of Hänsel. With Opera Colorado she also has sung Donna Elvira in a new production of Don Giovanni; she has also taken on the piece’s other heroine, Donna Anna, at Glimmerglass directed by Francisco Negrin. Other important heroines include Tatyana at Opera Pacific and at Utah Opera, and Blanche de la Force in a new production of Dialogues of the Carmelites at Glimmerglass. Maria Kanyova is an alumna of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. While there, she created the role of Leya in Shulamit Ran’s Between Two Worlds to unanimous critical acclaim.
Maria Kanyova debuted at Glimmerglass Opera Theater as Annabelle in the first modern performances of Sousa’s The Glass Blowers. At Santa Fe Opera, she created the role of Ella Burling in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline (later televised on PBS) as well as covered the title role in Richard Strauss’s Daphne. With the Kansas Opera Program, she has performed Micaëla in Carmen, the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, the title role in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Man and the Thief.
In concert, Maria Kanyova received special critical praise when she substituted for an ailing colleague with Music of the Baroque with only twenty-four hours notice, learning an obscure Scarlatti cantata overnight. She has also sung Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Charlotte Symphony as well as Mozart’s C minor Mass, the Brahms Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Britten’s War Requiem and Handel’s Messiah. She has appeared in opera arias and scenes with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Grant Park Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival.
Maria Kanyova has received awards from the Liederkranz Foundation, the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Greater Miami Opera Guild. She is also the winner of a 2001 Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant and a 2000 Sullivan Foundation Award. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband, son, and two daughters.