Manager: Damon Bristo
Management Territory: Worldwide
“And she [Mazzoli] found an astounding singer: Kiera Duffy, who gave one of the greatest performances I have seen in the opera house in the past 20 years, maybe more. Duffy rolled back time to become what great opera singers are supposed to be but usually aren’t now—an unforgettable embodiment of profound emotion through music. I doubt the audience at this world premiere understood that Duffy was giving an archetypal performance of tremendous authority, accomplishment, and profundity in something new. She was the great singer as both creator and servant without whom an opera can’t work.” Parterre Box - Bess McNeill in 'Breaking the Waves' at Opera Philadelphia
“But the sound that underlaid the whole evening's success was the enduring purity of Duffy's soprano, soaring on high. Duffy offered dead-on attacks on many stratospheric phrases, uncanny ease at alternating low-voiced parlando passages as her internalized Voice of God, and accuracy in sounding peculiar intervals.” David Shengold, Opera News - Bess McNeill in 'Breaking the Waves' at Opera Philadelphia
“Angelica is a flashy “bad girl” part with lots of virtuoso music, which Ms. Duffy dispatched exuberantly.” James Jorden, New York Observer, Angelica in Orlando at the WhiteboxLab
“After intermission, Mr. Levine led the soprano Kiera Duffy in Schoenberg’s groundbreaking “Pierrot Lunaire,” a seminal work of the 20th century that uses Sprechstimme, a declamatory, singsong, half-spoken, half-sung vocal technique. Ms. Duffy proved a characterful narrator as she relayed the vast emotional terrain of the cycle, from moonlit musings to terror-stricken wanderings.” Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, Pierrot Lunaire at Carnegie Hall with James Levine and MET Chamber Ensemble
“The remarkable singing actress Kiera Duffy made an evocative and compelling recitant – intoning, whispering, gasping, sighing and shrieking the jagged intervals with a cool, crystalline soprano, accurate of pitch and immaculate of diction.” John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, Pierrot Lunaire with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for both her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in repertoire that encompasses Handel, Bach, and Mozart to the modern sounds of Berg, Glass, and Zorn.
In the 2016-2017 season, Kiera Duffy earned the highest critical praise for the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Breaking the Waves as Bess McNeill at Opera Philadelphia with later performances at the Prototype Festival in New York City. She also was heard in Bach’s B minor Mass with Boston Baroque, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with . . . the San Francisco Symphony under Herbert Blomstedt, and Honneger’s Le roi David with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Last season, Kiera Duffy debuted with the Bergen Philharmonic in Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Nathalie Stutzmann conducting. She sang the Mozart mass again with the Jacksonville Philharmonic, Fauré's Requiem with the Houston Symphony, and performed Ginastera’s Quartet No. 3 with the Miro Quartet at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She was also seen at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in "The Illuminated Heart" in selections from Mozart’s operas.
Kiera Duffy was recently seen at Carnegie Hall in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with James Levine and the MET Chamber Ensemble She was also seen with the St. Louis Symphony in Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and as Le Feu/La Princesse in the Laurent Pelly production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges at the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan under the leadership of Maestro Ozawa. She was heard in performances Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano and her debut with the Detroit Symphony under Leonard Slatkin in the same work. She made her Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Boston Baroque debuts as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and was seen with the Charlotte Symphony in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. She was seen with Ensemble ACJW in Schoenberg’s 2nd String Quartet at the Juilliard School’s Paul Hall. She makes her Australian debut touring with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in performances of Mahler’s 4th Symphony. An active chamber musician, Duffy performed Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at the Bard SummerScape Festival as well as at the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival in Virginia. She also appeared with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago in programs of Britten and Beethoven.
She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Flower Maiden in the new production of Parsifal under Daniele Gatti, which was an HD broadcast, and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. On the concert stage, she returned to the Atlanta Symphony under Donald Runnicles in Debussy’s La damoiselle élue, New World Symphony in Mahler’s 4th Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, both under Michael Tilson Thomas. She also debuted with the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig in Carmina Burana under Kristjan Järvi and recorded the same work with Sony Records. She was seen at the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center in a program of George Crumb and a New York City recital debut with Roger Vignoles at Rockefeller University.
Other recent engagements for Ms. Duffy include her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Handel’s Messiah, as well as joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their new original baroque fantasy The Enchanted Island. She returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) under music director Gustavo Dudamel for performances in Los Angeles and on tour in Caracas, which was simulcast in movie theaters across North America and released on DVD. She was also heard under Michael Tilson Thomas in David del Tredici’s Syzygy with the New World Symphony in Miami and San Francisco Symphony in San Francisco, then on tour to Ann Arbor and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York. In the summer, Ms. Duffy returned to the LA Philharmonic in Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate under Dudamel and Berio’s Recital for Cathy in their Green Umbrella Series. Her first commercial recording “Richard Strauss: The Complete Songs, Volume 5” with legendary pianist Roger Vignoles was just released on Hyperion Records, following her very successful Wigmore Hall debut with Vignoles in 2010.
Ms. Duffy began her prolific concert career with her New York Philharmonic debut in Pierre Boulez’s Pli selon pli: “Improvisation II sur Mallarmé” under the baton of Lorin Maazel, then returned as Venus in the critically acclaimed performances of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre under Alan Gilbert. She has gone on to sing György Ligeti’s seminal works, Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures for her first performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has since returned in Pierrot Lunaire and Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica. Ms. Duffy debuted with the San Francisco Symphony in Messiah and returned in Mozart’s Requiem and Feldman's Rothko Chapel, both under Michael Tilson Thomas. She made her London Symphony Orchestra debut singing Cunegonde in Candide under Kristjan Järvi, Atlanta Symphony debut with Mozart’s Coronation Mass under Roberto Abbado, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut in Carmina Burana with Andreas Delfs, and sang Berg’s Lulu Suite with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein at Bard Summerscape. Ms. Duffy has appeared with much success at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Despina in Così fan tutte, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, and the US premiere of Elliot Carter’s What Next?, all under the baton of James Levine.
In addition to her varied work in modern music, Ms. Duffy excels in baroque music and has worked extensively with the baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire, most notably for performances and a recording of Handel’s music written for the British monarchy and in Michael Praetorius’s Christmas “Vespers”. Other concert appearances have included engagements with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra for her Carnegie Hall debut, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Fort Smith Symphony, Palm Beach Symphony, California Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and the Metropolis Ensemble at New York’s newest destination: The Times Center.
Ms. Duffy was a finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film “The Audition” which has recently been released on DVD by Decca. On the operatic stage, Ms. Duffy has been seen as Queen Tye in Philip Glass’ Akhnaten and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Atlanta Opera, Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Elvira in the L’italiana in Algeri, as well as the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Ghita in Vicente Martín y Soler’s rarely performed opera Una cosa rara at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Violet Beauregard in the European premiere of The Golden Ticket and Florestine in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Wexford Festival, and the Center for Contemporary Opera’s new production of Morton Feldman’s only “anti-opera” Neither at the Brut Wien. Her varied operatic repertoire has also taken Ms. Duffy to New York City Opera’s VOX Showcase for John Zorn’s monodrama La machine de l’être, the Spoleto Festival for Pascal Dusapin’s To God, and Arizona Opera as Fatmé in Grétry’s Zémire et Azor.
Kiera Duffy was an accomplished pianist before pursuing singing and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Ms. Duffy is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition from such esteemed organizations as the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Young Concert Artists International Competition. In addition to her active performing career, Ms. Duffy is Associate Professor and Head of the Undergraduate Voice Studio at the University of Notre Dame.
(Updated February 2017)
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