Recipient of a 2008 Sullivan Foundation Award, soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird is rapidly gaining attention by major companies in her young career. Of a recent performance, the Seattle Times says “ …no one shone brighter than Anne-Carolyn Bird … her stage presence [is] nothing short of magnetic.”
In the spring 2007, Ms. Bird made her Metropolitan Opera debut with two roles in a new production of Puccini’s Il trittico - the Young Lover in Il tabarro and Novice in Suor Angelica, and returned as in the fall 2007 as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Additional recent engagements include her role debut as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Dayton Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Grand Rapids, soprano soloist with the Atlanta Symphony, Celia in John Musto’s comedic masterpiece Volpone and Cunegonde in Candide at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and her Carnegie Hall debut in Evan Chamber’s new work The Old Burying Ground.
In the 2008-2009 Season, she debuts as Yum-Yum in The Mikado with Arizona Opera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Carolina, and Beth in Little Women with Syracuse Opera, among other engagements to be announced.
Ms. Bird made her New York recital debut as part of the VIM Tribeca recital series in May 2007. In preparing for the recital, Ms. Bird founded The Bhakti Project, a fund-raising organization which has commissioned a work by Judd Greenstein. Hillula was premiered at the May recital with Jocelyn Dueck on piano; Steve Smith from Time Out New York wrote of the performance: "Bird proved herself a singer capable of ... getting under the skin of a piece, touching its inner passions and revealing them to a listener." The Bhakti Project is currently accepting donations for both the commission fee and a commercial recording of the Hillula, to be released on New Amsterdam Records in 2008.
Ms. Bird makes new music a regular part of her concert schedule, and she can be heard as the “Voice of the Fountain” on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. In 2006, she toured as the Soprano soloist in Golijov’s La Pasion segun San Marcos (“luminous” –The New York Times), with the Schola Cantorum de Caracas under the baton of Robert Spano. She has also performed the works of Bernard Rands, Augusta Read Thomas, and Lukas Foss, and has collaborations planned with Evan Chambers and Lisa Bielawa.
In the standard repertoire, Ms. Bird is making a name for herself in the greatest roles of the lyric soprano repertoire: Nannetta (Falstaff), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Gilda (Rigoletto), and the title roles of Lucia di Lammermoor, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Roméo et Juliette. Recent performances have included Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Magnificat with Portland Baroque Orchestra, the stepdaughter Noémie in Laurent Pelly’s highly-acclaimed production of Cendrillon at Santa Fe Opera, and Bubikopf in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Seattle’s Black Box Opera Theater.
Awards and honors for the young soprano include the Agnes M. Canning Memorial Award from the Santa Fe Opera, a career grant from the Catherine Filene Shouse Education Fund and the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, as well as first prize in the Sun Valley Opera Competition, and third prize in the Eugene Opera Belle Voci Competition. A district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Finalist in the 2007 Oratorio Society of New York Competition, Ms. Bird has twice been a Young Artist with the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers and twice a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center . She holds degrees from New England Conservatory and the University of Georgia. Ms. Bird keeps a blog chronicling her life as a singer. It is read daily by music writers, administrators, opera fans, and singers worldwide at theconcert.blogspot.com.
Opera Carolina Performances:
The Marriage of Figaro (2008–2009)