Mezzo-Soprano Dawn Pierce possesses a unique vocal quality with an advanced specialty in drama and dance. Of a performance as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, the News Observer said, “Dawn Pierce gave Butterfly’s devoted servant Suzuki endearing warmth, her clear voice dramatically expressing all the fears that Butterfly denies.” Other noted roles in her repertoire include Carmen, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, and Charlotte in Werther. In the upcoming season, Ms. Pierce will perform Olga in Eugene Onegin at Opera Carolina and Dame Marthe in Faust at Opera Baltimore.
On the operatic stage, she recently performed Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte with Pensacola Opera, Metella in La Vie Parisienne with Lake George Opera, The Contessa di Coigny and Madelon in Andrea Chenier at Mobile Opera, and Tisbe in La Cenerentola at Opera Carolina. Classical Voice said, “mezzo-soprano Dawn Pierce scored another triumph as Thisbe. Her robust sound was readily projected; it was throaty when communicating high dudgeon and soared evenly when expressing rage.”
Ms. Pierce is equally comfortable in musical theatre, where she recently portrayed Franca in The Light in the Piazza, The Grand Duchess in The Student Prince, and Anita in West Side Story. At North Carolina School of the Arts, she was featured as Lucretia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, Idamante in Idomeneo, Irene in Donizetti’s Belisario, and Elmire in Mechem’s Tartuffe.
Ms. Pierce has performed numerous solo recitals in collaboration with great artists such as Charis Dimaris, Anna Steenerson, and Angela Vanstory Ward. She earned rave reviews for her interpretation of the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah and Hadyn’s Arianna a Naxos .
In 2004, Ms. Pierce won the Metropolitan Opera District Competition. She completed her undergraduate education at Ithaca College, with Bachelor degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She continued her education at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she earned a Summa Cum Laude Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance along with a Performing Artist Certificate in Opera. Ms. Pierce has studied privately with Bill Schumann, Penelope Bitzas, Elizabeth Mannion, Ruth Golden, and Carol McAmis. Presently, she is an adjunct professor of voice at Ithaca College in New York State.
Opera Carolina Performances:
Eugene Onegin (2011–2012)