The New York Times called Katherine Ciesinski “a singer of rare communicative presence, and a musician of discrimination and intelligence.”
An accomplished American mezzo-soprano who pursues a fully integrated career, Ciesinski explores the world of today’s composers as well as the established classics of the lyric stage. Major operatic credits include three Metropolitan Opera productions: Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle) and Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and most recently Comtesse de Coigny (Andrea Chenier); Cassandre (Les Troyens) at Covent Garden and Adalgisa (Norma) with Scottish Opera; Laura (La Gioconda), Waltraute (Ring cycle), and Dulcinée (Don Quichotte) with San Francisco Opera; Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) and Hansel (Hansel und Gretel) with Dallas Opera; Kabanicha (Katya Kabanova), Mère Marie (Dialogues des carmélites), Adelaide (Arabella), Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro), and Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) with Houston Grand Opera; Xerxes (title role), Diana (La Calisto), Herodias (Salome), Ottavia (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), and Countess Geschwitz in the American premiere of the completed three act version of Lulu with Santa Fe Opera. World premieres of Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Houston), Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers (Dallas), Maurice Ohana’s La Celestine (title role, Paris Opera), Girolamo Arrigo’s Il Ritorno di Casanova (Geneva), Param Vir’s Snatched by the Gods (Amsterdam and Munich) have been critically acclaimed, as have her Giulietta in Brussels, Brangäne in Toronto, Judith in Frankfurt and Stuttgart, Eboli in Madrid and La Favorite in Paris. In recent seasons she has performed the world premiere of The End of the Affair by Jake Heggie with Houston Grand Opera, which was broadcast nationally on NPR’s World of Opera. She has also appeared as Herodias in Salome (Fort Worth), Aunt Cecilia March in her sixth production of Mark Adamo’s delightful Little Women (Mexico City), as Effie Belle Tate in Carlisle Floyd’s masterpiece Cold Sassy Tree (Opera Omaha), as the Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica (Opera Theater of Saint Louis and Hawaii Opera Theater) and as Mère Marie in Dialogues des carmélites for Hawai’i Opera Theater. She sang song cycles of Prokofiev and Shostakovich for the multi-media production entitled The St. Petersburg Legacy for Da Camera of Houston at the Bard Music Festival in New York and again in New Haven.
One of the few master performers to also become a master teacher, Ms. Ciesinski is a frequent clinician at the annual International Symposium on Care of the Professional Voice in Philadelphia, created the Vocal Workshop for the annual International Composition Seminar at the Royaumont Foundation in France as well as the vocal chamber institute Close Encounters for the Texas Music Festival, and lectured in and served on the steering committee for the University of Texas School of Public Health’s Healthcare and the Arts Series. In addition, she is one of the thirty-four elected members of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing.
She is Professor of Voice at the Eastman School of Music and serves as a University of Rochester Ambassador. For the last decade, she has also served on the international faculty of the Artescénica Encuentro Operistico in Mexico.