Danielle de Niese, Soprano
Danielle de Niese’s “sweet, gleaming soprano,” “phenomenal musicality” and “sharply comic, yet utterly moving acting,” combined with youth and physical presence, have brought her to the edge of a spectacular career.
At only 30 years of age, the Australian-born American singer regularly graces many of the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages, and has an exclusive contract with Decca Records. Her debut solo album, Handel Arias was released to international acclaim in 2007 and her much anticipated second recording, The Mozart Album, is due out internationally this fall.
Ms. de Niese’s career got off to a prestigious start when, at age 18, she became the youngest singer ever to enter the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. A year later she made her house debut as Barbarina in a new Jonathan Miller production of Le nozze di Figaro in a cast featuring Renée Fleming, Bryn Terfel, and Cecilia Bartoli, and led by James Levine. Soon after came important operatic debuts with the Netherlands Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival, and the Paris Opera. But it was her portrayal of Cleopatra in a David McVicar production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare for her 2005 Glyndebourne Festival debut that brought her to true international acclaim. The New York Times hailed de Niese’s performance, writing, “Her singing is utterly delectable and completely assured…Sheer ‘joie de vivre’ and mastery come spilling across, to the eyes as well as the ears.”
Since then Ms. de Niese has enjoyed operatic successes on the stages of the Paris Opera, Zurich Opera, Netherlands Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago among many others. Orchestral engagements have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
In the 2009-10 season Ms. de Niese returns to the Metropolitan Opera in the same production of Le nozze di Figaro where she made her house debut but this time as Susanna. Other important opera engagements this season include L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Teatro Real, Semele with Théâtre des Champs Elysées, as well as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera of Chicago under the direction of Edward Gardner. Additionally, Ms. de Niese will tour Europe with the period instrument group Il giardino armonico with an all Handel program with performances in Amsterdam, Vienna, Berlin and Madrid among others. She will make her debut in Prague with the Philharmonia under the direction of Jakub Hrusa.
Australian-born to parents of Sri Lankan and Dutch heritage, Danielle de Niese grew up in Los Angeles. The soprano has been captivating audiences since childhood, when she was a fixture of Los Angeles local television hosting a weekly arts showcase for teenagers, for which she won an Emmy Award. Trained in dance and piano as well as music at the famed Colburn School in Los Angeles, she participated in the Tanglewood, Aspen and Marlboro summer programs before coming to New York in 1997 to attend the Mannes School of Music.
Recently the Netherlands Opera awarded Ms. de Niese their “Prix d’Amis” which is an honor bestowed upon the artist who their audience votes as the past season’s favorite performer. Ms. de Niese is the recipient of the 2008 Echo Award’s New Artist of the Year, the 2008 Orphee D’Or given by the Academie Du Disque Lyrique, and was nominated for the 2009 Classical Brit Award for female artist of the year, all for her debut album, Handel Arias.