American mezzo-soprano Cierra Byrd is a recent graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. In the 2023/24 season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera reprising Bertha in Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones while also joining the company for their production of Madama Butterfly, joins Houston Grand Opera for their production of Jake Heggie’s Innocence, and joins PAC NYC for their production of Ruo’s An American Soldier. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Bertha in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, and this past season joined the company for Woman of Crete in Idomeneo and Sister Mathilde in Dialogues des Carmélites. Also last season, she made her role and company debut as Fatima in Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels’ new opera Omar at Boston Lyric Opera, sang Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with The Orchestra Now.
Ms.Byrd was named a winner of the inaugural Duncan Williams Voice Competition, a voice competition presented by New York City Opera and Manhattan School of Music. She is a grant winner from the Gerda Lissner Voice Competition, a finalist of the Lotte Lenya Voice Competition, winner of the Legacy Award from the National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition, a finalist in Opera Ebony’s Benjamin Matthews Vocal Competition, and winner of the Peabody Artist Excellence Award. She is an alumna of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera’s apprentice artist program, and Opera Saratoga’s young artist program. She holds degrees from Ohio State University and the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with legendary mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.
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