Kendra Colton, soprano
Biography
Ms. Colton is a versatile singer who enjoys a career of great variety. Described by Opera News as a soprano who sings "with beauty, brightness and poise", Ms. Colton has performed with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.   She has performed repertoire from Monteverdi and Lully to new works specifically written for her.  Her career has been largely centered in the United States but she has also performed in Germany, Switzerland, England, and Spain.

A significant portion of the repertoire Ms. Colton performs is the sacred music of J.S. Bach.  She has sung all of Bach’s major works and, at Emmanuel Music in Boston, nearly all of the soprano arias and duets from the cantatas.  She has performed many versions of the St. Matthew Passion: with major orchestras under the batons of Helmuth Rilling and Bernard Haitink; in the highly acclaimed Jonathan Miller staging of the work at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; on tour with Santa Fe Pro Musica singing one-on-a-part; with period-instrument ensembles, and in a one-on-a-part recording for the Smithsonian label.  In addition to the St. Matthew Passion she has presented many performances of the B Minor Mass, the St. John Passion, the Christmas Oratorio, the Magnificat and the solo soprano cantatas.  

Ms. Colton is active in new music circles as well.  She has commissioned and premiered numerous works: Finite Infinity for soprano, oboe, and piano by Peter Child; Uncertainty is Beautiful for soprano and chamber orchestra by Andy Vores; and The Reckless Heart for soprano and piano by Andy Vores.  She collaborated with Winsor Music in a consortium to commission Crossroads, a work for soprano, oboe, and strings by John Harbison.  When John Harbison was composing The Great Gatsby for the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Colton was asked to prepare the role of Daisy for the workshop recording that was made before the first Met performance. She has also performed many other chamber works by Mr. Harbison in the Boston area.

Performances in semi-staged and fully-staged opera productions include both period and modern conceptions.  At the Göttingen Handel Festival she sang the role of Seleuce in Tolomeo in a Baroque setting with period instruments, Baroque gestures and costumes.  She sang the title character in Griffelkin, by Lukas Foss, in a semi-staged performance with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and then recorded the opera.  Additional roles include Pamina from Die Zauberflöte, Cherubino from Le Nozze di Figaro, Aminta from Il Re Pastore, and Servilia from La Clemenza di Tito.

Ms. Colton is admired for her recital performances and it is this art song repertoire that she loves.  Performances of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch will take place in Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts in the near future.  She has three art song CD’s:  He Brought Me Roses, a collection of songs by Joseph Marx; Le Charme, a collection of French songs by Debussy, Fauré, Chausson, and Poulenc; and her newest release on the Oberlin Music label that Naxos will distribute The Reckless Heart, a collection of songs by Barber, Britten, Gurney and Vores.

Ms. Colton currently teaches at Oberlin College Conservatory.
Partial list of past engagements
Modern orchestras and ensembles:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra
Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Houston Symphony
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Minnesota Orchestra
National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa
National Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
San Diego Symphony
San Francisco Symphony

Opera performances:
Boston Early Music Festival
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Emmanuel Music in Boston
Florentine Opera Milwaukee
Göttingen Handel Festival
Handel and Haydn Society
Opera Boston
Opernhaus Zürich
Skylight Opera Theatre






Period orchestras and ensembles:
Aston Magna
Aulos Ensemble
Baroque Performance Institute - Oberlin
Boston Early Music Festival
Handel and Haydn Society
Music of the Baroque - Chicago
Santa Fe Pro Musica
Washington Bach Consort

Festival engagements:
Bethlehem Bach Festival
Britt Festival in Oregon
Carmel Bach Festival (15 years as principal
soprano soloist)
Casals Festival in Puerto Rico
Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival
Portland Chamber Music Festival
Ravinia Stean’s Institute
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Tanglewood Music Festival
Token Creek Music Festival

Chamber Music:
Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music
Bach Aria Group
Boston Celebrity Series Recital
Dinosaur Annex in Boston
Emmanuel Music Chamber Series
Lyric Fest Philadelphia
Phillips Collection Recital
Present Music in Milwaukee
Winsor Chamber Music Series