Kendra Colton, soprano

Orchestral and Oratorio

B Minor Mass
“In the duet for tenor and soprano, ‘Domine Deus,’ Kendra Colton and Alan Bennett distinguished themselves by their sweet voices and seamless techniques, but also by the intensity with which they listened to each other to adjust the details of their phrasing to what the other was doing. That is what is called chamber music sensitivity, and without it a piece like this falls flat.”
The Carmel Pine Cone, David Miller (Bach B Minor Mass, Carmel Bach Festival, Bruno Weil)
“But it was soprano Kendra Colton who provided the most texture, her rich, ringing sound not just managing Bach’s intricacies, but finding the almost foolish joyousness in their complex twists and turns.”
The Boston Globe, Matthew Guerrieri (Bach B Minor Mass, Back Bay Chorale, Scott Jarrett)
Christmas Oratorio
“Soprano Kendra Colton has a voice of startling clarity.”
The Morning Call, Paul Willistein (Bach Christmas Oratorio, Bethlehem Bach, Greg Funfgeld)
Easter Oratorio
“Soprano Kendra Colton was meltingly lovely singing as Mary, Mother of Jesus….”
The Monterey Herald, Barbara Rose Shuler (Bach Easter Oratorio, Carmel Bach Festival, Bruno Weil)
“Soprano Kendra Colton’s aria with shining polished support from flutist Robin Carlson Peery was a joy to listen to. The flutist provided the delicate framework for Colton’s elegant, expressive vocalism.”
The Carmel Pine Cone, Natalie Plotkin (Bach Easter Oratorio, Carmel Bach Festival, Bruno Weil)
“Soprano Kendra Colton, a seasoned period performer from Massachusetts, used her marvelously even voice to create vibrant passages full of light and shadow.”
Albuquerque Journal, Joanne Sheehy Hoover (Bach Magnificat and Easter Oratorio, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Ken Slowik)
St. John Passion
“Kendra Colton went quite beyond singing to occupy a region of pure feeling…. Colton’s radiant soprano brought with it the blessing of consolation.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer (Bach St. John Passion CD, Emmanuel Music, Craig Smith)
St. Matthew Passion
“Kendra Colton was touchingly musical….”
The New York Times, Bernard Holland (Bach St. Matthew Passion, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jonathan Miller and Paul Goodwin)
Soprano solo cantatas – BWV 51, 84, 199, 202
“Soprano Kendra Colton and trumpeter Stephen Bruns confidently blazed their way through J.S. Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, ably supported by Ohyama and the ensemble. Burns tossed off the high, cruel intracacies of the trumpet part with insouciance, and Colton sang the equally demanding soprano solo just about perfectly.”
The New Mexican, Craig Smith (Bach Cantata BWV 51, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival)
“[The concert] served as a moving testimonial to her own exceptional gifts, both musical and humanitarian.One heard in Colton’s singing not only master of line and support, of phrasing and articulation, of diction and projection. What came across most forcefully was feeling and human warmth, the soul of musical expressivity. Colton has that rare ability to establish a direct line of communication with every listener (given that one is open to the possibility). She fearlessly engages in eye contact with her listeners, while her face and voice radiate the music’s expression that she has so freely embraced. Together these attributes allow those in her audience to reach into the depths of their hearts and discover feelings they might not even have known were there. It was in her performance of Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, set to James Agee’s delicate and eloquent memories of his childhood there, that Colton’s communication capacity was most powerfully expressed.”
Milwaukee Sentinel, Nancy Raabe (Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Pasquale Laurino)
Prayers of Kierkegaard
“Ms. Colton’s voice, her vibrato like some fluttering jewel, became the ornament of the prayer. Her vocal stylization was perfect for the mystical work, her voice penetrating but delicate.”
Evansville Courier, Patty Aakhus (Barber Prayers of Kierkegaard, Evansville Philharmonic, Stewart Kershaw)
Choral Fantasy
Mass in C Major
Symphony No. 9
Sieben frühe Lieder
A German Requiem
Songs of the Auvergne
Voices of Light
Alexander’s Feast
Dixit Dominus
Israel in Egypt
Judas Maccabaeus
“Soprano Kendra Colton and mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal had the roles of commentators; both sang with lovely tone and high technical accomplishment.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer (Handel Judas Maccabaeus, Back Bay Chorale, Scott Jarrett)
“The single most touching moment of the evening was Colton’s ‘If God be for us’, with the fine obbligato violin solo of associate concertmaster Eric Halen. Colton’s singing was an essay in the virtues of simplicity of expression and communication with the audience.”
Houston Chronicle, Charles Ward (Handel Messiah, Houston Symphony, Harry Bicket)
Ode to St. Cecilia
Saul- Merab
“Kendra Colton was haughty and repentant as Merab, compelling both in coloratura and in high, suspended legato.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer (Handel Saul, Emmanuel Music, Craig Smith)
Solomon – First Harlot
“Colton, with the larger and more sympathetic part, sang with uncommon beautiful tone matched to alert rhythm and heartfelt enunciation. She is a most cherishable artist, and provided the most rapturous moments in the performance.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer (Handel Solomon, Emmanuel Music, Craig Smith)
Susanna – Susanna
“Kendra Colton proved an excellent Susanna, displaying a soprano that was accurate, controlled, youthful, and stylish. It was not the biggest instrument, but she shaped every roulade and scale into a musical gesture. Her Susanna was calm and noble even in the face of death, but fiery after her vindication, particularly in her third act bravura aria ‘Guilt trembling.’”
Boston Classical Review, Angelo Mao (Handel Susanna, Emmanuel Music, Ryan Turner)
The Triumph of Time and Truth – Pleasure
The Creation
“When several patrons broke with convention and applauded after an extended passage of solo singing by Colton, Neuen turned to the audience and said, ‘That’s OK,’ prompting much laughter when he did.”
Winston-Salem Journal, Ken Keuffel (Haydn Creation, Winston Salem Symphony, Donald Neuen)
Die Jahreszeiten
Lord Nelson Mass
Symphony No. 2
“…Kendra Colton handled it with warm, cultivated tone and spacious phrasing.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer
(Mahler Symphony No. 2, Boston Philharmonic, Benjamin Zander)
Symphony No. 4
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Psalm 42
“In Psalm 42, soprano Kendra Colton sang with beautiful phrasing and great sensitivity in her lovely solo ‘Mein Tränen sind meine Speise Tag und Nacht’.”
Peninsula Reviews, Reg Huston (Mendelssohn Psalm 42, Carmel Bach Festival, Bruno Weil)
Vom Himmel hoch
St. Paul
Vespro della beata vergine
Concert Arias K. 582, K. 583
Coronation Mass K. 317
Exsultate, jubilate K. 165
“The evening’s ethereal moments were supplied by soprano Kendra Colton performing one of the most beautiful of religious arias, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate. Her delivery was straightforward and effortless, even in her lovely realization of the lilting coloratura passages.”
Milwaukee Sentinel, Jay Joslyn (Mozart Exsultate, jubilate, Civic Orchestra of Milwaukee, Edward Mumm)
Davide penitence K. 469
Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento K.125
Mass in C-Minor K. 427
“Soprano Kendra Colton’s exposition of the lengthy melisma… in the aria of the Credo was riveting in its sensual perfection; the passage would have made Mozart’s jaw dislocate itself, I’m sure.”
The Morning Call, Philip A. Metzger (Mozart Mass in C minor, Bethlehem Bach, Greg Funfgeld)
Missa breves in D K. 194
Missa solemnis in C-Major K. 337
Requiem K. 626
“There was an excellent solo quartet. Boston-based soprano Kendra Colton stepped in to replace the ailing Christine Schaefer and sang with confident shining sound.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer (Mozart Requiem, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink)
Vesperae solennes de Dominica K. 321
Vesperae solemnis de confessore K. 339
Carmina Burana
Headline: Colton as Venus was the shining star of evening “Venus descended last night disguised as soprano Kendra Colton. “It was Colton’s remarkable radiance, stamina, delicacy, compassion and pure beauty of tone which kept the rest of the musicians, and the audience from losing their heads, or souls too completely. If one is going to suffer a loss of innocence, one might as well do it in the arms of Venus. “…. Ideal beauty of sound from soprano Kendra Colton. In the ‘Amor volat undique’, Colton, robed in a classical white gown, also sang like a goddess in the lyric folk song with Ravel-like overtones. Her interaction with the principal flutist Valerie Forstman in his and other songs was celestial. Her great resonance at low volume (but always audible) was remarkable. Colton’s tone had a rich maturity without sacrificing the pure lyric quality, and stunning high notes, particularly in the ‘Stetit puella’ and the final ‘Dulcissime’ solos. “But Venus’s song ‘Sweetest boy, I give my all to you’ was the sweetest song and Colton gave her all with a riveting cadenza that must certainly have gotten the boys attention.”
Sunday Courier and Press, Patti Aakhus
(Orff Carmina Burana, Evansville Philharmonic, Stewart Kershaw)
Mass for a Sacred Place
The Outermost House
“[S]ung by Colton… with a sensitive attention to the detail of the text.” Milwaukee Journal, Randal Swiggum (Ronald Perera The Outermost House, Bel Canto Chorus, Richard Hynson)“The performance was supported by Charles Austin’s elegant narration, Kendra Colton’s radiant, brilliantly assured soprano…”
Milwaukee Sentinel, Nancy Raabe (Ronald Perera The Outermost House, Bel Canto Chorus, Richard Hynson)
Christmas Oratorio
4 last songs
“To this mix was added the soaring soprano voice of Kendra Colton, who, with the caring collaboration of Alfred Savia, gave a sensitive and thoughtful interpretation of Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder, truly his last four songs.”
Evansville Courier and Press, Bill Hemminger (Strauss Vier letzte Lieder, Evansville Philharmonic, Alfred Savia)
Dona Nobis Pacem
“… Colton’s recurring ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ had the pure power of a benediction”
The New Mexican, Craig Smith
(Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival)
Symphony No. 3 “pastoral”
Uncertainty is Beautiful
“Soprano Kendra Colton was at her very best, dedicating her radiant voice to the performance”
The Boston Phoenix, Lloyd Schwartz
(Vores Uncertainty is Beautiful, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose)

Chamber Music

Shakespeare Songs – Soprano, oboe, piano
Liebeslieder Waltzes Op. 52 and Op. 65 – Soprano, alto, tenor, bass, 4-hand piano
Zwei Gesänge Op. 91 – Soprano, viola, piano
Old Irish Verses – Soprano, oboe, piano
Finite Infinity – Soprano, oboe, piano
How Slow the Wind – Soprano, string quartet
Lúa Descolorida – Soprano, string quartet
Mortgaging the Earth – Soprano, alto, flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, horn, string quartet, bass
Deutsche Arien – Soprano, oboe, continuo
Aria: Song for the Rainy Season – Soprano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano
Between Two Worlds
“Making herself strongly felt in the rest of the program was that excellent soprano Kendra Colton, who combines an A student’s command of any given assignment with a seasoned opera singer’s pipes, projection, and generally knowing what’s what…. Colton – together with some of the first-class Dinosaur Annex personnel – was 100 percent within this music.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Buell (Harbison Between Two Worlds, Dinosaur Annex)
Chorale Cantata – Soprano, oboe, strings
Crossroads – Soprano, oboe, string quartet, double bass
“The wonderful vocal artist Kendra Colton—fearless, rock-solid and seemingly undaunted by the vocal line’s many challenges of pitch and disjunct melodic line—clearly projected the poetry’s texts with clarity of enunciation and singular beauty of tone.”
The Boston Musical Intelligencer, John Ehrlich (Harbison Crossroads, Winsor Music)
Mirabai Songs – Soprano, alto flute, bass clarinet, harp, violin, viola, cello, bass, percussion
North & South – Soprano, English horn, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, bass
Tristeza No Céu (from Canções Modernistas) – Soprano, guitar, cello
No Meio Do Caminho (from Canções Modernistas) – Soprano, guitar, cello
Die Serenaden Op. 35 – Soprano, oboe, viola, cello
The Mystery which Binds Me Still – Soprano, guitar
Transmigration of the Soul
“The sparest moments were the most powerful. Soprano Kendra Colton must be thanked for her moving, fittingly majestic performance. The opening movement was compelling, as Colton, offstage and unaccompanied, wailed through wordless, sorrowful, melismatic lines. Equally strong was her onstage entrance in the third movement, accompanied only by sparse timpani and the Japanese bells she carried with her. The reduced forces focused the ear, and the mingling overtones of the voice, bells and timpani produced a spellbinding effect.”
San Francisco Classical Voice, Benjamin Frandzel (Kohjiba Transmigration of the Soul, Women’s Phil, Apo Hsu)
All’armi, pensieri – Soprano, trumpet, organ
Stabat Mater – Soprano, alto, strings
Der Hirt auf dem Felsen – Soprano, clarinet, piano
Romanze – Soprano, clarinet, piano
Auf dem Strom – Soprano, horn, piano
Frauen -liebe und -leben – Arrangement for soprano and string quartet
Op. 107 Lieder – Arrangement for soprano and string quartet
6 deutsche Lieder Op. 103 – Soprano, clarinet, piano
William Blake Songs – Soprano, oboe
On This Most Voluptuous Night
“Wyner’s writing was not kind to the soprano, but Colton met the challenge of the demanding angular melodies with super delivery.”
The New Mexican, Nancy Lee Harper (Wyner On this most Voluptuous Night, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Heiichiro Ohyama)


Postcard from Morocco – Lady with the Hand Mirror
“Kendra Colton’s acting was as flakey as her piping coloratura.”
Milwaukee Sentinel, Jay Joslyn (Argento Postcard from Morocco, Skylight Comic Opera, Karen Prasser and Ken Cazan)
Endimione – Nice
Europera V – soprano
Griffelkin – Griffelkin
“Kendra Colton, silvery of voice, played Griffelkin as a likeable naïf who promises to be ‘horrid and mean’ on earth but ends up marveling at the beauties it holds.”
The Berkshire Eagle, Andrew Pincus (Foss Griffelkin, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Tanglewood)
Acis and Galatea – Galatea
“Kendra Colton, as Galatea, carried herself like a goddess and sang radiantly and vividly.”
The New York Times, James Oestreich (Handel Acis and Galatea, Aulos Ensemble)
Admeto – Alceste
“On first hearing, Handel’s music seemed more conventional than inspired…. With a major exception: ‘Luce care’, Alceste’s exquisite, plangent lullaby, in which she decides to die for Admeto. This was radiantly and expressively sung by soprano Kendra Colton….”
The Boston Phoenix, Lloyd Schwartz (Handel Admeto, Emmanuel Music, Craig Smith)
Ariodante – Dalinda
“Boston’s own Kendra Colton, as Dalinda, the naïve attendant who inadvertently sets in motion the drama’s nearly tragic events, was the expressive and vocal standout. With her, every nuance of emotion was clear. And almost alone in the cast, she understood the expressive uses of coloratura.”
The Boston Globe, Ellen Pfeifer (Handel Ariodante, Handel and Haydn Society, Christopher Hogwood)
Orlando – Dorinda
Terpsicore – Erato
Tolomeo – Seleuce
“A sparkling ensemble delighted the audience of the Göttinger Festspiele…. The youthfully fresh and clear soprano of Kendra Colton as Seleuce sounded meltingly beautiful in the Echo Duet of the two lovers”
Wochenzeitung für Politik und Kultur, Julia Poser (Handel Tolomeo, Göttingen Handel Festival, Nicholas McGegan)
Thésée – Grand Priestess and Minerva
L’Incoronazione di Poppea – Amor, Valetto
L’Orfeo – Ninfa
Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria – Amor
The Ballad of Baby Doe – Sarah
Die Zauberflöte – Pamina
Il Re Pastore – Aminta
“Kendra Colton as Aminta… her singing is beautiful in tone, line and phrasing. Her acting is as uncluttered as her singing, and she makes an emotional investment in both.”
The Boston Globe, Richard Dyer (Mozart Il Re Pastore, Boston Lyric Opera, Martin Pearlman)
La Clemenza di Tito – Servilia
Le Nozze di Figaro – Cherubino
“But the show-stealer was another young Milwaukee singer on the rise: soprano Kendra Colton as Cherubino. Her Italian-language canzonetta, ‘Voi che sapete,’ brought down the house.”
Milwaukee Sentinel, Lawrence B. Johnson (Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro, Skylight Comic Opera, Donald St. Pierre and Reto Nickler)
Dido and Aeneas – Belinda and Dido
Sweeney Todd – Johanna
Pimpinone – Vespetta
“Festival favorites soprano Kendra Colton and baritone Sanford Sylvan whip up the comedy in the two-person vocal diversion, which is sung concert style and in English…. Sylvan and Colton lend their matchless vocal magnificence to this amusing, silly fluff. It is surprising to see these world renowned Baroque artists sing with such comic abandon. Colton’s voice, held in highest esteem by Bach aficionados, sparkles and enchants as the shrewd vixen Vespetta.”
The Monterey Herald, Barbara Rose Shuler (Telemann Pimpinone, Carmel Bach Festival, Bruno Weil)
Small roles and chorus in 23 different operas
Kendra recording in Carmel
Carmel Bach Festival
Backstage warm-up (basketball)
Sweeney Todd - Johanna
Carnegie Hall backstage
Bobby McFerrin and Kendra