Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim in eminent opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Already in her young career, she has led performances with the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris, among many others.
In her compelling debut as Bess in Porgy and Bess with the San Francisco Opera, Opera News said “Soprano Laquita Mitchell, in her first outing as Bess, dazzled the SFO [San Francisco Opera] audience with her purity of tone and vivid theatrical presence.” She has since reprised the role with New Jersey State Opera, the Atlanta Opera, the Tanglewood Festival, Westminster Choir College, the Kansas City Symphony, Madison Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra. She will join Syracuse Opera for a semi-staged production in the spring of 2014.
This season Laquita joins Beth Morrison Projects for David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field in the role of Virginia Creeper, which will appear in three cities as well as be televised. In addition she will debut with the New World Symphony in Alberto Ginastera’s Cantata para la América Mágica, and will be featured at the Atlanta Music Festival.
In her Spring 2012 role debut as Violetta in La traviata with New York City Opera, she was labeled “extraordinary,” thanks to her “wide expressive range and big-hearted sound that contains just a hint of sexy smokiness. Her Sempre libera was enlivened by a rhythmic clarity that made it seem almost danceable.” Other notable appearances include Leonora in Il Trovatore in South Carolina as well as with Nashville Opera; the role of Sharon in Terrance McNally’sMaster Class at the Kennedy Center; Musetta in La bohème in a return to the Los Angeles Opera; Mimì in La bohème with Cincinnati Opera and at the Utah Symphony and Opera; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Florentine Opera, Portland Opera, and Opera New Jersey; Micaëla in Carmen with New York City Opera and the former Opera Pacific; and Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris and on tour in Caen and Granada, Spain.
Also active as a concert artist, Ms. Mitchell most recently performed Over the Rainbow – an evening honoring Harold Arlen at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Additional performances have included Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Louisville Orchestra, the world premiere of composer Steven Stucky’s August 4, 1964with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut as the soprano soloist in Wynton Marsalis’ All Rise, under the direction of Kurt Masur, and the soprano solo in Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the Washington Chorus at Kennedy Center. She has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the New York Symphonic Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall, and with Branford Marsalis and the Garden State Philharmonic.
Ms. Mitchell is an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, where she performed a variety of roles including Orquidea in Daniel Catan’s Salsipuedes (world premiere), Myhrrine in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata (world premiere),Barena in David Alden’s production of Jenůfa, and The Water in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince (world premiere), directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Patrick Summers.
Ms. Mitchell was previously a member of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, where she sang the role of Mimì in La bohème, and she joined Wolf Trap Opera in performances as Alice Ford in Antonio Salieri’s Falstaff, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and presented a recital with renowned pianist Steven Blier.
A native of New York City, soprano Laquita Mitchell was a 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Prize Winner, and was awarded a 2004 Sara Tucker Award. She was also the First Prize Winner of the Wiener Kammer Oper’s 2003 Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition, making her the first American to win this competition in over twenty years. Additionally, in February 2002, Ms. Mitchell was the First Prize Winner of the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers, as well as the winner of the Audience Choice award.
Ms. Mitchell completed her Masters of Music degree and the Professional Studies Certificate at the Manhattan School of Music, and also completed undergraduate studies at Westminster Choir College.
Website: Official Laquita Mitchell Website