Kiera Duffy: From leading lady to leading the class

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, November 1, 2017 Article, Perspectives, Presenting Series

[About a 2 MIN read]

Like a curtain sweeping across the stage, American soprano Kiera Duffy makes it look simple to move between her careers commanding the stage and nurturing student talent in her new capacity as associate professor of the practice in Notre Dame’s Department of Music.

Ms. Duffy has appeared with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Orchester, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony. She has collaborated with such celebrated conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Her interpretations of modern and contemporary repertoire have garnered wide acclaim. She has performed often with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series in works of Schoenberg, Berio, Ligeti and Unsuk Chin; with the New York Philharmonic in compositions of Ligeti and Boulez; with the Metropolis Ensemble in works of Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as reinterpretations of Berlioz by young composers Vivian Fung, Brad Balliett, Ryan Francis, Sayo Kosugi, Nicholas Britell and Caroline Shaw. As part of the 2012 American Mavericks series, she toured David del Tredici’s Syzygy with members of the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Most recently Duffy, starred in the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s opera, Breaking the Waves, at Opera Philadelphia. Her portrayal of Bess McNeill garnered widespread acclaim, with critics calling her performance “absolutely spectacular” (Opera News), “fearless and focused” (The New York Times), “a tour de force” (Philadelphia Magazine), and “extraordinary” (The Wall Street Journal).

In the video below, Kiera Duffy shares the joys, challenges, and profound purpose of living life with music. For more information or to buy tickets to her performance on November 5, click here.