Denyce Graves
New England First Place Winner 1988

Highlights for Denyce Graves in the 2015-2016 season include Madeline Mitchell in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with Kentucky Opera, a February residency with St. Louis Opera Theater, an orchestra concert in Tianjin, China, and a concert version of Carmen at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where she is on the faculty. In summer the mezzo makes her company debut as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette and Claron in Capriccio with Santa Fe Opera. Last season Denyse returned to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Bersi in Andrea Chénier, and took on the role of Nettie Fowler in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel for Lyric Opera of Chicago. She also celebrated the bicentenary of the American National Anthem in a Star Spangled Spectacular for PBS Great Performances with the Baltimore Symphony.


A native of Washington, D.C., Denyce Graves attended the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts, and continued her education at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and New England Conservatory. In 1998, she received an honorary doctorate from Oberlin. The mezzo made her Met debut in the 1995-96 season as Carmen, returning the following season in the new Franco Zeffirelli production of this work. The fiery gypsy became one of her signature roles, which she has performed in Japan, at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, with the Vienna Staatsoper, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, the Bregenz Festival, and festivals in Macerata, Italy and San Sebastian, Spain.


Also a sought-after Dalila, Denyse made her role debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival under James Levine, and encored with the Met, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Covent Garden. Other career highlights include the title role in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner in the world premiere performances at Michigan Opera Theater, with further performances at Cincinnati Opera, Opera Carolina, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle with Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera and Dallas Opera; Dulcinée in Don Quichotte with The Washington Opera; Giovanna Seymour in a new production of Anna Bolena for Dallas Opera; and Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress at San Francisco Opera and in her debut with the Théâtre Musical de Paris-Chatelet. Her debut at La Scala was as the High Priestess in La vestale, and she returned as Giulietta in Les contes d'Hoffmann and as Mère Marie in Les dialogues des Carmélites. Recent seasons have also included two world premieres: Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative commission of Douglas J. Cuomo’s Doubt, in whichshe created the role of Mrs. Miller, and Terence Blanchard’s Champion at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she appeared as Emelda Griffith. The mezzo also made two more role debuts: Herodias in Salome at Palm Beach Opera and Katisha in The Mikado with Lyric Opera of Kansas City.


Awards for Denyce Graves have included the Grand Prix du Concours International de Chant de Paris, the Eleanor Steber Music Award in the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, and a Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. In 1991, she received the Grand Prix Lyrique, awarded once every three years by the Association des amis de l'opéra de Monte-Carlo.



Ms. Graves is represented by IMG Artists.

For more information on Denyce Graves, you can visit her personal website:

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