Ava Pine ("Blanca") - Soprano
Soprano Ava Pine, who is praised by audiences and critics alike for her "sheer vocal beauty, ease and eloquence" and "rewarding musicianship," excels in music ranging from Baroque to Contemporary. She draws from a rich well of experience in both classical music and the theatrical stage, which she uses to maximum effect to communicate with her audiences, whether singing opera, oratorio, or giving a recital. In her role debut as Pamina with Milwaukee's Florentine Opera, she was praised as the production's "vocal queen … who sang and acted Pamina with heartbreaking, honeyed sweetness. Her big voice reads as beautiful not only because of its richness, but because she conceals all effort and gets the meaning of the word legato."
The 2009 – 2010 season finds Ava singing the role of Melissa in Boston Baroque's presentation of Handel's Amadigi di Gaula, Josephine for Lyric Opera of Kansas City's H.M.S. Pinafore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Naples, Norina in Don Pasquale with Opera New Jersey, and Adina in Fort Worth Opera's production of L'Elisir d'amore.
On the concert stage she will sing Handel's Messiah with the University Musical Society of Ann Arbor, as well as St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Radcliff's Ode to Common Things with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the role of the Angel with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in London for the United Kingdom premiere of Angels in America, and will appear with Ars Lyrica Houston in a program of Hasse's Antonio e Cleopatra. Future seasons include reengagements for leading roles with the Dallas Opera, Florentine Opera and Fort Worth Opera, among others.
The 2008 – 2009 season was a busy one for the soprano, with return engagements to the Dallas Opera for performances of Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Elvira in L'italiana in Algeri. The Dallas Morning News wrote of her performance of Adele: "She can sparkle through coloratura, but also radiate lower-register warmth. And she's no less dazzling an actress, dancing, flirting and pretty much tying everyone around her little finger." In addition, she joined Boston Baroque as Romilda in Xerxes, the Florentine Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and the Arizona Opera as Adina in L'Elisir d'amore. As a Wolf Trap Opera Filene Young Artist, she collaborated on a recital with Steven Blier, performed as Morgana in Alcina, Musetta in La bohème, and Minerva in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. She was heard in concert with the Dallas Bach Society, and joined Ars Lyrica Houston in two separate engagements, one for a program of cantatas and opera excerpts, and the other as Bellezza in a staged performance of Handel's Il trionfo del tempo. Other concert appearances included the Delaware Symphony Orchestra for Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for performances of Mozart's Requiem, and Texas Christian University for Carmina Burana.
In the Spring of 2008, Ms. Pine joined the Fort Worth Opera for its second festival season, making her company debut as The Angel in the Southwestern premiere of Peter Eötvös' operatic setting of Angels in America, based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning play by Tony Kushner. Ms. Pine was the fourth singer to wear the wings of The Angel, but was the first to don a flying harness and perform the role with theatrical aerials: "Ava Pine flies in and out on wires like some celestial Peter Pan, trilling and vocalizing in shimmering cascades of coloratura." (Dallas Morning News).
Ms. Pine spent her apprentice years with the Dallas Opera, where she was selected to be the company's first young artist in residence. Her roles with the Dallas Opera have included Lady in Waiting in Macbeth, Zozo in The Merry Widow, a Slave in Salome, the Shepherd Boy in Tosca, Anna in Nabucco, Yvette in La rondine as well as covering the role of Valencienne in The Merry Widow. Other highlights from recent seasons include performances with Chautauqua Opera, singing Sophie in Werther, Frasquita in Carmen, and Lady Larken in Once Upon a Mattress, and multiple engagements with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, including Handel's Messiah and Bach's Mass in B Minor under the baton of Claus Peter Flor.
A specialist in music of the Baroque, Ms. Pine is a frequent collaborator with early music ensembles including Ars Lyrica of Houston, Concert Royal, New York Baroque Dance Company, Dallas Bach Society, Orchestra of New Spain and Texas Camerata. Highlights of these engagements include her performance as Amour in Rameau's Pygmalion, Erato in Handel's Terpsicore, and Amour in Campra's Les Fêtes Vénitiennes all with the New York Baroque Dance Company, as well as her performance as La Musique and Le Paix in Charpentier's Les Arts Florissants with Concert Royal, and recitals with Texas Camerata at the Boston Early Music Festival. She has also appeared as a frequent guest artist with Orpheus Chamber Singers and the Grammy-nominated ensemble Conspirare. She is a featured soloist on Conspirare's inaugural release on the Clarion label.
Ms. Pine's awards and honors include first prize from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Tulsa District (2006), as well as the Audience Favorite and Female Encouragement Awards in the 2006 Fort Worth Opera McCammon Voice Competition. She was selected as a finalist in competitions sponsored by the Jensen Foundation, Dallas Opera Guild, Palm Beach Opera, and the Oratorio Society of New York.