BIOGRAPHY

Die Walkure, The Miami Wagner Institute

"Helena Brown’s Sieglinde [was an] extravagant display of tragic ferocity.”

- Suzanne James, The Sophia News

Lauded as having a "stunningly large round sound," as well as a “steely, velvety” timbre, American soprano, Helena Brown, is quickly distinguishing herself as a force of nature for the international stages. Recently, Helena made her role debuts as Mrs. Dickson in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center Theater, Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Miami Wagner Institute, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Rioja Lirica/DIVAria Productions, Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with New Camerata Opera, as well as Serena and Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess on the New York Harlem Theater European tour at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Chassé Theater, and Amsterdam RAI. She appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as an ensemble soloist in Porgy and Bess. Her feature can be seen on the Met HD broadcast of the production, as well as PBS Great Performances. Additional appearances include the Glimmerglass Festival for multiple seasons, most notably to sing Isabella in the American premiere of The Siege of Calais; Bloody Mary in South Pacific at Opera Roanoke, concerts with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and New Haven Symphony Orchestra; and as a featured soloist with LOFTrecital and Out of the Box Opera.

 

Helena has received awards such as the Top Prize, Robert Lauch Award from the Wagner Society of New York, the Sergio Franchi Award in the Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Competition, Second Place in the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Vocal Competition, as well as awards/grants from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Giulio Gari FoundationMetropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Philadelphia, the Jensen Foundation, Cooper-Bing Competition, Opera at Florham, Opera BirminghamOpera Ebony Benjamin Matthews, and the MetroWest Opera Vocal Competition in Boston.

Siege of Calais, The Glimmerlass Festival

"Ms. Brown’s dusky voice is one of those few that are uniquely and readily identifiable after just a few notes."

- Richard Carter, Blasting News

Formerly a mezzo-soprano, Helena was a young artist at the 2016 Glimmerglass Festival where she performed Rebecca Nurse and covered Tituba under the baton of Nicole Paiement in Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed production of The Crucible. Additionally, Helena appeared with Minnesota Opera, performing Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos; sang Addie in Regina and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring at Bronx Opera; covered Mama McCourt in Ballad of Baby Doe with Chautauqua Opera; and covered Grandmother Buryjovka in Jenůfa with Des Moines Metro Opera, where she also appeared in scenes concerts as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Martha in Faust, and Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin.

 

As a Masters student at Manhattan School of Music, Helena Brown performed the roles of the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, Klementia in Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna, Madame Halitiere in Cendrillon, Queen Jezebel and Angel in Elijah, and in Mignon Dunn’s beloved scenes program, played Martha in Faust, Leonora in La Favorita, and Erste Magd in Elektra. She also appeared at the Crittenden Opera Festival as La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Marcellina in scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro.

 

No stranger to contemporary music, Helena has premiered compositions as well as principal roles in opera and theater. Notably, she collaborated with Rebecca Erin Smith in the premiere of Feast for Pierrot ensemble at Manhattan School of Music. Helena also performed the actor-singer role of Mother in Bellocq’s Ophelia, written by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, which was presented in festival at the Kennedy Center.

 

Helena holds a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Music, Summa Cum Laude, from Hollins University where she also studied arts management and theatre.

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