Hailed for her “Verdian richness, power and expressivity,” American soprano Kerriann Otaño was a 2016 National Semi-Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a recent graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. At WNO, she was heard as Donna Elvira, Kitty Hart (Dead Man Walking), the Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Mary Custis Lee (Glass’s Appomattox), and created the role of Katherine in Douglas Pew’s Penny. For summer 2015, Kerriann was chosen as a Filene Young Artist and made her debut with Wolf Trap Opera singing La Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at The Barns and was heard as High Priestess in Aïda at the Filene Center. She returned for summer 2016 to sing Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia at The Barns and was featured in a Vocal Colors recital at the Phillips Collection. Last season, Kerriann returned to Fort Worth Opera Festival in her role debut as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen. Praised for her “generous soprano” by The Washington Post, Ms. Otaño also reprised the role of La Contessa Almaviva in her debuts at both Opera Memphis and at Amarillo Opera. Upcoming engagements this season include a return to the WNO for Francesca Zambello’s Candide and a debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago covering the role of Mary Johnson in Fellow Travelers. Otaño also made two acclaimed debuts this season as Older Alyce in Houston Grand Opera HGOco‘s Glory Denied with “the most lyrical and poignantly expressive singing of the night” and Opera San José‘s Senta in Der fliegende Holländer where “she displayed a breathtaking range throughout, believably transforming into Senta before the audience’s very eyes” and was a “crowd favorite.”
For the 2015-2016 season, WNO presented Wagner’s Ring Cycle where Kerriann covered Helmwige (a role she performed in the final dress rehearsal with no notice), Gerhilde, and Ortlinde in Die Walküre as well as Third Norn in Götterdämmerung. Kerriann was featured in concert with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra singing duets and arias from Madama Butterfly and La Bohème with 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Final Winner tenor Michael Brandenburg.
In the 2014-2015 season at the John F. Kennedy Center, she covered Madame Lidoine (New Prioress) in Dialogues of the Carmelites and created the role of Katherine in the world premiere of Penny by Douglas Pew. Ms. Otaño was seen in the summer of 2014 at the prestigious Glimmerglass Festival covering soprano lead Roberta Alden in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy and performed in concert alongside dramatic soprano Christine Goerke. During the 2013-2014 season, Kerriann was the soprano studio artist at Fort Worth Opera where she “nearly stole the show in the highly comedic role of Despina” in Così fan tutte. She received rave reviews calling her “vocally attractive and dramatically vivacious” and a “standout.” Ms. Otaño advanced to the regional level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was awarded second place in the Mid-South region.
For the 2012-2013 season, Kerriann was an apprentice artist with Central City Opera where she sang Berta in the family performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia. She was a 2013 winter apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera where she sang scenes from La Bohème (Leoncavallo and Puccini), A Postcard from Morocco, Ghosts of Versailles, Guillaume Tell, Die Fledermaus, and was featured on the closing Verdi’s Times concert as a soloist. In summer of 2012, Kerriann was a young artist at Seagle Music Colony where received acclaim for her “fiery” portrayal of Donna Elvira “with richly nuanced voice.” Other recent credits include Maria Corona (The Saint of Bleecker Street) and Donna Elvira at Mannes Opera and Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte) at Indiana University Opera Theater. She was a part of two recent workshops of new operas–as Mrs. Murray in Libby Larsen‘s A Wrinkle in Time and as Elaine in Act 2 of Christopher Weiss‘s In a Mirror, Darkly.
Ms. Otaño holds a bachelor’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and a master’s degree from Mannes College The New School for Music. She is a native of Long Island where she currently resides with her fiancé, tenor Dane Suarez, and her beautiful pups, Frankie and Lup.