Photo by Suzanne Vinnik

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 is 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 for 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 and was heard as High Priestess in Aïda. She returned for summer 2016 to sing Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia and was featured in a Vocal Colors recital at the Phillips Collection.  Last season, Kerriann joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera as cover of Gerhilde in Die Walküre and debuted Mimì alongside her husband, tenor Dane Suarez, in Pacific Opera Project‘s La bohème. Next season, she joins Opera San José for three role debuts as Leonora (Il trovatore), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), and Gertrude/Witch (Hansel and Gretel.)

The 2017-2018 season included a return to WNO for Francesca Zambello’s Candide and a debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago covering the role of Mary Johnson in Lyric Unlimited‘s Fellow Travelers. Additionally, Otaño made two acclaimed debuts as Older Alyce in Houston Grand OperaHGOco‘s Glory Denied with “the most lyrical and poignantly expressive singing of the night” and Opera San José’s Senta in Der fliegende Holländer praised for her “technique and musical intelligence” and “thrilling focus and power.

In the 2016-2017 season, Kerriann returned to Fort Worth Opera Festival in her role debut of Micaëla in 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 Amarillo Opera. 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.

In the 2014-2015 season at the John F. Kennedy Center, she covered Madame Lidoine (New Prioress) in Dialogues of the Carmelites. 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 Metropolitan Opera 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 performed Berta in 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 MoroccoGhosts of VersaillesGuillaume TellDie 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 is a grant recipient from the Olga Forrai Foundation for exceptionally large, dramatic voices in the field of opera, and 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, and currently resides in San José with Dane and her beautiful pups, Frankie and Lup.

2 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Leonard Suschena 20 Nov 2015 — 1:21 pm

    Hello Kerriann,

    I bumped into your aunt last night in Augusta GA and we shared videos of you (Yes amazing) and my daughter Alicia Marie Suschena. Alicia will be finishing her Masters at University of North Texas this spring and will be heading out to the real world. I was wondering it you might consider networking with Alicia? You aunt indicated you might. Alicia has several videos on YouTube, just search on the last name. My favorite is Die Fledermaus, because it’s in English, but there is also one from her performance of the Magic Flute last July at the Almafi Coast Festival.

    Thank you

  2. Hey Kerri!
    It’s emily Ziminski, Mike & JoJo’s daughter….
    Remember me? Just want to say: You go girl!!!
    I remember you singing that one time you stayed over after One of my birthday parties, Wayback in the day. And you sang beautifully, and said you wanted to be a singer when you grew up (we were still young enough to say stuff like “when I grow up…”)
    And here you are! I am so happy for you, makin your dream come true through hard work and dedication, SO admirable.
    Well, now that I’ve said all that, I really hope you remember who I am so this doesn’t.come off creepy. Lol. I miss your parents, too! Te them I said hello, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
    – Em

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