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Rising Opera Star Avery Amereau to Join PBO Next Season

BY Dianne Provenzano

MAY 20, 2017

The New York Times calls her "a rarity in music." Joyce DiDonato describes her voice as "like velvet, caramel chocolate." Maestro Thomas Crawford of the American Classical Orchestra proclaims, "the voice is just ravishing." And now Bay Area audiences will have a chance to hear it for themselves when up-and-coming contralto Avery Amereau performs with PBO in two separate programs next season.

Avery is finishing her studies at the Juilliard School where she completed a master's degree and has made notable appearances onstage this past season including her Metropolitan Opera debut as the madrigal singer in Manon Lescaut, the title role of Carmen with Opera Columbus, and a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera for her debut with the Festival in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Avery's unique voice is noted as being "contralto in vocal color and range" by vocal guru Matthew Epstein. But she considers herself to be an alto and bills herself as a mezzo-soprano. She'll be singing the mezzo roles with us next season.

Avery will first appear along with composers Sally Beamish and Caroline Shaw in a PBO "SESSIONS: New Music for Old Instruments," that will focus on female composers and the female musicians who bring their music to life. Then she'll join us again in April for the "Beethoven Unleashed" program where she'll perform in Beethoven's Mass in C major and his "Choral Fantasy."

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the Wall Street journal magazine

Juilliard Students Photographed in Their Element





April 3, 2017 10:08 a.m. ET

Since its founding in 1905, the Juilliard School has earned a reputation for being one of the world’s premier arts academies. Here, a selection of students across all disciplines, on their craft.

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Santa Fe New Mexican

at home in the range: Contralto Avery Amereau

Photo  ©  Jiyang Chen

Photo © Jiyang Chen

By james m. keller

Dec 16th, 2016

Avery Amereau was in the midst of an important day in New York City when Pasatiempo spoke with her by phone in early December. She was looking forward to her upcoming solo appearances with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble — but a more immediate concern was her performance that evening at the Metropolitan Opera, where she made her house debut last month as the Solo Madrigalist in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. It was her first professional opera production. In a few hours she would walk onstage to sing that role for the seventh and last time this season, having added to her portfolio of glowing reviews and gaining more national attention than one would expect from a twenty-five-year-old singer who is still a student at the Juilliard School.

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the new york times

Avery Amereau Is a Rarity in Music: A Contralto

Avery Amereau, a contralto — a rarity in today’s music world — rehearsing with Edith Wiens.  JAMES ESTRIN / THE NEW YORK TIMES
Avery Amereau, a contralto — a rarity in today’s music world — rehearsing with Edith Wiens.


SEPTEMBER 21, 2016


Contraltos, the female singers with the lowest vocal range, have always been scarce and seem especially rare today. The days of Kathleen Ferrier and Marian Anderson are long past. Edith Wiens, a stellar soprano and a renowned teacher, calls the contralto voice — or, informally, alto — a freak of nature, a product of “that inch in the throat.”

But on Thursday evening, Avery Amereau, an extraordinary American alto on the rise, will sing Berlioz’s delectable song cycle “Les Nuits d’Été,” with Thomas Crawford and his period-instrument American Classical Orchestra, at Alice Tully Hall. Just 25, she will make her Metropolitan Opera debut in November as the Musician in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut.”

“I don’t mean to exaggerate, but this woman made my knees shake,” Mr. Crawford, a veteran maestro, said immediately after his first encounter with Ms. Amereau, in a rehearsal on Monday. “The voice is just ravishing.” [...]

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