Praised for her “plush and seductive” tone, soprano Ashley Kerr is a rapidly garnering attention from critics and opera companies alike. Most recently, Ms. Kerr made her Lincoln Center debut in concert with the Opera Orchestra of New York under the baton of Eve Queler at Alice Tully Hall. In 2015, Ms. Kerr joined Virginia Opera for a production of La traviata and spent the summer as a young artist with the Caramoor Music Festival for their production of Dialogues des carmélites. Other engagements have included her role debut of Cio-cio San in Madama Butterfly with Salt Marsh Opera; and performances as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. Recent engagements have included Sandrina in La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera.
Ms. Kerr’s performances have included role debuts of Mimì and Musetta in La bohème and a return to Le nozze di Figaro as Countess Almaviva. In 2013, Ms. Kerr sang the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in the United States and Tel Aviv, Israel. In October 2012, Ms. Kerr made her European debut as Sally Follett in A Death in the Family in an award-winning joint production with the Center for Contemporary Opera and the Armel Festival. During the 2012 Fort Worth Opera Festival season, Ms. Kerr triumphed as Myrrhine in their production of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata. She spent the summer of 2012 in residence with the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado, where she sang a performance of Pamina in The Magic Flute.
A dedicated interpreter of new music, Ms. Kerr has been involved in the workshops and premieres of many new works including Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls, Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon, and Persis Parshall Vehar’s Eleanor Roosevelt. She has also performed roles in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Mark Adamo’s Little Women.
Equally at home on the musical theater stage, Ashley has performed principal roles in Carousel, Oklahoma!, Crazy for You, and A Chorus Line, among others.
Ms. Kerr has also appeared in Madama Butterfly with Lake George Opera and Don Giovanni, Carmen and Amahl and the Night Visitors with Fort Worth Opera. She spent the 2007-2008 season as a resident artist with Opera Carolina where she sang role debuts in Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Pirates of Penzance.
Other noted roles in her repertoire include Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, Marguerite in Faust, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Micaela in Carmen, Liù in Turandot, and Violetta in La Traviata.
Excelling in recent vocal competitions, Ms. Kerr was a regional finalist in the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Most recently she received third prize in the 2014 Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition and encouragement awards from the Giulio Gari Foundation and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. Ms. Kerr also received the North Carolina District Award from the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was also the first place winner in the 2008 Charlotte Opera Guild Competition. She has received multiple awards from the Orpheus Vocal Competition, Shreveport Singer of the Year, Heafner/Williams Competition, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
A native of Charlotte, NC, Ashley holds a Master of Music from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Music with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.