Biography

Praised for her “remarkably vibrant and flexible voice” (Gramophone) and her “wonderfully clear, pointed sound and the natural warmth she brings to her character” (Opera News), soprano Katrina Thurman is the picture of versatility: an artist of the modern era who enjoys success performing traditional operatic repertoire while also specializing in contemporary opera and American musical theater. Her ever-expanding repertoire encompasses over 45 roles in six languages and has taken her to theaters throughout the United States and Europe, including Opéra de Lyon and Festival Lyrique de Belle-Ile en Mer (France), Oper Bonn (Germany), Opera Philadelphia, The Glimmerglass Festival, Florentine Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, American Opera Projects, Syracuse Opera, Sacramento Opera, Shippensburg Music Festival, Anchorage Opera, Piedmont Opera, Shreveport Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival.

Ms. Thurman is known for her poignant portrayals in contemporary operas and has participated in multiple world premieres, creating the roles of Liz in Conrad Cummings’ The Golden Gate (American Opera Projects), Blanche Ingram in Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre (Center for Contemporary Opera), Isabella Beecher in Victoria Bond’s Mrs. President (Anchorage Opera), Sister Suzanna in Bernard Rands’ Belladonna (Aspen Opera Theater Center) and Martha in Karchin’s Romulus (American Opera Projects) which was also recorded on the Naxos label. Other contemporary opera portrayals include Mrs. Naidoo in Glass’s Satyagraha (Oper Bonn, Germany), Amy in Adamo’s Little Women (Syracuse Opera), Lightfoot McClendon in Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree (Opera Omaha tour), and Luciano Chailly’s Procedura penale (Opera Theater of Lucca). 2018 will see the release on the Naxos label of Thurman’s Blanche Ingram in Karchin’s Jane Eyre.

Celebrated for her “picture perfect” delivery (Opera Today), Ms. Thurman continues to build an impressive resume in traditional opera roles including Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Lyrique en Mer, Sacramento Opera), Gilda in Rigoletto (Sacramento Opera), Musetta in La bohème (Florentine Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Piedmont Opera), Marzelline in Fidelio  and the cover of Violetta in La traviata (Shippensburg Music Festival), the cover of Eurydice in Telemann's Orpheus (New York City Opera), Die Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Tulsa Opera), Belinda in Dido & Aeneas (The Yard), Ninfa and the cover of La Musica in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Glimmerglass Festival), Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore (Opera Philadelphia), and Ellen in Lakmé and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro (Florida Grand Opera) as well as Berta in director Michael Shell’s sparkling Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Philadelphia, Opera Omaha).

Ms. Thurman thrives in operetta and musical theatre and began her foray into this repertoire as a young artist at Glimmerglass Festival where she went on with a few hours’ notice as Diana in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and returned as a soloist in concert with Steven Blier and to cover and give a young artist performance of Bianca/Lois Lane in Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate directed by Diane Paulus. She has since been seen to critical acclaim as Maria in The Sound of Music (Anchorage Opera), Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella (Tulsa Opera), Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow (Shreveport Opera), Sophie in Terrance McNally’s Master Class (Alpine Theatre Company), Yum-Yum in The Mikado (Syracuse Opera), Gabrielle in La vie parisienne (First Coast Opera), and Adele in Die Fledermaus (Syracuse Opera) for which Opera Today declared “She has an immediately attractive bright and warm vocal timbre. . . this is a singer equally at-home with musical theater and opera. Thurman’s signature second-act number, the Laughing Song, was for my tastes the standout number of the production.” Awarded 2nd prize in the American Traditions vocal competition, on the concert platform Thurman has performed Gershwin standards with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and presented her one-woman show Once Upon a Date: A Lover’s Life at multiple venues, including the University Club of New York.

Ms. Thurman stepped into the international spotlight when she joined Oper Bonn as Venus in Rameau’s Dardanus for which Theater Rundschau stated “One should note Katrina Thurman’s vocally brilliant European debut.” She returned to Bonn for acclaimed performances as Mrs. Naidoo in Philip Glass’s Satyagraha and Aljeja in Janacek’s From the House of the Dead. Other international engagements include her French opera debut as Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Opéra de Lyon, Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Lyrique en Mer for which Ouest France celebrated her as a “feast for the eyes and ears,” and principal soloist in the European premiere of The Opera Show, which toured Spain, Italy, and England.

An accomplished recitalist and concert artist, Ms. Thurman made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 as the soprano soloist in Rutter’s Magificat with Manhattan Concert Productions and returned Carnegie in 2017 with MCP as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass. She has been a featured soloist with the Indianapolis Opera’s Crescendo Concert, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and made her New York City recital debut at Trinity Church in the Noonday Concert Series. Of her Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, the Danbury News Times exclaimed “Thurman had a dramatically endearing presence as her luxurious voice gave life to the lyric rhapsody. . . As she sang of her losses with tenderness, her delivery was impeccable.”

Ms. Thurman has performed with many distinguished conductors: David Charles Abell, Andrew Bisantz, Victoria Bond, Anton Coppola, Carol I. Crawford, Attilio Cremonesi, Hal France, Douglas Kinney Frost, Ward Holmquist, Sara Jobin, Roman Kofman, Gérard Korsten, Robert L. Larsen, Keith Lockhart, Steven Osgood, Kostis Protopapas, Joseph Rescigno, Stewart Robertson, Timm Rolek, Corrado Rovaris, Julius Rudel, Jerome Shannon, Robert Trevino, Curt Tucker, Antony Walker, Gary Thor Wedow, Steven White, Ulrich Windfur, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and David Zinman. In addition, she has had the pleasure of working with celebrated directors: Christopher Alden, Dean Anthony, Garnett Bruce, Ned Canty, Kay Walker Castaldo, Jose Maria Condemi, Adam Cook, Dorothy Danner, Eric Einhorn, Bill Fabris, Tara Faircloth, Bill Florescu, Peter Flynn, Karoline Gruber, Chuck Hudson, Günter Krämer, Stephen Lawless, Tomas Pandur, Johnathon Pape, Diane Paulus, Silviu Purcarete, Michael Scarola, Ellen Schlaefer, Michael Shell, Rebecca Taichman, Lemuel Wade, and Patricia Weinmann.

A consummate actor and communicator, Ms. Thurman is prized for her master classes which focus on encouraging developing singers to bring text and story to life.  Thurman has presented master classes and forums on the business of singing at New York University, Manhattan School of Music, the University of South Alabama, the University of Mobile, Anchorage Opera, the Festival Lyrique de Belle Ile-en-Mer (France), Reinhardt University, and Opera Philadelphia’s T-Voce prep program, to name a few. First Place & Audience Choice Award winner in the Classical Singer Competition, she has received awards and honors from the Jensen Foundation, the National Opera Association, the Connecticut Opera Guild, the William C. Byrd Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma City University.