CHRISTINE LYONS (she/her) is a critically acclaimed soprano who has been hailed a “true virtuosa” by Broadway World, exclaimed a “revelation” by Gay City News, and praised for her “potent soprano” by Opera Magazine. In the 2021-22 season, Lyons makes an exciting debut as the title role in Handel’s iconic Agrippina with Florida Grand Opera, sings The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with IlluminArts Miami, and joins OnSite Opera as Nella in Gianni Schicchi.
Lyons has performed leading opera roles at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall, and most recently starred as Bellini’s Norma at Winter Opera St. Louis, Bellini’s La Straniera at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Verdi’s Leonora in Il Trovatore at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Baltimore Concert Opera.
In 2021, Lyons opens The Shed in New York with Kelsey Lu’s opera This is a Test, re-joins Will Crutchfield for Teatro Nuovo’s The Complete Recordings of Giuseppe Verdi, and returns to Baltimore Concert Opera, Maryland Opera, and Mohonk Mountain for concerts. As well, Lyons will serve as a judge for the 2021 New Jersey State Solo and Ensemble Festival and the 2021 Miss America New York Scholarship Competition. In 2020, Lyons performed for Teatro Nuovo’s Bel Canto in 30 Minutes and gave several Artist Talks on operatic preparation, career development, and equity in opera. Other engagements of the 2019-20 season were to include the title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble.
Favorite roles of earlier seasons include Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème as well as the title role in Suor Angelica, Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Floyd’s Susannah, Handel’s Alcina, Massenet’s Manon, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Mozart’s Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte.
Lyons has sung concerts with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, St. Veronica Orchestra of New York, Spectrum Symphony of New York, and Annapolis Opera.
Active as a recitalist, her art song repertoire includes works by Adams, Argento, Bachelet, Bellini, Boulanger, Brahms, Debussy, Donizetti, Duparc, Hoiby, Liszt, Marx, Musto, Owens, Poulenc, Rorem, Strauss, Schubert, Verdi, and Wolf.
She has given recitals in Philadelphia with Lyric Fest, in New York with the Art Song Preservation Society of New York, at the Kennedy Center with Vocal Arts DC, and in Chicago and Tuscon with the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. In 2021, Lyons curates and performs a recital of art songs for the Gelman Concert Series with River City Opera titled The Art of Perseverance, inclusive of Black, queer and female composers, choreographers and poets. As well, she joins Lyric Fest for My Letter to the World, a recital of song set to Emily Dickenson’s expansive poetry.
A highly-decorated competitor, Lyons is the first African-American woman to win the Grand Prize in the Mary Trueman Art Song Vocal Competition in New York, and has garnered top awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Vocal Arts DC Discovery Art Song Competition, Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition, New York Lyric Opera National Vocal Competition, Rochester International Vocal Competition, The American Prize for Women in Opera Competition, and Washington International Competition.
A seasoned actor, her television and theatrical credits include season six of House of Cards (Netflix), a national tour, workshops, and residencies with Theater of the Stars, Fingerlakes Music Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, Pittsburgh Music Theater, People’s Light, and Portland Center Stage.
Lyons’ debut as Norma garnered the Outstanding Achievement in Opera award nomination from the 2020 St. Louis Theater Circle, and she was the featured artist on Celebrating Our Musical Future with WWFM Classical Radio. Her artistry has been celebrated in such publications as Opera News, The New York Times, Musical America Worldwide, Bachtrak, Operawire, The Wall Street Journal, St. Louis Today, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, New York Classical Review and The Boston Music Intelligencer.
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Lyons is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, and completed further studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.