Christine Lyons

Christine Lyons

Christine Lyons 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. Last season, Lyons performed Nella in Gianni Schicchi with On Site Opera and made an exciting role debut as Handel’s eponymous Agrippina with Florida Grand Opera. Ms. Lyons welcomes the burgeoning 22-23 season in San Francisco Opera’s world premiere of John Adam’s Antony and Cleopatra.

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.

 

Calendar

Event Date
Sep 10
to
Oct 5
Antony and Cleopatra
(Cleopatra)
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco, CA

Artist Bio

Christine Lyons 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. Last season, Lyons performed Nella in Gianni Schicchi with On Site Opera and made an exciting role debut as Handel’s eponymous Agrippina with Florida Grand Opera. Ms. Lyons welcomes the burgeoning 22-23 season in San Francisco Opera’s world premiere of John Adam’s Antony and Cleopatra.

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 opened The Shed in New York with Kelsey Lu’s opera This is a Test, re-joined Will Crutchfield for Teatro Nuovo’s The Complete Recordings of Giuseppe Verdi, performed the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with IlluminArts Miami, and returned to Baltimore Concert Opera, Maryland Opera, Lyric Fest, 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, Handel’s Alcina, Massenet’s Manon, Floyd’s Susannah, and Mozart’s the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte

Lyons has sung concerts with the 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 Tucson with the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. ​In 2021, Lyons performs a curated 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 and poets.

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, Bachtrack, 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. 

Updated July 24, 2022

Video

“How Beautiful It Is” from The Turn of the Screw

“Romanza di Medora” from Verdi’s Il corsaro

“Deh! non volerli vittime” from Bellini’s Norma

“Porgi amor” from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro

“Di mia vita infelice…Ah, se pur morir degg’io” from Rossini’s Tancredi

Press

"Her high notes cut through like steel but her soft tones caress" – South Florida Classical Review

Agrippina – "As Agrippina, the most cold-blooded and conniving operatic anti-heroine this side of Lady Macbeth, Christine Lyons brings a regal bearing and opulent timbre to Handel’s showpiece solos. Her high notes cut through like steel but her soft tones caress and she can spin an eloquent, curving vocal line with skill. "

"...a true virtuosa..." – Broadway World

Norma – "Renata Scotto once called the role of Norma “the Everest of opera.” Well, Soprano Christine Lyons climbs that peak with banners flying. She’s a true virtuosa, dazzling us with her mastery of all those Bel Canto coloratura fireworks- all the runs, trills and staccato apreggios and cadenzas that decorate the long, free-ranging melody lines."

"...a truly gifted vocalist..." – Maryland Theater Guide

Madama Butterfly – "Christine Lyons is a celebrated soprano rapidly making a name for herself in opera houses across the globe. Last Friday night, she made her debut as Cio-Cio San in “Madama Butterfly,” and what a debut it was. She was as lovely as she was talented, and that is saying a lot. A truly gifted vocalist, Ms. Lyons is well on her way to the exalted status of Diva in the opera world if she continues on the path she’s on. Her Cio-Cio San displayed an impressive range of emotions, all of them personified by her soaring soprano."

"...her voice blossoming down..." – New York Times

La Straniera – "The soprano Christine Lyons, as Alaide, the melancholy stranger of the title of Bellini’s opera, dealt capably with the bursts of fury that end each act, her voice blossoming down into its depths."

"...spellbinding..." – Opera News

Tancredi – "The Amenaide was Christine Lyons, displaying a generously scaled lyric soprano, her rapid vibrato adding lushness to the tone."