About

TAKESHA MESHÉ KIZART


Takesha Meshé Kizart is “blasting star quality all over the stage with her stunning voice and sensational good looks” (Opera News).  Star of the feature film The Verdian Voice, and laureate of numerous international competitions, she is rapidly being hailed as the next great Verdian Voice of her generation. The New York Times describes her singing as “powerful, lustrous, silky, caramel-hued, wielding impressive ease and elegant control” and critics worldwide are praising her visually- and vocally-compelling performances.  Kizart’s versatile body of work already includes leading operatic heroines of the bel canto, verismo, and contemporary eras.  Her musical roots run deep. A performer since the age of two, the Chicago native counts music legends McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield and Tina Turner among her relations. Judging by her current ascent, this young and dazzlingly talented vocal artist is destined for greatness on the lyric stage and beyond.

Fresh from her debut with The Colorado Symphony under the baton of Maestro Andrew Litton in her signature title role of Tosca, Kizart joined the Metropolitan Opera and The Lincoln Center Theater's Opera Commissioning Program this season in the starring role of Esther Mills for the upcoming Ricky Ian Gordon new work of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel.  Of her 2010 debut with the storied house in La bohème, the New York Post pronounced, “The most intriguing of the new faces was Takesha Meshé Kizart.  With her exotic and voluptuous soprano, her megawatt presence automatically drew the eye.”

Additionally, Takesha Meshé Kizart has appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra, MIDEM & Radio France, SWR Television, Baden Badener Philharmonie, The Metropolitan Opera Live HD Broadcast Intermission Feature, and many others.  Her exceptionally vivid portrayals include the title role of Tosca (Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Oper Köln, Opera Australia, Opera North-UK, & The Dallas Opera); the title role of Respighi's Marie Victoire (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Clitennestra in Gnecchi’s Cassandra  led by Maestro Donald Runnicles (Deutsche Oper Berlin); the title role of Madama Butterfly (Deutsche Oper Berlin & Slovenian National Opera); Mimì in La bohème (Opera Australia & Deutsche Oper Berlin); a rare feat of performing both Margherita & Elena in Mefistofele (Opéra National de Montpellier); Judith in Bluebeard's Castle (Oper Köln); Donna Leonora in Il Trovatore (Staatsoper Stuttgart); Donna Leonora in La forza del destino (Caramoor International Music Festival & The Academy of Vocal Arts); Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari (Opera Orchestra of New York); Costanza in L'isola disabitata (Gotham Chamber Opera); The Duchess in Powder Her Face (Musikfest Bremen); Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra); Mendelssohn's Lobgesang (The Fort Worth Symphony) and Elijah (AVA); Wagner's Liebestod (Symphony in C); Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, the title role of Vanessa, Anna in Le Villi, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Rossini's Stabat Mater (AVA); Desdemona in Otello; Violetta La Traviata; Giorgetta in Il tabarro; the title roles of Suor AngelicaManon Lescaut, and  Donizetti's Maria di Rohan; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte; Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro; Hanna in The Merry Widow; Lià L'Enfant prodigue; Händel's Messiah; Dubois' Seven Last Words; and Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio. Further appearances include L'Orchestra della Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, WDR Broadcast Orchestra of Cologne, Kölner Philharmonie, Fort Worth Opera, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Alte Oper Frankfurt, La Orquestra Filharmonica de Pilsen, Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Duisberg Philharmonic Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, WRTI Radio, NPR Performance Today, PBS, & NBC's Today Show.

Kizart made her professional debut in 2006 as The Dutchess in Thomas Adès’ Power Her Face with Musikfest Bremen and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie.  Her American professional debut occurred in 2008 in the title role of Tosca with The Dallas Opera.  Among her American highlights is a highly acclaimed Leonora in La forza del destino at the Caramoor International Music Festival in 2008.  Other U.S. performances include Costanza in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata with Gotham Chamber Opera, Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari with Opera Orchestra of New York, and concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony.  

Takesha Meshé Kizart sang her first Messiah in her early teens at the First Baptist Congregational Church in Chicago.  A graduate of the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, alma mater of First Lady Michelle Obama, she excelled not only in music and theater, but also dance, modeling and as a member of the Young Lawyers Section of The American Bar Association.  She is also an alumna of the University of North Texas and the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.  A deeply spiritual person, her name itself is a force of destiny. Takesha means highly favored, Meshé: messiah/savior, and Kizart: miraculous.  



AWARDS
Two years in a row, Takesha Meshé Kizart has received nominations for Germany’s Opernwelt Award for “Female Singer of the Year: for Marie Victoire (2009) and Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle (2010), as well as Live Performance Australia’s Helpmann Award 2010 for “Best Female Performer in an Opera” (Tosca).  She has received top awards from The Marian Anderson Historical Society, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Classical Singer Magazine’s Young Artist Competition, Opera Index, The Caruso International Voice Competition, Guilds of The Dallas Opera, Connecticut Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, The Oratorio Society of New York, Competizione dell'Opera, Neue Stimmen; and the Foundations of William Matheus Sullivan, Gerda Lissner, Liederkranz, Mario Lanza, Giulio Gari, Sergio Franchi, and Albanese-Puccini.  Kizart was honored with Grand Prize at the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballé by the luminous Caballé herself.  In the film The Verdian Voice, she was lauded by jury, media and the public as Grand Prize Winner of the prestigious Concorso Internazionale Voci Verdiane “Città di Busseto” as the next great Verdian Voice of her generation.



FUN FACTS
*Definition of Name:  TAKESHA - highly favored, MESHÉ - messiah/savior, KIZART - miraculous 
(named by her cousin, a child at the time)

*Home:  Citizen of The USA... Resident of World Stage where EVERYWHERE IS HOME  

*Famous Relatives:  McKinley "Muddy Waters" Morganfield via maternal Grandfather and 
Tina Turner via maternal Grandmother by marriage

*Marital Status:  Not married and no children, but welcomes a future marriage and children

*First public performance:  Age of 2 at St. Michael's Baptist Church - Chicago, IL

*Early Musical Influence:  High School Music Teacher, Mrs. Flora Robinson
who exposed her to classical and operatic voice, helped procure her first classical voice teacher, and introduced many other musical resources and opportunities

*Early Musical Success:  Recorded a House music club hit with legendary producer Jamie Principle entitled "Sanctified" during her adolescence 
(House Music Definition: Soul and Funk infused electronic dance music featuring powerhouse vocalism that originated in Chicago)

*Classical Music Debut:  Händel's Messiah during her adolescence at First Baptist Congregational Church - Chicago, IL

*First Professional Opera Contract:  2006 starring as The Duchess in Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face with Musikfest Bremen and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie

*Most widely notarized performance to date:  Respighi's Marie Victoire with Deutsche Oper Berlin has been broadcast throughout the world (Recorded Release coming soon...)

*Celebrities:  Would love to meet and work with Oprah Winfrey, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, and Kanye West

*Favorite Movie:  The Wiz

*Favorite Musical:  Dreamgirls

*Favorite Part of the Meal:  Dessert

*Favorite Vocalist:  Ella Fitzgerald (they also share the same birthday)

*Favorite Color:  Gold

*Favorite Sound:  Silence

*Favorite Poem:  The Creation by James Weldon Johnson

*Favorite Quote:  "Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both USEFUL and PLEASANT, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it WELL. Then Youth will be Delightful, Old Age will bring Few Regrets, and LIFE will become a BEAUTIFUL SUCCESS." (Louisa May Alcott)

*Favorite Scripture:  "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and THAT my soul knows very well." (Psalm 139:14)

*Favorite Hymn: Great Is Thy Faithfulness





{Updated: 1 October 2015}

_________________________

TAKESHA MESHÉ KIZART



is worthy of all superlatives. With a breathtaking mastery and unflinching portrayals... a vocal flexibility that enables her to acutely pass from a tearful murmur to a firm luminosity. And her dramatic intelligence is worthy of the great "lionesses" of the lyric theater. An artist whose international career is still at its dawning, this young and beautiful American should reach the summit quickly. Provided, of course, that she preserves the incandescent glow that currently emanates from her every word and gesture. 
-Opera Magazine
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Respighi: Marie Victoire
Verdi: La forza del destino
Gnecchi: Cassandra
Puccini: La bohème
Puccini: Tosca
Puccini: Tosca
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod
Massenet: Le Cid
Guion: I talked to God last night
Verdi: Don Carlo
Bellini: Il pirata
Verdi: La traviata
Puccini: La bohème

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