Praised as “a fine actress with a deep, spacious sound” [Parterre], American mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein brings her “rich-voiced mezzo-soprano” and “lines of an uncannily silky legato” [New York Times] to her work, ranging from the traditional to the edgy and imaginative. She was lauded for her recent portrayal of Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera in a co-production by On Site Opera and Atlanta Opera, a role she reprised in 2018 at Caramoor. The 2017/18 season also brought debuts with The Prototype Festival (Aquanetta), and the Little Opera Theatre of New York as Piramo in Johan Hasse’s baroque gem Piramo e Tisbe. Kristin made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Spring of 2018, winning third place in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition.
The 2016-17 season held several role debuts: Angelina in Rossini’s La cenerentola with Salt Marsh Opera, Lady-in-Waiting in Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Company of Middlebury, and Paul in the world premiere of Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Clark’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June with Indianapolis Opera.
A frequent performer on the New York scene, Ms. Gornstein has appeared as Lucretia in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Loft Opera, as Mrs. Slender in Salieri’s Falstaff with Dell’Arte Opera, as Dulcinée in Massenet’s Don Quichotte with Utopia Opera, and as Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Opera Modo. Never straying too far from the edgy and imaginative, she is an Associate Artist with Heartbeat Opera; appearing as Xantippe in Daphnis and Chloé, as featured soloist in Queens of the Night: Mozart in Space at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust and as part of the first fully staged opera pastiche ever performed on Manhattan’s High Line.
No stranger to the concert stage, she has joined Sacred Music in a Sacred Space as alto soloist for both Vivaldi’s Gloria and a program of Domenico Zipoli’s work titled Zipoli and his World, NY Wind Symphony for de Meij’s 4th Symphony, Sinfonietta Riverdale as Bessie in Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, and the American University of Beirut as soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Kristin toured extensively with Mark Morris Dance Company’s acclaimed production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as an ensemble member, appeared at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic for Honegger’s Jean D’Arc au Bûcher, and has made numerous appearances in recital at Caramoor. Kristin is a regular soloist with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and will appear with them this season singing Arias and Barcarolles as a part of the celebration of Bernstein’s centennial.
Ms. Gornstein was a 2015 Fellow with the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was featured as soloist in Mackey’s Madrigal, and Bach’s Cantata 155 and as Federico Lorca in excerpts from Osvaldo Golijov’s opera Ainadamar. She sang performances of Carmen in Bizet/Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen, Annina in Verdi’s La traviata and Pitti-Sing in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado as a young artist with Indianapolis Opera, and she was also an apprentice with Bel Canto at Caramoor and New Jersey Opera. In 2012, she attended the Opera College of Stockholm, through which she performed at the Royal Opera (Stockholm), premiering as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Karl Unander-Scharin’s Opera Mecatronica, and reprising that performance in Operadagen Rotterdam Festival’s production of Distant Voices. She holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Colorado, where she sang the roles of Vixen Sharp-Ears in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Maria in Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Kitty Hart in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and was soloist in Crumb’s Apparition. She also joined the Loveland Opera as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. She attended Butler University for her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, and her training also includes improvisation study and subsequent performances with OperaWorks founder Ann Baltz, as well as extensive movement and dance training. Ms. Gornstein resides with her husband, violinist Ryan Drickey, in Beacon, New York.