Danielle de Niese's "sweet, gleaming soprano," "phenomenal musicality" and "sharply comic, yet utterly moving acting," combined with youth and physical presence, have launched her into a spectacular career. She has been called "Opera's coolest soprano" by the New York Times Magazine and "not just a superb performer, but a phenomenal one" by Opera News.
The Australian-born American singer who "looks like a pop diva but sings like a real one" (St. Louis Post Dispatch) regularly appears on the world's most prestigious opera and concert stages and has an exclusive recording contract with Decca. For her debut solo album, Handel Arias, released in 2007, de Niese was named New Artist of the Year at the 2008 ECHO Awards, received the 2008 Orphee D'Or by the Academie Du Disque Lyrique, and was nominated for the 2009 Classical Brit Award for Female Artist of the Year. Her much-lauded second recording, The Mozart Album followed in 2009 and her newest album Diva was released in July 2010 throughout the United Kingdom.
Through a combination of her recordings, live performance, and television exposure de Niese has gained wide recognition as a highly respected but popular classical artist, who combines effortless grace and class with the ability to communicate on every level. She is as comfortable on the small screen as she is on stage with no fewer than four BBC TV projects in the pipeline. She recently paired with Mika on ITV1's recent Popstar to Operastar series, and she is also the subject of her own TV documentary, Diva Diaries, which debuted on BBC4 television with high ratings in May 2010.
Ms de Niese's 2010-11 season begins with an appearance as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with the San Francisco Opera. She continues with Mozart at the Metropolitan Opera as Despina in Cosi fan tutte with William Christie conducting. In Vienna she assumes the title role of Handel's Rodelinda at the Theatre an der Wien under the legendary Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She returns to the Glyndebourne Festival in June 2011 for her first performances as Adina in L'Elisir d'amore.
Born to parents of Sri Lankan and Dutch heritage, Danielle de Niese grew up in Los Angeles. The soprano has been captivating audiences since childhood, when she was a fixture of Los Angeles local television hosting a weekly arts showcase for teenagers, for which she won an Emmy Award.
Ms. de Niese's career got off to a prestigious start when, at age eighteen, she became the youngest singer ever to enter the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. A year later she made her Met debut as Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) in Jonathan Miller's acclaimed new production with James Levine. Soon after came important operatic debuts with the Netherlands Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival, and the Paris Opera, but it was her portrayal of Cleopatra in a David McVicar production of Handel's Giulio Cesare for her 2005 Glyndebourne Festival debut that brought her to true international acclaim.
Ms. de Niese has enjoyed continued successes on the stages of the Paris Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Netherlands Opera, Teatro Real and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. She has sung with conductors including Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Nicola Luisotti, Christophe Rousset, Marc Minkowski and Emmanuelle Haïm. Orchestral engagements have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Important recent opera engagements include the title role in L'incoronazione di Poppea with Madrid's Teatro Real and the title role of Semele at the Theâtre des Champs Elysees.