Devony Smith, soprano
Devony Smith is a versatile soprano excelling in both contemporary and traditional repertoire with her “sensuous” and “strong” voice (New York Times). A California native, Devony makes her mark on New York City as a professional member of Musica Viva NY, where she recently performed Ernest Chausson's “Chanson Perpétuelle” with the Aeolus Quartet, as well as the soprano solos for Vivaldi’s Gloria, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and Carmina Burana. In 2016, Devony made her Lincoln Center recital debut as the Grand Prize Winner of the MIMF Art Song competition. This year, Devony was the recipient of the Lyndon Woodside award in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall. Also this year at Carnegie, she participated in the prestigious Song Continues Workshop with Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Graham Johnson. In 2019, she will present a recital in a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Citywide Concerts with her frequent collaborator, Nikolay Verevkin.
Recently on the operatic stage, Devony performed Kate Soper’s self-accompanied opera Here Be Sirens at National Sawdust, Micaëla (Carmen) at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Violetta (La Traviata) with the Narnia Performing Arts Festival, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Bronx Opera, Cendrillon with Utopia Opera, and Vicky with Fresh Squeezed Opera in the East Coast Premiere of Bruce Trinkley’s Baby Shower. Patrick Dillon of OperaNews praised her Susanna, describing it as “utterly alive and natural, and beautifully sung.”
Devony particularly relishes the opportunity to perform contemporary works. This winter, she will perform the title role in a workshop of Matt Aucoin's new opera Eurydice, a co-commission from the Metropolitan Opera's New Works Program and LA Opera. As a Sorel Fellow at Songfest, she performed John Harbison’s Simple Daylight at Zipper Hall for Harbison’s 80th Birthday celebration. As a 2017 fellow at Ravinia Steans Music Institute, she collaborated with composer William Bolcom in a concert of his art songs and cabaret music. As a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest in 2013, she performed the world premiere of Ben Moore’s John and Abigail and the west coast premiere of John Musto's Six Scottish Songs. While earning her M.M. in Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College, she created the lead role in Shawn Jaeger’s opera, Payne Hollow, collaborated on concerts of contemporary music with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Joan Tower, and performed the world premiere of Daniela DeMatos’ “Encounter,” to high praise from both the New York Times and the Boston Classical Review.