Soprano Christina Kay’s sharp ear and love for collaboration and harmony have allowed her to thrive in both solo and ensemble settings, from opera and art song, to early, contemporary, and folk music.
Christina first discovered her love of music at the piano and singing in the local youth choir. Originally on track to pursue piano, intense stage fright led her to refocus on singing, which she studied in college alongside German and creative writing courses. During the pandemic, she found work as an ESL writer, combining her loves of writing and teaching to become a published author. In April 2021, she joined Grammy-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra for three weeks of in-person “bubble” projects, including Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Joseph Hadyn’s Theresienmesse. Christina was thrilled to sing in the chorus of Le Roi Arthus at the 2021 BardSummerscape Festival, and also joined the Bard Music Festival Chorus in August, performing works in honor of Nadia Boulanger and her contemporaries.
Since moving to New York City in 2016, Christina’s commitment to contemporary repertoire has opened doors to unconventional opportunities. In April 2018, she debuted with S.E.M. Ensemble singing the leading role in Petr Kotik's chamber opera, Master-Pieces, for which she was praised as portraying a "vital, intelligent, generous and deeply rewarding" Gertrude Stein (Theater Scene). The show's success led to a subsequent performance at the Ostrava in Prague Festival in November 2018. In 2019, she appeared as Mormon actress-turned-porn-star Daphne Blueberry in the premiere performance of David Chesky’s satirical opera, La Farranucci. Christina has been part of many other premieres of new works, including a romantic album of folk-influenced music with the ecclectic Home Port Vocal Trio.
An avid performer of early music, Christina made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 as soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with MasterWork Chorus and Orchestra. Her skill with Renaissance and Baroque-era repertoire has led her to notable summer festivals, including the Carmel Bach Festival's Virginia Best Adams Masterclass, the American Bach Soloists Academy, and the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College. In New York City, she performs with period ensembles ARTEK and The American Classical Orchestra, and has also appeared with Brooklyn Baroque, Ensemble Leonarda, and Gotham Early Music. She is particularly interested in ornamentation and improvisation of late Renaissance and early Baroque repertoire, and enjoys writing and performing her own ornamented arrangements of popular 16th and 17th century madrigals.
Alongside her performance endeavors, Christina has taught voice and piano lessons since 2012, most recently working with middle and high school students at Highbridge Voices in the Bronx. She also enjoys putting her obsession with lists and spreadsheets into practice as Music Administrator at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where she coordinates the Great Music in a Great Space concert series. Christina resides in the Heights and loves taking advantage of the local parks, reading, listening to podcasts, and drinking lots of bubble tea.
"Kay’s singing and speaking, and her brilliantly acted, triumphant concluding certainty that the philosophical truths she has arrived at are both intelligible and important were so vibrant and alive that the opera [Master-Pieces] felt big and gorgeous."
October 31, 2021 at 3pm
Christina premieres the role of Annabelle in an Act I preview of Timothy Lee Miller's The Bird Lady in the National Opera Center's Marc Scorca Hall.
Santa Fe Desert Chorale
December 11 - 17, 2021
Santa Fe Desert Chorale builds on its long-standing commitment to music by Hispanic composers, with new works and beloved carols from South, Central, and North America