Hannah De Priest is an emerging lyric soprano currently based in Chicago. She possesses an “agile, always easy” voice (L’Opera) especially well-suited to early music. This past season, she appeared onstage as Ïole, (Hercules), and Oberto, (Alcina), and as an “irresistible ” Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In June she made her Boston debut as a Young Artist in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production of André Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise, performing as a member of the ensemble cast and covering the lead role of Isabelle. Recent and upcoming oratorio engagements include performances of Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate (Chicago Citywide Orchestra), soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah (First United Methodist Festival Orchestra) and Bach's Johannes-Passion (University of Michigan Summer Sings), and concerts of François Couperin's Leçons de ténèbres with L'Acadèmie du Roi Soleil.
An avid recitalist, Hannah collaborates regularly with her partner, pianist/conductor Michael Pecak. Recent performances included lesser-known works by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven with Michael’s replica Anton Walter Viennese fortepiano (ca. 1795) built by Chris Maene. Upcoming programs will center around French song cycles including Ariettes obliées by Debussy and Ravel’s Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques.
Hannah is equally enthusiastic about solo and ensemble work, and has performed with some of the top North American early music choirs, including the esteemed Montréal-based Studio de musique ancienne Montréal, I Musici, Clavecin en Concert, Ensemble Caprice, as well as the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Chicago's Bella Voce. She has sung under the direction of Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Hank Knox, Jeffrey Thomas, Steven Plank, Anthony Maglione, and David Skinner, among others.
Hannah recently graduated with an M.Mus in voice performance with a specialization in early music from McGill University, where she studied with Joanne Kolomyjec and coached with Stephen Hargreaves. She also holds an M.A. in historical performance practice from Case Western University, where she studied voice with Ellen Hargis, baroque dance and chamber music with Julie Andrijeski, and mediaeval music with Debra Nagy. She attended William Jewell College for her undergraduate degree, a B.A. in music. As part of her studies, she spent a year at the University of Cambridge where she sang with the Sidney Sussex College Chapel Choir under the direction of David Skinner. As a member of the choir, she toured Austria, Dubai, and the western coast of the United States. Hannah has participated in several prestigious early music training programs in North America, including the American Bach Soloists Academy, the Haymarket Young Artist Program, and the Boston Early Music Festival Young Artist Program. She has performed as part of the Early Music America's Young Performers' Festival in Boston and Berkeley, CA. She has sung in masterclasses for Dame Emma Kirkby, Barbara Bonney, Thomas Cooley, William Sharp, and Lawrence Brownlee.
In addition to freelancing as a soloist and chorister, Hannah is an active contributor to Schmopera, an opera industry blog for which she reviews the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is also the General Manager of The Newberry Consort, Chicagoland's premiere early music ensemble. She is a member of the Union des Artistes (Québec) and Early Music America. CV available upon request. Please contact Hannah directly if a bio is needed for a program.