Hannah De Priest is an emerging lyric soprano based in Chicago. She possesses an “agile, always easy” voice (L’Opera) especially well-suited to the intimacies of art song and early music. Recent operatic roles include Ïole, (Hercules), and Oberto, (Alcina), and as an “irresistible ” Belinda in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. Last 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 Amanda Forsythe in the lead role of Isabelle.
Recent 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.) A passionate advocate for chamber music, Hannah has performed as a guest soloist with French baroque ensembles Les Méandres (Montréal) and L’Acadèmie du Roi Soleil (North Carolina.) Upcoming projects include collaborations with Les Barocudas, Kansas City Baroque Consortium and Chicago’s Newberry Consort. In 2018, she was selected as the soprano fellow for the prestigious Carmel Bach Festival Virginia Best Adams Masterclass and will be in residency performing and coaching early oratorio repertoire this summer.
An avid recitalist, Hannah collaborates regularly with her partner, pianist/conductor Michael Pecak. Recent performances as a duo include lesser-known works by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven with Michael’s replica Anton Walter Viennese fortepiano (ca. 1795) built by Chris Maene. They enjoy a wide range of repertoire and have also curated programs of French mélodies by Debussy, Fauré, and Satie.
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.