"Irresistible" American soprano Hannah De Priest is an emerging soloist currently based in Chicago. While her musical interests are diverse, Ms. De Priest possesses a “sparkling technique” especially well-suited for the technical and expressive demands of baroque repertoire.
In 2017, Ms. De Priest was a Young Artist with the Boston Early Music Festival, performing in the ensemble cast of the Festival’s centerpiece opera, André Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise and covering baroque superstar Amanda Forsythe in the lead role of Isabelle. She has elsewhere appeared onstage as an “impeccable” Belinda in Dido & Aeneas, as Ïole in Handel’s Hercules, Drusilla in L'incoronazione di Poppea, and as Oberto and Morgana (cover) in Alcina.
As an oratorio soloist, Ms. De Priest has sung masterworks by Handel, Mozart, Bach, Purcell, and Vivaldi with the Elgin Master Chorale, Bella Voce, Chicago Citywide Orchestra, and Chicago Chorale, among others. Her “agile” voice has been described as “always easy, never harsh” with a “flexible, bell-clear” tone.
In 2018, Ms. De Priest was selected from hundreds of international applicants to be the soprano fellow of the Virginia Adams Best Masterclass at the Carmel Bach Festival. As a participant in the course, directed by tenor David Gordon and harpsichordist Michael Beattie, she sang in bi-weekly masterclasses, performed Bach cantatas with festival orchestra members, and sang with the acclaimed Festival Choir, conducted by Andrew Megill. In the summer of 2019, Ms. De Priest will travel to San Francisco to participate in the American Bach Soloists Academy, an elite training program for young musicians.
Ms. De Priest is a regular guest soloist with baroque chamber ensemble Ars Musica Chicago, directed by Jason Moy, with whom she has performed excerpts from the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook and multiple programs of Handel cantatas and rage arias. Her singing of Handel has garnered special praise for her “beautiful tone, creative ornamentation, poise, and intelligence.” Ms. De Priest has also performed as a soloist for multiple projects with Madison Bach Musicians, Acadèmie du Roi Soleil, Kansas City Baroque Consortium, Trio Speranza, Les Meándres, and Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal. In 2019, she made a “most impressive debut” with celebrated early music ensemble The Newberry Consort, performing alongside Paul O’Dette and other luminaries in a program of music from the French Renaissance.
A keen collaborator, Ms. De Priest performs regularly with pianist/conductor Michael Pecak. In the coming season, the duo will present a recital at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series. In 2019-2020, other planned recital performances include Beethoven’s An die Ferne Geliebte, Mozart and Haydn Lieder, and Polish songs by Chopin and his contemporaries.
Ms. De Priest is a recent graduate of McGill University in Montréal, where she studied with renowned Canadian soprano Joanne Kolomyjec and coached with Stephen Hargreaves. While in Montréal, she performed regularly with Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal under the direction of Andrew McAnerney, and also appeared with I Musici, Clavecin en Concert, and Ensemble Caprice. She holds a BM with honors from William Jewell College and an MM in historical performance practices from Case Western Reserve University, where she studied voice with Ellen Hargis, baroque dance and chamber music with Julie Andrijeski, and medieval music with Debra Nagy. During her undergraduate degree, she spent a year abroad at the University of Cambridge, performing and touring with the Sydney Sussex College Choir under the direction of David Skinner.