Hailed by Opera News as “a wonderfully promising, rich dramatic soprano” and “a master of her craft,” Meghan Kasanders is quickly establishing herself as a rising star in the world of classical music.
A 2019 Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Kasanders was celebrated by the New York Times as “a soprano who brought a gleaming sound and ample carrying power” to her performances, offering the competition an “authentically Wagnerian sound,” and received both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2019 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition that same year. She has also been recognized by the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Birmingham (Second Prize and Audience Choice), and the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, where she won first prize in 2017 as the youngest competitor. Garnering acclaim with each production, concert, and competition, Ms. Kasanders’s rise has been captured succinctly by the St. Louis Dispatch: “this is an important voice, big and opulent.”
Ms. Kasanders made her Carnegie Hall debut singing in Bernstein's Songfest under the direction of Marin Alsop and starred as Magda Sorel in Opera Saratoga’s critically acclaimed production of The Consul.
In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Kasanders also performed Sibelius’ Luonnotar with Maestra Barbara Hannigan at New York City’s Alice Tully Hall and worked with the Nürnberger Symphoniker under the baton of Michael Hofstetter. It was her Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Juilliard School that was the most widely celebrated, as her “opulent timbre and reserves of power made her Donna Anna the undisputed diva of the evening” (Opera News).
After receiving her Artist’s Diploma from The Juilliard School, Ms. Kasanders quickly made her European opera debut as Mutter in Hänsel und Gretel at Staatsoper Hannover, a role she had performed previously at Union Avenue Opera in 2017. She returned to the United States to perform at Carnegie Hall with Renée Fleming and SongStudio and in the title role in Anna Bolena at Baltimore Concert Opera, just days before New York City’s lockdown in March 2020.
Like so many performing artists, COVID-19 forced an abrupt pause to Ms. Kasanders’s upcoming schedule, including notable debuts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. After 13 months of the industry going dark, she is humbled to be performing again, having recently returned to the role of Donna Anna for Opera Columbus’s 2021 production of Don Giovanni (which involved all singers performing in their own vinyl, PPE-safe boxes!) and Nella in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’s 2021 production of Gianni Schicchi (which was moved to an outdoor performance venue).
Ms. Kasanders’s training includes residencies with International Meistersinger Akademie (Neumarkt, Germany), Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College, a Master of Music degree from Rice University, and an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School, where she was the recipient of The Richard F. Gold Career Grant. She currently resides in Chicago and when she’s not on stage, she enjoys painting, reading, and embroidering.