Hailed by the press as a “radiant and confident” performer, American mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke “is a singer who communicates both the music and the text impeccably.” Her “striking voice-acting and stage movement” is especially evident in her performances of leading roles such as Carmen, Nerone in The Coronation of Poppea, Jo March in Adamo’s Little Women andLucretia in The Rape of Lucretia. Additionally, she has sung the title roles in Hansel and Gretel and Der Rosenkavalier as well asprincipal mezzo-soprano roles in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro, Madama Butterfly, Die Zauberflöte, Falstaff, Rigoletto, The Mikado, La Traviata, L’enfant et les sortilèges and The Love for Three Oranges, to name a few. Cherry has performed many roles with New York City Opera and traveled with them to Japan for Little Women and Madama Butterfly.In the 2010–11 season she continued on the roster of New York City Opera, covering the Notary’s Wife in Intermezzo. In the summer of 2011, she portrayed Jason in Opera Omnia’s presentation of Cavalli’s Giasone at Le Poisson Rouge.
Miss Duke is frequently involved in cross-over and brand-new works. As a soloist in several seasons of New York City Opera’s VOX concerts, she has sung a variety of styles, including roles in Scott Davenport Richards’ jazz opera, Charlie Crosses the Nation and Gordon Beeferman’s post-modern Ratland. At Bard’s SummerScape Festival and Joe’s Pub she was featured in Carl Hancock Rux and Diedre Murray’s “cabaret opera,” The Blackamoor Angel. In 2010, she created the role of Sally Rogers in Salerni’s The Life and Love of Joe Coogan, based on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Miss Duke also thrives in classic musical theater, having played Nellie Forbush in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific with Ash Lawn Opera Festival. Recent and upcoming new music performances include Lady Byron in Ada at the Flea Theater, and Lady Olive in the New York and European premieres of Dellaria’s The Secret Agent with Center for Contemporary Opera and NYCO’s 2011 VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab.
As an orchestral concert soloist, Cherry Duke has performed at major venues such as Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Miss Duke has been a featured soloist in Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Bach’s B-Minor Mass, St. John’s Passion and Weihnachts-Oratorium, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, Duruflé’s Requiem, several Haydn masses, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Vesperes Solennes, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Vaughan-Williams’ Magnificat, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and of course, Händel’s Messiah, as well as orchestral “Pops” concerts. Recent and upcoming concerts include the 2011 and 2012 winter tours of the American Spiritual Ensemble and Mozart’s Grand Mass in C-minor with the Choral Society of the Hamptons.
A Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions New York District Winner, Miss Duke is the recipient of many awards, including the Grand Prize in the Connecticut Opera Guild Young Artist Competition and the Liederkranz Foundation Voice Competition.
Miss Duke, a Texas native, graduated summa cum laude from Texas Woman’s University where she studied with prolific vocal textbook author Joan Wall. She received her graduate degree in Opera Performance from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Cherry Duke currently resides in New York City.