Critics have hailed soprano Maria Kanyova as an extraordinary singing actress. Her extensive performing career has encompassed a wide variety of roles. Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata remains one of Kanyova’s signature roles, which she has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Portland Opera, Utah Opera and Intermountain Opera Company. “Madama Butterfly” remains another mainstay in Kanyova’s list of leading roles. The Denver Post raved, “Making her striking Central City debut in the demanding role, Soprano Maria Kanyova hardly could be more convincing with her appropriate youthful appearance…More important, she possesses a pure forceful voice with a pleasing soft edge and she knows how to use it.” Kanyova has performed leading roles across the United States, Canada and Europe including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, New Orleans Opera, Colorado Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, St. Louis Opera Theatre, Opera Pacific, Des Moines Metro Opera, Madison Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and the Wexford Opera Festival.
A strong supporter of new music, Kanyova has created many new roles, as well as reprising major contemporary opera. Her most recent world premiere was performed with the San Francisco Opera in the role of “Miriam” in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Other recent engagements include the role of “Gretel” in the famed Richard Jones production of Hänsel und Gretel with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the title role in Madama Butterfly with New Orleans Opera, and the role of “Pat Nixon” with the San Francisco Opera in Nixon in China, a role which Kanyova has performed numerous times, and has recorded on CD under the Naxos Label with Marin Alsop conducting. Robert Trussell of the Kansas City Star wrote of her debut performance with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Pat Nixon, “Soprano Maria Kanyova’s heartfelt portrait of Pat as a woman of simple origins uncomfortable on the world stage is extraordinary. Her voice could stop time.”
Kanyova has also been a soloist with various symphonies throughout her busy operatic career, including appearances with the Boston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival, The Ravinia Music Festival, Music of the Baroque, Minnesota Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) and the University of Kansas (KU). She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in voice from KU.