Hailed by critics for her "towering, delicate, and graceful" voice, soprano Anna Hersey enjoys performing a wide range of vocal repertoire. A native of Minnesota, Dr. Hersey earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of Miami and pursued advanced studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. She holds master's degrees in performance and in musicology/ethnomusicology from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University.
Dr. Hersey has appeared with Palm Beach Opera, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Hispanic-American Lyric Theater, Skylark Opera, and The Minnesota Opera, among others. Past roles include Contessa Almaviva in Theatre de la Jeune Lune's Mozart/Beaumarchais adaptation Figaro at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (nominated for Best Ensemble by the Bay Area Critics Circle), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mag (Richard Wargo's Ballymore), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Concepción (L'heure Espagnole), La Princesse (L'Enfant et les sortileges), and Frasquita (Carmen). She will perform the roles of Dew Fairy and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel with Blue Lake Festival Opera (summer 2014). In the Made in America concert series, she continues her collaboration with the South Beach Chamber Ensemble, performing songs by Hoiby and Duke arranged for soprano and string quartet (February 2015).
A two-time Schubert Club Competition finalist, Dr. Hersey was awarded second prize in the Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition and performed with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra as winner of their concerto competition. Additionally, she was a national semi-finalist in the Florida Grand Opera Competition, the Classical Singer Competition, and the NATS Artist Auditions, receiving the Karl Trump Award from the NATS Foundation. She has performed in master classes with notable artists such as Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, and Håkan Hagegård.
An active pedagogue, Dr. Hersey completed the Vocal Pedagogy Certificate at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Professor Clifton Ware. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, serving on the NATSAA Steering Committee and presenting at two national conferences. Her voice science research was given the "Best Paper Award" at the 2006 national conference.
Dr. Hersey is a recent alumna of the NATS Intern Program, which pairs renowned teachers of voice with talented young professionals. She was apprenticed to master teacher Karen Brunssen of Northwestern University. Dr. Hersey spent a year studying at the Università di Bologna on a Rotary Fellowship. Her research on the folk songs of Siena's Palio, funded by a Walter H. Judd grant, was presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology.
A noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature and diction, Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm, where she collaborated with pianist Matti Hirvonen. The pair recently appeared as guest artists at the Lief Eriksson International Festival. Dr. Hersey also conducted research at Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium (Royal Danish Academy of Music) and Københavns Universitet (University of Copenhagen), thanks to a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has presented her research at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing, the University of Copenhagen Center for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, the College Music Society, and the Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies.
Dr. Hersey has published numerous articles on Scandinavian diction and literature in the Journal of Singing and VoicePrints, and her translations and transcriptions have been published by Plangere and Carnegie Hall. Her first book, Scandinavian Art Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction (co-authored by Donald Simonson), is forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield.
Dr. Hersey previously taught at Iowa State University, Broward College, and the University of Miami, and in the summer is on the faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Twin Lake, Michigan. In the summer of 2014, she performed the roles of Dew Fairy and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel with Blue Lake Festival Opera. She is the newly-appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at Eastern New Mexico University.