Dark Sisters is a story of resilience, survival, and ultimately of hope, as seen through the eyes of one extraordinary woman. Living within the confines of a polygamist, patriarchal cult, the opera follows the journey of Eliza, a sister-wife who questions what she has been taught and emerges as a singular voice, one who is no longer content to be one of many.This haunting work by one of America's most popular and prolific composers, Nico Muhly, charts one woman’s quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden.
Dark Sisters: Almera
Acclaimed by the New York Times as “radiant” American soprano Vanessa Isiguen recently joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover the dual role of Kitty/ Vanessa in the premiere of THE HOURS by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Greg Pierce, conducted by Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Maestro Kensho Watanabe. During the 2022-2023 season she made her Dublin debut in the title role of MADAMA BUTTERFLY with Lyric Opera of Ireland and had engagements as the soprano soloist with the Oregon Symphony conducted by David Danzmayr, Eugene Opera as Mimi LA BOHEME, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic as the Soprano Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She looks forward to singing the role of Almera in DARK SISTERS by Nico Muhly with OrpheusPDX this summer. Ms. Isiguen will return to the Metropolitan Opera in the 23-24 season to cover the role of Liù in TURANDOT in addition to Kitty/ Vanessa in the THE HOURS.
Ms. Isiguen has a great passion for new music and was thrilled to create the role of Nila in the world premiere of chamber opera TRES MINUTOS with the Seattle Symphony/ Music of Remembrance last summer. She worked closely with composer Nicolas Benavides and librettist Marella Martin Koch singing a tour of performances in Seattle and San Francisco. She looks forward to reprising the role with the San Diego Symphony in 2024. Ms. Isiguen began the 2021-22 season with her New Orleans Opera debut, reprising her signature role as Mimì LA BOHEME with Maestro Joseph Colaneri. Previously Ms. Isiguen made her Florida Grand Opera debut as Cio-Cio-San MADAMA BUTTERFLY garnering praise from Palm Beach Arts, “Isiguen’s Butterfly was moving and beautifully sung… she has a big fresh voice with plenty of stamina f o r an opera that requires her almost constant presence, and serious acting chops that made her lovable, believable, and tragic on the stage «the performance was a triumph, and the audience loved her.” Vanessa was subsequently featured as a soloist at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, UK singing the famous aria “Un bel dì vedremo”, with Maestro Nicola Luisotti for the Insights Program Concert.
Other notable engagements include the starring role of Roberta Alden AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Tobias Picker and librettist Gene Scheer with Glimmerglass Opera Festival. She was featured in The New York Times video clip depicting her singing at the beginning of the eerily famous drowning scene. New York Arts wrote, “Vanessa Isiguen (Roberta) was completely convincing as the tragic heroine both vocally and dramatically”, and Classical Voice America described Vanessa as “A strong, well rounded soprano who sang the fiendishly high and difficult role easily.” She sang the role of Spirit in the Metropolitan Opera workshop of THE SORROWS OF FREDERICK by Scott Wheeler, conducted by Steven Osgood, and the New York City premiere of the Spanish opera IL POSTINO by Daniel Catan as Beatrice Russo.
Vanessa made her debut with the Oregon Symphony as a featured soloist under the baton of Maestro Carlos Kalmar, and her Portland Opera debut as Mimì LA BOHÈME with Maestro George Manahan to rave reviews. Opera News boasts, “Vanessa Isiguen brought to Mimì good looks, a lovely soprano, and loads of personality… ‘Si, mi chiamano Mimì’ had variety and nuance from spinto bloom to light chatter.”
Other roles include Nedda I PAGLIACCI, Violetta LA TRAVIATA, Liù TURANDOT, Micaëla CARMEN, THAЇS, RUSALKA, La Contessa and Susanna LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Donna Elvira DON GIOVANNI. Vanessa has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, New Orleans Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Tampa, Vashon Opera, Opera Idaho, and Eugene Opera. She has won top prizes from Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, The Gerda Lissner Foundation NYC, Connecticut Opera Guild, Jenny Lind Competition, and the Bel Canto Competition. Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Music from UNC Chapel Hill, a Master of Music from Boston Conservatory, and a Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music – The New School in New York City.