2015 San Francisco District Winner and Western Regional Encouragement Award Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Russian-American Mezzo-Soprano Mariya Kaganskaya is currently a Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, where she appears in the 2016-17 Season as Third Wood Sprite (Rusalka), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), and Tisbe (La Cenerentola). In Summer 2017, she returns as a second-year Apprentice Singer to the Santa Fe Opera, where she will premiere the role of Teacher in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and cover the role of Amelfa in The Golden Cockerel.
A former Mosher Studio Artist at Opera Santa Barbara and Young Artist at the iSing International Festival, as well as an alumna of the OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program and the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Mariya most recently performed roles including Hostess (Boris Godunov, New Opera NYC and The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Scenes), Marta (Iolanta, New Opera NYC), La Nourrice (Médée, Mills Music Now/Opera Parallèle), Mexican Woman (A Streetcar Named Desire, Opera Santa Barbara), and Olga (Eugene Onegin, Russian Opera Workshop), as well as Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Ottavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti), Julia Bertram (Mansfield Park), Mystery, Summer, Chinese Man, and Mopsa (The Fairy Queen), and the title role of Serse at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she earned her MM (’15) and PGD (’16) under the tutelage of Catherine Cook.
In addition to opera, Mariya is a frequent concert soloist, most recently performing the Alto soli in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Santa Clara Chorale and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the San Francisco Master Chorale. She has also been a featured soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic, as well as in the Arizona Opera Sapphire Celebration with Frederica von Stade.
Mariya enjoys collaborating with living composers, and has worked in master classes with Lembit Beecher and Tobias Picker and premiered works by Ilya Demutsky, Philip Skaller, Diarmid Flatley, Samara Rice, and Frank S. Li. Most notably, she enjoys a longstanding collaboration with acclaimed composer Elinor Armer.
Mariya’s recent awards include: Young Artist Award, Pasadena Opera Guild (2016), Ellie Silver Award, Holt Competition (2016), Third Place, East Bay Opera League Competition (2016), San Francisco District Winner/Western Regional Encouragement Award, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2015), and First Place/Lotfi Mansouri Award, Pacific Musical Society (2014).
“Her warm mezzo tones definitely captured the rhetoric of the English text, and I must confess an inability to say whether she was equally attentive to the Russian portion. (I have every reason to believe she was!)”
~ Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio, October 2016
“Mezzo-soprano Mariya Kaganskaya made a fine Innkeeper with a lovely voice and stage presence.”
~ Meche Kroop, Voce di meche, August 2016
“… Mariya Kaganskaya […] delighted the crowd with a pathos-filled delivery of “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” from Bizet’s Carmen.”
~ Yoshi Kato, downbeat.com, April 2016
“… Kaganskaya was focused as Iolanta’s caretaker, Marta.”
~ Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice, April 2016
“A gala concert featured impressive, mature performances by […] mezzo Mariya Kaganskaya, top winner in the ages 19-25 category…”
~ Janos Gereben, San Francisco Examiner, December 2014
“…the first scene from Lou Harrison’s foray into twelve-tone vocal writing in his 1953 opera Rapunzel […] was so interesting I wish that Paiement and singers Cara Gabrielson, Mariya Kaganskaya and Sergey Khalikulov had continued through the whole hour-long opera.”
~ Michael Strickland, November 2014
“Ms. Kaganskaya’s rich texture and strong voice very much attracted the audience. This was a great conclusion for this ever so wonderful concert.”
~ Rubina Mazurka, May 2014
“The singing from Crystal Kim, Mariya Kaganskaya, and Andres Ramirez was exquisite, the complex nature of their characters’ situations made all the more palpable by the very youth of the singers themselves.”
~ Rob Bailis, March 2014
“Mezzo Mariya Kaganskaya’s lordly Mme. Pernelle fluted away like some magnificently plumed bird.”
“Several longer numbers were especially effective. Kaganskaya shone in her sometimes fatuous, sometimes scolding praise of Tartuffe.”
~ Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice, December 2013