Mezzo-soprano and Pennsylvania native Hannah Shea is thrilled to be a Cafritz Young Artists with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center for their 2021-2022 season. In her first months at the Kennedy Center Hannah has made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra as the alto soloist in the Mozart Requiem under the baton of Maestro Gianandrea Noseda and sang Mercédès in the Torreador scene from Bizet's Carmen on the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in tribute to bass-baritone Justino Diaz. She will make her mainstage debut with WNO as Mercédès in Carmen in the spring of 2022.
Hannah was recently a finalist in Houston Grand Opera’s (HGO) prestigious Eleanor McCollum Competition, Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and the 2020 Houston Saengerbund Awards. Additionally, she performed in HGO’s virtual outreach production of Katie: The Strongest of the Strong by Faye Chiao in the fall of 2020.
During her studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Hannah sang the roles of La tasse chinoise in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Nelda in Kamala Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents. She also appeared as the title role in scenes from Bizet’s Carmen and Federico Moreno Torroba’s Luisa Fernanda.
A lover of new music, Hannah premiered Songs of Strength, a song cycle dedicated to her previous voice teacher, Metropolitan Opera mezzo Mildred Miller. In 2019 the work was commissioned, premiered, and recorded by her alma mater Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), composed by Marilyn Taft Thomas, and featured the poetry of Maya Angelou.
No stranger to the concert stage, Hannah has performed as the alto soloist in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky (CMU), Handel’s Messiah (Bach Choir of Pittsburgh), and as a Street Singer in Bernstein’s Mass (Brevard Music Center). Other previous operatic roles include the Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Fidalma in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, and Prince Orlofsky in J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, all performed with the CMU School of Music. She has also covered the roles of the Old Lady in Bernstein’s Candide (Brevard Music Center), and the title role in Handel’s Xerxes (Pittsburgh Festival Opera).
Hannah holds her master’s degree from Rice University and her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Photograph by Ted Washington, 2019