Carla Connors, acclaimed as "one of the best young sopranos of this decade" by the Detroit Free Press, and "a fresh, steady lyric soprano" by the New York Times, has made her mark in opera, with symphony, and in recital. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2001 singing the soprano solos in masses by Mozart and Schubert. Other New York City honors include first prize in the Lola Wilson Hayes Vocal Artists Award and being chosen as a winner in the American Song Competition sponsored by the New York Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (HATS). This honor included a recital at Weill Recital Hall.
In opera, Ms. Connors has found success with the music of Mozart as evidenced by her portrayal of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for the New York City Opera National Company's tour. Other opera credits include roles with Glimmerglass, Atlanta, Orlando, Opera Carolina, and Chautauqua Opera Companies. In addition, she has toured for Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theater. At home with roles such as Mozart's Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Donizetti's Norina in Don Pasquale and Adina in L'elisir d'amore, she has also performed operetta roles such as Gilbert and Sullivan's Yum Yum in The Mikado and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Offenbach's Eurydice in Orpheus in Hades, and Adele in Strauss' Die Fledermaus. In twentieth century repertoire Ms. Connors created the role of Evelyn in Reverend Everyman by Salvador Brotons, has sung roles by lain Hamilton and Richard Wargo and performed Anne in a production of The Rake's Progress directed by film director Robert Altman.
Ms. Connors maintains an active schedule of orchestra and recital appearances. She has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul and Cayuga Chamber Orchestras, the Phoenix, Pacific, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Chautauqua, Santa Fe, Richmond (IN), Tallahassee, and Szczecin (Poland) Symphony Orchestras, to name a few. Her performances have included such works as Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate, Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Mahler's Second and Fourth Symphonies. She has also performed pops concerts of operetta and musical theater excerpts with orchestras.
Engaged extensively as an oratorio artist, Ms. Connors has sung such works as Handel's Messiah; Bach's St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion; Haydn's Creation; Mozart's Coronation Mass, C Minor Mass, Requiem, and Solemn Vespers; Brahms' Requiem; and Poulenc's Gloria. She has sung with several contemporary music ensembles, performing works by composers such as George Crumb and Lester Trimble, and has done premiere performances of works by William Kraft and Timothy Hoekman. Ms. Connors has performed recitals throughout the U.S. and has appeared as soloist on tours of Australia and Europe. Her recital repertoire spans four centuries of art song and branches into popular vocal genres such as the music of the 20's and 30's and turn of the century songs.
Ms. Connors has been the winner in numerous opera and art song competitions throughout the country including the "Eleanor Steber Award for Excellence in the Concert Field" presented at the NATS Artist Awards Competition, first place in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra's National Young Artist Competition, and first place in the Music Guild of Boca Raton's Vocal Competition. She was also a Metropolitan Opera Audition winner in three districts.
In addition to her performing, Ms. Connors maintains a large private voice studio, gives master classes, and adjudicates competitions. She received her B.F.A. degree in voice performance from the University of South Dakota and her M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in voice performance from the University of Michigan. A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, she now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with her husband, pianist and composer Timothy Hoekman, and their two sons.