Kelley Nassief Soprano

Represented by Dispeker Artists / Dispeker.com 

 
 
 

 

Biography

If the angels in heaven really sing, please let them do it like Nassief. Her voice combines the best of two worlds: It has bel canto size, warmth and height, and yet is svelte, with a youthful sparkle.” So wrote the Leipziger Volkszeitung when Kelley Nassief sang Elijah with the Gewandhausorchester and Kurt Masur on the occasion of the sesquicentennial of Mendelssohn’s death. In demand internationally as a concert soloist, in the 2017-18 season Kelley Nassief sings Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orquestra Filarmonica de Boca del Rio (Mexico), Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with Orchestre National de France and with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Recently Kelley Nassief was soloist in Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Louisville Orchestra, and in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Italy as well as Bardavon 1869 Opera House in New York. Other recent engagements include soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Grand Rapids Symphony and in in her Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut; soprano soloist in “Kaddish” Symphonyat Konzerthaus Berlin; with Richmond Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem, also with Portland Symphonic Choir; with Rochester Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; and with Nashville Symphony in Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony; and Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony in her debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Kelley Nassief was featured soloist in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, with Fundaçao Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Saõ Paulo (Brazil) under Marin Alsop, with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, at London’s Barbican Centre, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw (through the Fundacja Shalom of Poland), also with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and L’Orchestre de Paris; in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Columbus and Oregon symphony orchestras, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, in a return to the Pacific Symphony, and in her debut with Fort Worth Symphony; Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Grand Rapids and Cincinnati symphony orchestras; Ravel’s Shéhérazade, plus selected opera arias, with the Richmond Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem with Louisville, Grand Rapids and Modesto symphony orchestras; Mozart’s Requiem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; and Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder” with Da Camera of Houston.

Other notable concert appearances have included Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Florida West Coast Symphony; the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Elijah; the Eugene Symphony in Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder; Mozart’s Requiem with both the Jacksonville and Nashville symphony orchestras; Brahms’ Requiem with the Grand Rapids and New Bedford symphonies, also the Long Island Philharmonic; as soloist with Choral Arts Society of Washington DC in Dvo?ák’s Stabat Mater, also Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. She sang Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Washington’s Cathedral Choral Society; Verdi’s Requiem with Winston-Salem and Pasadena symphonies; returned to the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor; performed Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Mexico’s Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria; and was soloist with Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. She sang Chausson’s Poème de l'amour et de la mer with the Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Einhorn’s Voices of Light at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony, and Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 with the Ruhr Triennale Festival. She also sings in recital regularly in North America and Europe, and has appeared on Japanese television.

In Ms. Nassief’s prolific career as a gifted concert artist she has appeared with the world’s leading conductors and orchestras: Beethoven’s Ah, perfido! with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony; Peer Gynt with Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Brahms’ Requiem with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra under Neemi Järvi, and with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic as soloist in Peer Gynt, Elijah, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Kelley Nassief was named a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, was awarded a Sullivan Foundation Grant, is a Laureate of the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem International Oratorio and Song Competition, and received a Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Miss Nassief holds a Bachelors in Music Performance from Portland State University and a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College.

Acclaim
NAXOS Review - Kaddish Symphony No. 3
 Soprano Kelley Nassief will melt your heart in her “Kaddish 2” movement solo
-Jerry Dubbins, Fanfare
RPO concert a triumph of moods
“Soprano Kelley Nassief … sparkled with vibrancy.”
— Daniel J. Kushner, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
RPO's Beethoven's Ninth
“Four soloists were featured [including] Kelley Nassief, soprano.... Each one deserved the audience's applause, and I would welcome an opportunity hear each one in a solo recital so that I could sit back and enjoy the clear, warm sounds of each voice.”
— Paloma Capanna, Rochester City Newspaper
Verdi Requiem
“Nassief is a first-class artist, vital and assured. Her singing in the ‘Libera Me,’ coming at the Requiem’s close, managed to blend the smooth with the raw: an expert, yet aching, plea for deliverance.”
— Anne Timberlake, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Marin Alsop, BSO peform Bernstein's 'Kaddish' featuring Claire Bloom
“Soprano Kelley Nassief, alone in a balcony above the stage, began her second movement solo with an exquisite pianissimo and proceeded to shape the rising phrases most tenderly.”
— Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun
Carol Tollefsen-Hoaglund
"Soprano soloist Kelley Nassief gave a heart-wrenching performance during the fifth movement, 'Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit,' (John 16:22, 'You now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice') Her soprano voice was pristine and mesmerizing as she expressed passages from John, Ecclesiasticus and Isaiah that offer comfort and promise."
— NBSO, singers give Brahms his due, South Coast Today
 
Music review: NSO highlights Bernstein
"And Nassief - dark-toned ... was a rich and tender presence."
— Anne Midgette, Washington Post
Sounds of the ocean soothe, soar as Grand Rapids Symphony and chorus bring 'Sea Symphony' to life
"Nassief brought an impassioned, spiritual commitment to the music that elevated not only her voice but the spirit of the work."
— John Phipps, Grand Rapids Press
 
Review: Richard Symphony
"Kelley Nassief ... is smartly cast in Ravel's song cycle 'Schéhérazade' and arias from operas by Dvorák, Puccini and Francesco Cilea, all of which display her voice's melding of soprano brilliance with mezzo warmth and heft. The Ravel is a showcase of the tonal nuance that the French language brings to vocal music, and Nassief luxuriated in all those luscious and piquant vowels in the first of two weekend concerts.... Nassief was no less fluent and characterful in her three solo arias, 'O Silver Moon' from Dvo?ák's 'Rusalka' (which shivers my timbers like no other opera aria), 'O mio bambino caro' from Puccini's 'Gianni Schicchi' and 'Io son l'umine Ancella' from Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur.' All three are bittersweet and yearning in character, and Nassief showed that this point on the vocal-emotional spectrum is one to which she is finely attuned."
— Clarke Bustard, Letter V
 
Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Kelley Nassief, soprano
"Nassief and the musicians delivered a performance that was both immediate in its expression of that yearning and tempered by restraint, like the sepia glow of an old photograph. Nassief revealed how shapely the sung consonants and vowels of Czech can be."
— Angela Lehman-Rios, Richmond-Times Dispatch
 
In its season finale, Da Camera sues for peace
"Soprano Kelley Nassief, sounding more like a mezzo-soprano, sang gloriously even and unmarred sound, enveloping warmth and that special ability to make drama solely through her voice."
— Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
 
"Nassief, whose awards include winning the 1995 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, projected a voice of beauty and power, easily able to ride the symphonic waves." Read More...
— Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
 
"Soprano Kelly Nassief is a real find. With pin-point focus, her clear, bright intonation is radiant. Her aria 'Hear ye, Israel,' which begins the second half, is one of the highlights of the evening." Read More...
— D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal
"Kelley Nassief successfully essayed Donna Anna's full range of emotions through her exceptionally fine soprano - bell-like in its clarity at the top, richly textured in its mid-range." [DON GIOVANNI - Atlanta Opera]
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Nassief's intonation was rock-solid, her voice big and limber with plenty of dramatic color and flair. But the crowd was won over as much by her acting as her lush sound. One felt her pain and humiliation as her husband plotted to seduce Figaro's fiancee, Susanna." [LE NOZZE DI FIGARO - Arizona Opera]
— Tucson Citizen
"Yet just when one was willing to blame every singer's vocal problems on the 4,500 seat Fox, an acoustical black hole, along appeared soprano Kelley Nassief as the selfless slave girl Liu. Nassief projected cleanly, in radiant, endearing tones, the ideal match between singer and role." [LA TURANDOT - Atlanta Opera]
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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