Every opera singer has an interesting story to tell, but few can boast of the unique circumstances that have led Danielle De Niese’s establishment as one of opera’s international stars. Born on April 11, 1979, De Niese has established a foothold in the repertoire of Mozart and Handel with forays into the Bel Canto and modern repertoire.
Here is a look at some of the most fascinating aspects of her still growing career.
Everyone has watched those singing competitions and seen the plethora of winners who had fame for a day and then disappeared into the noise that followed. De Niese was nine when she won Young Talent Time, an Australian TV competition. She sang a Whitney Houston medley, took home a large cash prize and a baby grand piano. The rest, as they say, is history.
She also became a TV host when she moved to Los Angeles, earning her an Emmy Award at the ripe age of 16.
Early Opera Debuts
But that wasn’t the only early success for the De Niese. At 15, she debuted at the Los Angeles Opera and in 1998, at just 19, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Barbarina. She was also the youngest singer to ever participate in the Young Artists Studio at the Met.
Opera stars constantly are doing crossover work or lending their talents to other media, but few have gotten as many wide-ranging opportunities as De Niese. She appeared in Ridley Scott’s “Hannibal” in 2001, got a chance to become an ensemble member on Broadway in “Les Miserables” and was even featured on a Ted Talk video, which none of the other major opera stars have gotten a chance to do.