Raehann Bryce-DavisMezzo-Soprano Jeanne-Minette CilliersPiano

Raehann Bryce-Davis

Saturday, January 27, 2024 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

With an “electrifying sense of fearlessness“ (San Francisco Chronicle), Raehann Bryce-Davis has made the opera and concert world sit up and take notice of her abundant energy and magnetic style. A gifted singing actress, she has a distinctive point of view in recital programs that bring together voices and stories old and new that resonate with love and courage, resilience and humanity.


AMY BEACH: Three Browning Songs, Op. 44; The Year’s at the Spring; Ah, Love, but a day!; I send my heart up to thee!
WAGNER: Wesendonck Lieder; Der Engel; Stehe Still!; Im Treibhaus; Schmerzen; Träume
MELISSA DUNPHY: Come, My Tan Faced Children (Text by Walt Whitman)
MARGARET BONDS: Birth (Text by Langston Hughes)
FLORENCE PRICE: The Crescent Moon
MARIA THOMPSON CORLEY: Black Riders’ Freedom Song; The Beauty in My Blackness; I’m Not an Angry Black Woman
PETER ASHBOURNE: Fi Mi Love Have Lion Heart: No. 3—Banyan Tree; No. 4—Fi Mi Love Have Lion Heart; No. 5—Nobody’s Business


JACQUELINE HAIRSTON: Don’t feel no-ways tired

Performance Sponsors

Bob and Terri Ryan
The Bernard Osher Foundation

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

Raehann Bryce-Davis has been hailed by The New York Times as a “striking mezzo soprano” and by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “electrifying sense of fearlessness.”

In the 2022–23 season, Ms. Bryce-Davis makes noteworthy house debuts at Washington National Opera as Azucena in Il Trovatore, at the Royal Danish Opera in her role debut as Amneris in Aida, and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Dutch National Opera & Ballet in her role debut as Jezibaba in Rusalka, conducted by Joana Mallwitz. She also makes a notable debut on the concert stage, singing with the BBC Proms as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Additional concert engagements include the world premiere of A Nation of Others with the New York Oratorio Society at Carnegie Hall; a tour titled Our Song, Our Story, curated by Damien Sneed; and recitals for the George London Foundation and 89 Reade Series.

In the 2021–22 season, Ms. Bryce-Davis made house debuts at the Metropolitan Opera as Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress conducted by Susanna Mälkki, and at La Monnaie, Brussels as La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica. She returned to both Los Angeles Opera and the Staatstheater Nürnberg as Azucena in Il trovatore, and to Opera Ballet Vlaanderen as the Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos. On the concert stage, she joined the Chautauqua Institution for a performance of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road and sang solo recitals at both the Tuesday Musical Club in San Antonio, Texas, and for the Merola Opera Program.

Highlights of recent seasons include her role debut as Eboli in Don Carlos at Opera Ballet Vlaandren, her house debut at Los Angeles Opera as Big Stone in the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, and her role debut as Sara in Roberto Devereux also at Los Angeles Opera, opposite Angela Meade and Ramón Vargas and conducted by Eun Sun Kim. She has sung Léonore in Donizetti’s La Favorite at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust conducted by John Nelson with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, both Ms. Alexander in Satyagraha and Nezhata in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Kristina in Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair at the Janáček Brno Festival, Wellgunde in Wagner’s Die Ring-Trilogie at Theater an der Wien, and Madeline Mitchell in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers at Opera Maine.

Concert highlights include the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road at Carnegie Hall, the recording of which won a Grammy© Nomination, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem both with conductor Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal at the Olympic Stadium and the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall, Elgar’s Sea Pictures at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Tonkünstler Orchestra, the world premiere of Anthony Davis' We Call the Roll with The Lied Society, Martinů’s Julietta with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Remembrance at the Aspen Music Festival, the world premiere of Come, My Tan-Faced Children by Melissa Dunphy at Lyric Fest, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with Philippe Entremont at Manhattan School of Music, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

As a producer/performer, Ms. Bryce-Davis has released To the Afflicted, her first music video, which received widespread critical acclaim and was chosen as an official video for World Opera Day. Her second digital short, Brown Sounds, was co-produced with Los Angeles Opera and Aural Compass Projects, and won Best Music Video at film festivals around the globe including the New York International Film Awards, New York Cinematography Awards, Hollywood Boulevard Film Awards, the Anatolian Short Film Festival, and the Silk Road Film Awards—Cannes.

Ms. Bryce-Davis is a 2018 recipient of the prestigious George London Award at the George London Competition; the 2017 1st Place and Audience Prize-winner of the Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino competition, chaired by Dominique Meyer; winner of the 2016 Richard F. Gold Career Grant at the Merola Opera Program; winner of the 2015 Hilde Zadek Competition at the Musikverein in Vienna; and the 2015 Sedat Gürel-Güzin Gürel International Voice Competition in Istanbul. She holds a Master of Music and Professional Studies certificate from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Arlington.

South African-born pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers has been hailed as “a pianistic poet,” garnering rave reviews for her color-rich and imaginative performances.

In high demand as a collaborator, Ms. Cilliers is a regular recital partner of mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, with other collaborators ranging from performers such as Janos Starker, Martina Arroyo, Eric Owens, Susan Graham, Joyce Castle, Lise Lindstrom, Lester Lynch, John Holiday, Justin Hopkins, Toby Girling, Victoria Yarovaya and Bo Skovhus, to conductors Alejo Pérez, Peter Rundel, Antonino Fogliani, Dmitri Jurowski, Cornelius Meister, Alexander Joel, Tomaš Netopil, Alberto Zedda, Harry Bicket, John Nelson and directors Peter Sellars, David Alden, Peter Konwitchny, Calixto Bieito and Claus Guth, as well as actor Vanessa Redgrave.

Ms. Cilliers fosters a strong interest in new music and has presented several scores in world and North American and European premieres. As head of music, she assisted conductor Titus Engel at Opera Vlaanderen (Belgium) and IRCAM, Paris in the widely acclaimed world premiere of Chaya Czernowin’s opera Infinite Now. Also at Opera Vlaanderen, she worked with composer Héctor Parra and conductor Peter Rundel on the operatic adaptation of the controversial novel Les Bienveillantes. In this production, staged by Calixto Bieto, Ms. Cilliers also performed the on-stage piano part on a flying piano.

Ms. Cilliers has been on the music staff of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, and the Bayerische Staatsoper (BSTO). From 2019–22, Ms.Cilliers has spearheaded the new Collaborative Piano program at The Royal Conservatory Antwerp, while additionally serving as Studienleiter for the voice department. At the Manhattan School of Music she is on the Piano Artistic Staff and the Vocal Arts Artistic Staff: Manager of Artistic Staff for Vocal Coaching & Collaborative Piano; Opera Theatre: Vocal Coaching.

Ms. Cilliers earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan with pianist Anton Nel. As a student of Menahem Pressler, she earned an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. She remains the first and only recipient of an Artist Diploma in vocal accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music, where she worked with Warren Jones.

Artist Video

Raehann Bryce-Davis Sings Hale Smith’s March Moon (Text by Langston Hughes)