"...offered limpid, pliable, steady singing of the highest order."
Naomi Brigell, mezzo-soprano, is quickly gaining recognition as an “expressive, athletic and strong-voiced” presence on the operatic stage who “lights up every scene she's in” (Naples Daily News). Brigell has sung with opera companies across the country including Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera in the Heights, Chicago Opera Theater, and Opera Naples. During the 2022-23 season, Brigell looks forward to joining Dayton Opera as an Artist in Residence and Nashville Opera as a Mary Ragland Emerging Artist, where she will be seen on the main stage respectively as Nica in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and Edith in The Pirates of Penzance.
As a young artist, Naomi has completed competitive residencies with Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Opera Naples. Most recently, Brigell was seen as Mustardseed in the mainstage production of A Midsummer Night's Dream with Des Moines Metro Opera, with whom she also study covered the tour de force role of Ginny in the world premiere of A Thousand Acres (Kuster/Campbell). Previously with DMMO, Brigell performed as Third Wood Sprite in Rusalka in 2018 and joined the company as an OPERA Iowa outreach artist in 2019. Her three seasons as a Festival Artist with Opera Saratoga included singing the role of Pedrillo in Telemann's Don Quichotte at Comacho's Wedding, covering the role of Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, singing Kate in The Pirates of Penzance (canceled due to COVID-19), and singing in a public masterclass for renowned composer Ricky Ian Gordon. As a resident artist with Opera Naples in 2018, Naomi performed the roles of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore under the baton of Ramón Tebar. In 2017, Brigell made her professional operatic debut as Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Opera in the Heights, and returned to the company in 2022 to perform the role of Olga in Eugene Onegin.
As an advocate for contemporary opera, Naomi Brigell is often contracted for world premieres and workshop performances. In addition to her recent work with Des Moines Metro Opera, she created the role of The Press in the world premiere of The Widow's Will, presented digitally by Chicago Fringe Opera and the Decameron Opera Coalition, sang the leading role of Clara Schumann in an innovative digital world premiere production of Ghost Variations by Tony Manfredonia with Thompson Street Opera, joined Chicago Opera Theater as a Freedom Rider in the critically-acclaimed world premiere of Freedom Ride, and created several roles in a workshop performance of Imogen by Elizabeth Rudolph. She also performed the role of Genevieve in Hindemith's complex opera, The Long Christmas Dinner, with Chicago Fringe Opera in 2018.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Brigell recently appeared as a guest soloist with Bach Collegium Fort Wayne, presented a virtual solo recital with Musicians Club of Women, and was scheduled to sing in several art song concerts as part of the inaugural Salt Creek Song Festival. Previously, Brigell has appeared as an oratorio soloist with Palm Beach Symphony, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston Lutheran Chorale, and Boston University Concert Choir.
In 2017, Brigell's career was jumpstarted when she was awarded the grand prize in the Kristin Lewis Foundation Vocal Scholarship Competition, which included a short residency in Vienna to study with coaches and stage directors at the Wiener Staatsoper. Further accolades include first place in the Southern Illinois Young Artist Association Vocal Competition (2022), the Farwell Award in the Musicians Club of Women Vocal Competition (2021), second place in the Mobile Opera Madame Rose Competition (2019), and the prestigious Ellalou Dimmock Award during her studies at Boston University.
Naomi Brigell is currently based in Chicago with her partner, literary translator Kevin Gerry Dunn, and their three-legged cat, Champion. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University and a Master of Music degree from University of Houston, both summa cum laude.