Mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra makes her Opera Omaha debut in Suor Angelica as La Zelatrice. Most recently, she performed the title role in Astor Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with Kentucky Opera, reprised the role of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Derrick Wang’s comic opera Scalia/Ginsburg at the Princeton Festival, debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of John Adams in the Noon to Midnight Contemporary Festival, and premiered Katherine Balch’s orchestral song cycle Illuminate with the California Symphony. In the 2021-2022 season she toured …(Iphigenia) by Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding, appearing as Iphigenia Unbound. Upcoming engagements include Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with West Edge Opera and a return to the Princeton Festival as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
A strikingly versatile performer, Kelly feels at home with many styles and eras of vocal music from Mozart to Héctor Lavoe. Kelly was lauded as “brilliant” by the Santa Barbara Independent for her performance as Lupita in the mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Opera Santa Barbara (2021).
Guerra won first place in Santa Barbara’s Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competition in 2018, prior to her residency as a Young Artist with the Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman studio, where she prepared the roles of Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Donna Rosa (ll Postino) and Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette). Also in 2018, Kelly was a recipient of a travel grant to Germany for language study from the Max Kade Foundation while completing her DMA at UC Santa Barbara. There Guerra “created a sensation” (BravoCalifornia) singing the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro.
As a recitalist, Guerra has been featured at the Lucerne Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Bard Music Festival. Guerra has performed as a soloist with several ensembles including the Albany Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Hispánica, Garden State Philharmonic, The Orchestra Now, Contemporaneous, Opera Parallèle and BluePrint.
She holds a D.M.A from UC Santa Barbara, her master’s in music from the Bard College Conservatory, and her bachelor’s from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an award of Vocal Excellence.
A first-generation American and native of Southern California, Kelly champions Spanish language repertoire to welcome more diverse audiences into the concert hall.