New York City-based, Southern California-bred mezzo-soprano and composer-performer Ruston Ropac has been praised by composer Jon Deak as having a “highly expressive range and contrast… of vocal colors.” She is a dynamic performer committed to exploring eclectic vocal soundscapes and exploring ideas of intimate expression between performers and audiences.
As a solo and chamber musician, she has performed a diverse array of works by leading composers. Her chamber music repertoire includes works by Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho, George Crumb, Earle Brown, Luciano Berio, Dan Visconti, Lee Hyla, Karin Rehnquist, Georges Aperghis, Victor Baez, Yi-Ting Lu, Longfei Li, and Sky Macklay.
In 2015, she sang the role of Georgiana in the world premiere of The Birthmark, a chamber opera for which she wrote both the music and libretto, in Redlands, California. In 2017, she wrote and premiered My Conscience is Showing!, a comedic “one-woman-show” piece for one unaccompanied singer playing three cartoonish characters, alongside a new piece inspired by traditional Vietnamese vocal music, written for her by composer Nhat Nguyen. Upcoming 2018 engagements include performances of new opera and chamber works by New York City-based composers Matt Simon and Samuel Zagnit. In 2019, she performed alongside chamber musicians of the Manhattan School of Music in Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians. She is currently developing a recital series for 2019, including performances of contemporary duo works for soprano and mezzo-soprano.
In addition to contemporary music, Ropac actively performs opera and early music. In 2018, she appeared as La Messaggera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and in scenes as Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, and performed the Son’s aria from Samuel Zagnit’s opera now/here sea/son in recital with the Opera Theatre of Montclair, New Jersey. She also made her commercial recording debut, singing in the women's chorus for Poul Ruders' new opera The Thirteenth Child, available from Bridge Records. In 2019, she will perform in Cavalieri's sacred opera, Rappresentatione di anima et di corpo, with the choir and orchestra of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Manhattan. She has previously performed or studied roles in operas by Mozart, Weill, Puccini, Sullivan, and her own works.
Ruston Ropac holds a Master of Music degree in Contemporary Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with soprano Lucy Shelton. She holds of Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Redlands in Southern California, where she studied voice with Dr. Melissa Tosh and composition with Dr. Anthony Suter and André Myers. She currently lives in Manhattan.
Photographer: Ashley Chui