Soprano Sherezade Panthaki’s international success in music of the Baroque and beyond has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship; “astonishing coloratura with radiant top notes” (Calgary Herald); “a full, luxuriously toned upper range” (The Los Angeles Times), and passionately informed interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (The New York Times). In a recent review, San Francisco critic Joshua Kosman commented, “…it becomes increasingly difficult to find words that will adequately convey the multifold splendor of her singing. It is full-bodied and rich in coloration, yet her phrases move with all the litheness and grace of a dancer. She reaches notes that other singers can only eye with envy, and does so with effortless precision. She tears through the most demanding passagework without batting an eye or missing a beat. Her diction is flawless. She’s a phenomenon, and only getting more marvelous with each passing year.” (SF Gate)
An acknowledged star in the early-music field, Ms. Panthaki enjoys ongoing collaborations with many of the world’s leading interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Mark Morris, Nicholas Kraemer, Matthew Halls, Paul Agnew, and Lawrence Cummings. This season marks return appearances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, The Boston Early Music Festival, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Music of the Baroque (Chicago), as well as debuts with NDR Radiophilharmonie (Hannover, Germany), the Minnesota Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Musica Angelica (Los Angeles), The Caramoor Music Room Concert series, and several others. Firmly at home in the numerous Baroque oratorios, operas, and cantatas of Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Purcell, and Monteverdi, Ms. Panthaki is no stranger to 19th, 20th and 21st century concert repertoire. She has received wide acclaim for her interpretations of Brahms’ Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Poulenc’s Gloria; notable among her new music premieres is the soprano role of Emily Dickinson in Martin Bresnick’s brand new oratorio Passions of Bloom at Yale University and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
Past seasons have included performances of Vivaldi with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl as well as with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; tours across Japan of Handel’s Messiah with Bach Collegium Japan, the National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Baroque, National Arts Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Calgary Philharmonic, Nashville, Kansas City, Colorado and San Antonio Symphonies; a US tour of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Bach Collegium Japan; Handel’s Atalanta, Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, Joseph and his Brethren, and “Italian Baroque Music from the Jewish Ghetto” with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; the title role in the Boston Early Music Festival’s concert performances of Handel’s Almira; the role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Handel’s L’allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato and the title role of Galatea in the Mark Morris Dance Group’s premiere performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea; Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat at the Oregon Bach Festival; a fully staged production of Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Vivaldi solo works with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at New York Central Park’s outdoor Naumberg Orchestral Concert Series; Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Haydn’s opera L’isola disabitata with the American Classical Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Orlando Philharmonic and American Classical Orchestra, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion with John Scott and the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys; Handel’s Solomon with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie (Holland); Scarlatti and Hasse cantatas with Ars Lyrica Houston, Handel’s Saul with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto; Brahms’ Requiem with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Handel’s La Resurrezione at the Morgan Library in New York City; Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony and the Orlando Ballet, John Tavener’s The Last Discourse with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Rachmaninoff and and Strauss songs at the Bari International Music Festival, and Britten’s War Requiem with the Louisville Choral Arts Society.
An active and passionate music educator, Ms. Panthaki is frequently called upon to present vocal masterclasses at Universities and Arts Schools across the United States; most recently to students from Houston Grand Opera, Rice University’s Moore School of Music, the University of Texas School of Music, Rollins College, and the Governor’s School for the Arts at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She served as the Christoph Wolff Visiting Performer at the Harvard University Department of Music where she gave masterclasses and performances in collaboration with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Ms. Panthaki has served as Vocal Coach for the Yale Baroque Opera Project, and currently teaches voice lessons to scholarship winners of the top undergraduate and graduate choral ensembles at Yale University.
Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki began her musical education at an early age. Following intensive study and earning national distinction as a young pianist, she turned to singing and found a more personal and expressive means to connect with audiences. She holds an Artist Diploma with top honors from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she was the winner of multiple awards of distinction including the prestigious Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College.