Hailed by critics as a “force of nature,” soprano Anna Hersey enjoys performing a wide range of vocal repertoire. A native of Minnesota, Dr. Hersey has performed throughout the United States and Europe, appearing with Palm Beach Opera, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Hispanic-American Lyric Theater, Skylark Opera, The Minnesota Opera, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune (at Berkeley Repertory Theater), among others.
Past roles include the Contessa in Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s Mozart/Beaumarchais adaptation Figaro at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (nominated for Best Ensemble by the Bay Area Critics Circle), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mag (Richard Wargo’s Ballymore), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Concepción (L’heure Espagnole), La Princesse (L’Enfant et les sortileges), Frasquita (Carmen), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Fiona (Brigadoon), and Joanna (Godspell). She was the Dew Fairy and Sandman in Hansel and Gretel with Blue Lake Festival Opera, and returned to perform in their 50th Anniversary production of Ruth and Naomi.
Dr. Hersey was chosen as a second prize winner in the 2014 Alexander International Vocal Competition. A two-time Schubert Club Competition finalist, she was also awarded second prize in the Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition and performed with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra as winner of their concerto competition. Additionally, she was a national semi-finalist in the Florida Grand Opera Competition, the Classical Singer Competition, and the NATS Artist Auditions, receiving the Karl Trump Award from the NATS Foundation. She has performed in master classes with notable artists such as Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Larmore, Marianne Hirsti, and Håkan Hagegård.
Dr. Hersey holds master’s degrees in performance and musicology from the University of Minnesota, and pursued advanced studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy with acclaimed soprano Raina Kabaivanska. She earned a doctorate from the University of Miami, where she was a Smathers Fellow. Dr. Hersey has taught at Iowa State University, Barry University, Broward College, University of Miami, and Eastern New Mexico University. She is Associate Professor of Voice at University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. She serves as Editor of Video Lectures, Performances, and Lecture-Recitals for College Music Symposium, and is former Editor-in-Chief of VOICEPrints, the peer-reviewed journal of the New York Singing Teachers Association.
A noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature and diction, Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm, where she collaborated with pianist Matti Hirvonen. The pair recently appeared as guest artists at the Lief Eriksson International Festival.
Dr. Hersey conducted research at Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium (Royal Danish Academy of Music) and Københavns Universitet (University of Copenhagen), thanks to a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation.
She has presented her research at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Conference on the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing, the University of Copenhagen Center for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies.
Dr. Hersey’s articles on Scandinavian diction and repertoire were recently published in the Journal of Singing, VOICEPrints, and The Opera Journal. Her translations and transcriptions have been published by Plangere and by Carnegie Hall. Her first book, Scandinavian Art Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction, is available from Rowman & Littlefield and may be purchased here.
Dr. Hersey has toured extensively throughout the United States, performing recitals of Nordic music and giving master classes, with funding from the Finlandia Foundation, American Scandinavian Foundation, and Sons of Norway. She currently serves on the boards of the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota and the Edvard Grieg Society of the Great Lakes.
An active pedagogue, Dr. Hersey is Associate Professor of Voice at University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. In the summer, she teaches at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Michigan). She has experience with classroom and studio teaching from the elementary through college levels.
She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) at the national and local levels, and was a featured clinician for the 2019 summer workshop on diction. She holds professional memberships in the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and the Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA). She served for four years on PAVA’s Committee for Credentialing and Specialization. She is regularly invited to adjudicate for regional and national competitions, most recently for New Mexico Music Educators Association and the ENKOR Competition.
Dr. Hersey completed the Vocal Pedagogy Certificate at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Professor Clifton Ware. She is an alumna of the NATS Intern Program, which pairs renowned teachers of voice with talented young professionals. Dr. Hersey was apprenticed to master teacher Karen Brunssen of Northwestern University. Her voice science research was given the “Best Paper Award” at the NATS national conference, and she was the recipient of the 2015 Vocal Pedagogy Award from the NATS Foundation. This award, as well as an SAI Professional Development Grant, supported her attendance at Johan Sundberg’s voice science seminar at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (Royal College of Technology). Dr. Hersey also completed the Vocal Acoustics Seminar with Kenneth Bozeman and Christian Herbst at Lawrence University (Björklunden). She is the recent recipient of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association’s Interdisciplinary Grant and a Music Teachers National Association Teacher Enrichment Grant for her ongoing exploration of voice acoustic principles and their application in the voice studio.