American mezzo-soprano Erin Alford has garnered acclaim on the operatic stage for her "vocal sheen and a stage presence that mark her as a young artist with a bright future."
Mezzo-soprano Erin Alford kicks off her 2023-2024 season with a role and house debut as Berenice in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro with Opera Southwest, followed by appearances in two LA Opera Connects outreach productions, Figaro Opera Tales! and Orpheus, performances of recital Words of American Women with The Ebell of Los Angeles and Pacific Opera Project, and performances of Handel's Messiah with POP and First Church Miami. Last season she joined Florida Grand Opera as a Studio Artist, where she was seen as Fidalma in El matrimonio secreto, La Ciesca in a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi & Buoso’s Ghost, and covered Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Erin’s performance of Fidalma was lauded as “statuesque and spunky,” and she was praised for her “powerful mezzo” and for “exhibit[ing] the best sense of classical style in the cast” (South Florida Classical Review).
During the 2021-2022 season, Erin made role and house debuts as Second Woman and Dido cover in Dido and Aeneas with Opera San José, returned to Pensacola Opera as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, and joined Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist where she covered Hannah After in As One and appeared in recital of The Starry Night with American composer Jake Heggie. As a 2020-2021 Pensacola Opera Artist in Residence, Erin performed Mercédès, and covered the title role, in Carmen, Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, the title role in the education production Cinderella, and Giannetta in an English adaptation of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, charmingly retitled Heartbreak High.
In the competition circuit, Erin was recently named a 2022 Tennessee District Winner by the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. In recent seasons, Erin has been awarded a 2021 Encouragement Award by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Kansas City District, selected as a 2021 semi-finalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, received the 2020 Bonnie Bell Encouragement Award from the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, received the 2019 Audience Choice Award and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, San Diego District, and won first prize in the 2019 NATS-LA Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artist Auditions.
A native of Long Beach, CA, Erin has sung in five productions with the LA Opera Chorus, including a small feature as Chorus Soloist in the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice. Erin has also made frequent appearances with LA Opera Connects, formerly the Education and Community Engagement Dept., including performing in touring productions to local high schools as Nurse/A&R Rep in Orpheus, Angela in The Wreck of the Miranda (world premiere), stepping in to sing Alto in the SATB Quartet of the community opera Moses (world premiere), as well as singing in recitals as Sara in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux and Sesto/Annio in La Clemenza di Tito.
Other notable roles performed include Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Teatro Nuovo; Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, prepared with artistic oversight from composer Jake Heggie, in the South Florida premiere with Miami Music Festival; the title role in Chérubin and Madame de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with CSULB Opera, Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor cover in The Crucible again with MMF, and Laura in Iolanta with Russian Opera Workshop (RIP dear Ghenady Meirson).
A passionate interpreter of art song, Erin recently presented a recital of songs by women composers and poets juxtaposed against Schumann’s famous Frauenliebe und Leben for NATS-LA. Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Erin has sung Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the CSULB Symphony as winner of the 2017 Vocal Concerto Competition, as well as performed as Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Bach’s Magnificat and Bach’s B Minor Mass.
Erin received her Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB in 2017, and her Bachelor of Art in Music from UC Berkeley.