ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tesia Kwarteng is a Ghanaian-American multi-faceted artist equally at home on the operatic stage, on screen and in the studio. She recently led and sang with the vocal ensemble Vox Noire on the recording of the original score by Terence Blanchard for The Woman King film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Viola Davis. Tesia also had her first libretto commission titled A Sable Jubilee premiere at the Aspen Music Festival with the music composed by Jasmine Barnes and sung by Will Liverman. Ms. Kwarteng also made her principal debut at The Metropolitan Opera as a Pit Singer in Brett Dean’s Hamlet and made her Off Broadway debut at Lincoln Center Theater in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage's new opera Intimate Apparel where she was seen as Mayme and in the ensemble. Tesia covered the role of Ruby/Sinner Woman in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones at the Metropolitan Opera. She sang the role of Woman 5 in Letters That You Will Not Get: Women's Voices from The Great War with American Opera Projects and was also seen as Maurya in What Lies Beneath with On Site Opera. She also participated in the Written in Stone workshop at Washington National Opera where she sang the role of Laurel in Carlos Simon’s It All Falls Down and the role of Victoria Wilson in Kamala Sankaram’s Rise. Ms. Kwarteng made her Austin Opera debut featured in recital as a part of their Live from Indy Terrace Broadcast. Tesia was also a featured soloist in the ensemble of the Grammy Award winning production of Porgy and Bess at The Metropolitan Opera. As a Resident Artist at Tri-Cities Opera, she was seen as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Madeline Mitchell in Three Decembers and Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore. She has also participated in the young artist programs at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, The Glimmerglass Festival, Virginia Opera and Chautauqua Opera.
Tesia has performed in several world premieres and workshops of new works including Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones in the role of Bertha at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Lee in Marie Begins, a soloist in Beyond Liberty with Thomas Hampson at The Glimmerglass Festival, Frances in a workshop performance of the new chamber opera The Flood at Opera Columbus, Melba Patillo in excerpts from Little Rock 9 at the MacDowell Colony National Benefit, in the ensemble of Dear Erich at New York City Opera and Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom with American Opera Projects, Abigail in Sleepy Hollow the Musical at the New York New Works Theater Festival, and premiered Jeremy Gill’s art song Rose based on Ann Patchett’s book The Patron Saint of Liars which was written for her and performed at Chautauqua Opera.
Additional performances include The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors at The Church of Transfiguration in New York City, Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium with Delaware Valley Opera, Arnita Seward in Blue Viola and Thelma Yablonski in Later the Same Evening at Opera Memphis, Marian Anderson in Deep River: Marian Anderson’s Journey with Virginia Opera, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel at CoOPERAtive and Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia with Utopia Opera.
In concert, Tesia has been seen at 54 Below, as Consuelo in West Side Story at The Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, as a soloist in Laura Karpman's Grammy Award winning Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz at the Apollo Theater with Jessye Norman and was the Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at First Presbyterian Church in Stamford Connecticut. Her regional theater work includes Little Shop of Horrors as Ronette with Barn Arts Center for the Arts, Hairspray as Dynamite and a Nun in The Sound of Music at Casa Mañana Theater and Sarah’s Friend in Ragtime at Manhattan School of Music. She also toured the Abyssinian Mass with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra as a member of Chorale le Chateau, and also toured with the American Spiritual Ensemble in 2017.
Tesia was a finalist in the 2020 George London Foundation Competition where she received an encouragement award. She was selected as a 2019 Top 30 under 30 pioneer by the Future of Ghana publication, has received a Career Grant from the Bagby Foundation for Musical Arts, was an Encouragement Award winner at the Houston district Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, is a 2016 recipient of an Encouragement Grant from the Career Bridges Foundation, was a fellow at the CoOPERAtive Program in 2015 and received the 2013 Legacy Award in the National Opera Association competition.
Tesia holds a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music and bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance and Journalism from The University of Texas at Arlington.