ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tesia Kwarteng is a versatile and multi-faceted Ghanaian-American artist who is equally at home on the operatic stage, on screen and in the studio.
Ms. Kwarteng recently led and sang with the vocal ensemble Vox Noire on the recording of the original film score for The Woman King by Terence Blanchard, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Viola Davis. Tesia’s first libretto commission (titled A Sable Jubilee) also premiered this year at the Aspen Music Festival, with music composed by Jasmine Barnes and sung by Will Liverman. Highlights of the 2022-2023 season include the casting of Ms. Kwarteng as Lady Catherine in Lincoln Center Theater‘s new production of Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot, featuring a book by Academy and Emmy Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher.
During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Kwarteng made her principal debut at The Metropolitan Opera as a Pit Singer in Brett Dean’s Hamlet and also 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 also covered the role of Ruby/Sinner Woman in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones at The Metropolitan Opera and 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 the role of Maurya in What Lies Beneath with On Site Opera. She also participated in a workshop for Written in Stone at Washington National Opera, where she sang the role of Laurel in Carlos Simon’s It All Falls Down and Victoria Wilson in Kamala Sankaram’s Rise.
In previous seasons, Ms. Kwarteng made her Austin Opera debut featured in recital as a part of the Live from Indy Terrace broadcast series and 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 training programs at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, The Glimmerglass Festival, Virginia Opera and Chautauqua Opera.
A champion of contemporary compositions, Tesia has performed in several world premieres and workshops of new works, including the role of Bertha in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones with 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 by Kennedy Center Honoree Tania Leon at the MacDowell Colony National Benefit, 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 the premiere of Jeremy Gill’s art song Rose (based on Ann Patchett’s book The Patron Saint of Liars, which was written for Ms. Kwarteng and performed at Chautauqua 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 as Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, Connecticut. Her regional theater credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette) with Barn Arts Center for the Arts, Hairspray (Dynamite) and The Sound of Music (Nun) at Casa Mañana Theater and Ragtime (Sarah’s friend) 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, 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, was 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.