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About

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Hailed as "silvery-toned" by Opera News (David Shengold, 2022), Ukrainian-American soprano Teryn Kuzma is a versatile performer of classical, contemporary, musical theater, and folk repertoire. She has a deep passion for performing contemporary works, and uncommon Eastern European opera and art song. Her upcoming performances include singing the lead role of "H'ala" in Layale Chaker's dynamic new opera, Ruinous Gods, with Spoleto Festival USA. Recent engagements include covering and performing the role of "Lieschen" in Bach's Coffee Cantata with On Site Opera, and covering the role of "Margaret Fox" in the world premiere of Michael Dellaira's opera, Arctic Explorations, with the New Amsterdam Singers

 

In 2023, she sang with On Site Opera in NYC as a cover for the roles of "Frog" and "Mechanical Nightingale" in their premiere production of Lisa Despain's, Song of the Nightingale, and sang in the Bard SummerScape production of Camille Saint-Saëns's opera, Henry VIII. This past year, Teryn performed in her Masters Degree recital, “Songs of Strength”, on April 23rd at Bard Conservatory, and workshopped the lead role in Ruinous Gods, with Spoleto Festival USA. She also sang the role of “Celia” in Iolanthe with the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program (VAP), and won first place in the MIOpera University Division International Vocal Competition.

 

In 2022, she sang in the Toronto Summer Music Festival as a recipient of an Art of Song Fellowship, and was a featured artist in the Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival. She also sang the title role in Leoš Janáček’s opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, with the Bard Graduate VAP, and competed as a finalist in the Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition in the Scholarship Division.

 

In addition to her singing credits, Teryn is an accomplished instrumentalist on the 55-stringed Ukrainian bandura and is actively engaged in the performance and study of Ukrainian folk music. A founding member and current Concertmaster of the Women’s Bandura Ensemble of North America, she has performed in various esteemed concert halls and universities across the U.S and Canada over the past ten years. Teryn privately teaches bandura and voice lessons, and has been invited to perform and instruct at several summer bandura workshops since 2014. Her connection to her heritage is highlighted through her devotion to maintaining the art of the bandura and Ukrainian music.

Since the most recent escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2022, she has taken part in dozens of benefit concerts for humanitarian aid. Her current artistic mission includes using her musicianship to raise awareness of the beauty and versatility of Ukrainian music. Last March, Teryn organized and performed in “Bard Musicians in Support of Ukraine”, a benefit concert featuring Ukrainian compositions, which raised over $4,000 in aid for the Help Us Help Charity. 

 

While growing up in the diaspora, she also had the opportunity to take Ukrainian Dance lessons and workshops for 14 years under the tutelage of esteemed choreographer Orlando Pagan (Dance Theater of Harlem). Her folk and ballet training fostered her interests in combining movement and music on stage. Movement and dance continue to be an integral part of Teryn’s identity as an artist.Teryn performed for two seasons with The Ohio Light Opera (OLO), first as a chorus member and dancer in 2019, and then "Luisa" in The Fantasticks during their 2021 season. Before the pandemic in 2020, she was hired to sing the role of "Fiametta" in OLO’s production of The Gondoliers, and "Louise" in Carousel, in which she would have performed the challenging “Dream Ballet” sequence. 

In 2019, she sang in Hartford Opera Theater’s 10th annual New in November Concert, a festival dedicated to performing contemporary operas by living composers. That same year, she was a featured artist in the Ukrainian Art Song Project in Toronto, Canada. Teryn continues to program lesser-known Ukrainian composers such as Kyrylo Stetsenko, Stephania Turkewich, and Volodymyr Volynskyj. 

Originally from Connecticut, she began studying voice at the Hartt School of Music and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut. She was selected for the UConn Honors Recital all four years of her undergraduate program. Her work at the University of Connecticut culminated in 2018 when she was a winner of the Concerto & Aria Competition. That same year, she attended the SongFest Program in Los Angeles as a Young Artist. 

 

Teryn recently earned her Masters Degree from the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program, where she studied with Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Kayo Iwama, Erika Switzer, and Stephanie Blythe. 

Critics Say:

"Kuzma's Vixen--with a silvery tone and a sassy liberationist attitude that never cloyed--and Kim's mellow-toned Fox evidenced good chemistry; with Bagwell's support they made something magical of their forest love scene." 

-David Shengold, Opera News, 2022

"Kuzma has a beautiful soprano voice and showed off both her range and power... showing strong emotion and confidence during both pieces, even participating in a quick visual gag with conductor Paul McShee."
-Evan Burns, The Daily Campus, 2018

"Accompanying herself on bandura... Kuzma gave a stellar performance of the nostalgic “Nahaday Banduro Spivamy.” The audience responded with numerous acclaims of “Brava!” and enthusiastic applause for her vocal performance."
-Ihor Slabicky, Ukrainian Weekly, 2016

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Photo by Micah Gleason

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