Biography


            Fotina Naumenko is an engaging performer who has been praised for her commanding stage presence and "sweet" (Music in Cincinnati) coloratura soprano voice. She enjoys singing a wide variety of genres including opera, oratorio, art song, musical theater, choral and contemporary music both as a soloist and chamber musician.

            Recent performance highlights include the symphonic premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim with the Boston Pops; Considering Matthew Shepard with Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble under the direction of GRAMMY® award-winning conductor Craig Hella Johnson; Debussy's Nocturnes (III. Sirènes) with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; and selections from Shostakovich's Satires, Op. 109, at the 2017 Constella Festival as part of a program entitled From Russia with Love.

            Fotina spent the summer of 2017 as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where she made solo debuts at Seiji Ozawa Hall and the Koussevitzky Music Shed in performances that included Schoenberg's Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, Op. 15; Earl Kim's Now and Then; selections from Canciones Infantiles by Antón García Abril; David Lang's just; as well as the soprano solo in Bach's Cantata BWV 115 with John Harbison conducting. Fotina joined the other vocal fellows in a performance of Schubert's Des Tages Weihe, D. 763, alongside renowned pianist Emmanuel Ax.

[The concert] began with David Lang’s stunningly simple and lovely “just” (2014), a setting drawn from the Song of Songs, in a beautiful performance by three singers, Mary Bonhag, Fotina Naumenko and Jazimina MacNeil
— New York Times, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music 2017
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...beautiful sound, simple and pure
— Boston Musical Intelligencer, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music 2017

            Fotina won a prestigious Fulbright fellowship to Russia in 2014-2015, and enrolled in a post-graduate diploma program at the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory to focus on her specialization in Russian repertoire. While in Russia, Fotina won 1st Prize at St. Petersburg's Star Rhapsody voice competition (Professional Division), and placed 3rd in the Romansiada Art Song Competition which gave her the opportunity to make her solo debut in Moscow at a gala concert in the historic Pillar Hall of the Palace of the Unions. While in St. Petersburg, Fotina performed concerts in many of the significant performance venues of the city including the Small Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Sheremetev Palace, the Pushkin Museum, as well as the Glazunov Concert Hall.

            Fotina completed her Master of Music Degree at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and earned her Bachelor of Music Degree with honors from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. She is honored to be a scholarship recipient of the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation, an organization committed to supporting “outstanding young American opera singers.”

 

 

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            Operatic credits have included Euridice in Monteverdi's Orfeo and Coridon in Handel's Acis and Galatea with the Cincinnati Chamber Opera; Blonde in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Delaware Valley Opera; and Amor in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice as well as Brigitta in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta with the Theater of Opera and Ballet at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. Other favorite roles are Despina (Mozart's Cosí fan tutte), Clorinda (Rossini's Cenerentola), Snegurochka (Rimsky Korsakov's The Snow Maiden), and Yniold (Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande). Recent solo oratorio performances include Handel's Israel in Egypt with the Queen City Opera, J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass with VAE and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, as well as Schubert's Mass in G at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

a lone soprano [Fotina Naumenko] soared expressively over the choir
— New York Times, Patriarch Tikhon Choir inaugural tour 2013

            Fotina loves modern repertoire, and has worked with leading composers of contemporary vocal music including Tom Cipullo, Ricky Ian Gordon and Libby Larsen. She sang the soprano solos in the world premiere of Kile Smith's Canticle with the Vocal Arts Ensemble in April 2016, and has performed with the Café MoMus Contemporary Ensemble in Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon's Sones de Tierra Fría and Bright Sheng's Three Chinese Love Songs. She performed Berio's Sequenza III as well as excerpts from Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire for outreach events with concert:nova during the 2016-2017 season. Contemporary opera credits include the title role in Toshio Hosokawa's Matsukaze (Cincinnati College-Conservatory) as well as the role of Jean in Douglas Pew's A Game of Hearts (NANOWorks Opera).

            Fotina sings with several chamber ensembles including the GRAMMY®award-winning Conspirare, Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble, as well as the newly-formed Coro Volante, a recording choir whose debut album with Ablaze records, New Choral Voices Vo. 2, is due out later this year. In 2016, Fotina joined Conspirare at the St. Olav Festival in Trondheim, Norway, for the world premiere of Kim Arnesen's Wound in the Water.

Mlynek’s tenor was nicely complemented by [Fotina Naumenko’s] sweet voice
— Music in Cincinnati, Euridice in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with the Cincinnati Chamber Opera
Performances... by Naumenko, soprano, and Barrad, baritone, were also excellent and offered insight into the show’s greater theme
— Polly Magazine, Constella Festival 2017