Meet Briana Moynihan – 2018 Summer Residency Artist and 18-19 Baumgartner Studio Artist

Mezzo-soprano Briana Moynihan grew up surrounded by singing. It was a part of every family gathering, as her dad was a professional singer and his family also loved to sing. But as a child, Briana says she was shy and afraid to sing in public.

“I didn’t really become interested in singing until I got into theater,” she says. “I started voice lessons because I wanted to be cast in musicals, but it didn’t take long for me to enjoy singing more than anything else!”

Then in high school, when Briana was cast in her school’s production of The Phantom of the Opera, she began working with an opera voice teacher.

“I was still interested in going to college for acting, but my opera voice teacher thought I had the instrument and aptitude for pursing a career in opera,” she says.

Since Briana had no background in opera, she decided to participate in a Minnesota Opera camp as a way to learn more about the art form.

“Opera was really hard at first, so hard that I thought it was too challenging for me and that I’d never succeed in an opera career,” she says. “But as I continued to work hard and better understand the art form, I started to believe it was within my reach.”

After finishing the camp, Briana was inspired to join the Minnesota Opera’s full year youth program, and it was here that she really committed to singing. She also took part in the opera’s apprentice program, which is designed specifically for high school seniors preparing for music school auditions.

“Participating in these programs not only gave me numerous opportunities to improve my singing technique and knowledge of opera, but also to actually perform classical music on a regular basis,” Briana says. “The positive experiences I had in these programs are largely why I continued to pursue a singing career.”

Briana holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and she’s excited to keep her career moving forward as a Florentine Opera summer residency artist and 18-19 Baumgartner Studio Artist.

Why she’s excited to be working with the Florentine:

“My first opera role was in a new opera commission, so new works have become my favorite to perform, as I love the challenge of getting a new work on its feet,” Briana says. “The Florentine’s reputation for programming unique repertoire was something that immediately made me want to work there, as exemplified in the upcoming season!”

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