Robin Steitz




Young woman in black jumpsuitA native of Washington, DC, Robin Steitz is an emerging Burmese-American soprano quickly establishing herself as a sensitive and versatile performing artist. She is equally dedicated to performing in chamber works, concerts, and operas, and her interests and expertise span a wide breadth of time periods and styles. This season, her engagements include the roles of ‘Flora’ in Turn of the Screw with Opera Baltimore, ‘Blonde’ in Die Entührung aus dem Serail with Opera Bel Cantanti, and the soprano soloist in Handel’s L’allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato with the Broad Street Chorale and Chorus. She also appeared in concert performances of works by George Lewis and Arnold Schoenberg with Cantata Profana in NYC, and premiered the work for jazz ensemble, soprano, and vocalist Sofia Jernberg Bristol Silence by John Andrew Wilhite in Oslo, Norway. Last season’s higlights include the roles of ‘Berta’ in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Finger Lakes Opera, ‘Giulia’ in Rossini’s La scala di seta with Opera Southwest, ‘Gabriel’ in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Broad Street Chorale and Orchestra, and ‘Susanna’ in Le Nozze di Figaro with OperaDelaware.

Her passion for contemporary music has brought her into close collaboration with living composers to create several recent world premieres: the role of ‘Mariana’ in Joe Illick’s opera Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World as a Studio Artist with Fort Worth Opera; John-Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal’s Eternity and its Double for soprano and contrabass in James Turrell’s space Double Vision at Ekebergparken Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway; and My Sister’s Voice by Reena Esmail for soprano, piano quintet, and Hindustani singer under the Sorel Organization’s 2019 Professional Fellowship at SongFest. Robin returns to Tanglewood this summer as a guest artist to perform My Sister’s Voice at the Linde Center. In the spring of 2019 she worked with composer George Lewis during his residency at Eastman, where she participated in workshops with the composer and performed as the soprano soloist in his composition Anthem with the Musica Nova chamber orchestra. During her studies at Eastman she additionally created several premieres of works by student composers, including Daddy, by Edo Frenkel and ancient lament by Haotian Yu, both works for solo soprano and chamber orchestra.​

Robin was a Tanglewood Voice Fellow in 2018 and 2019, where she most notably had the pleasure of performing the role of ‘Cricket’ in the American premiere of Richard Ayres’ opera The Cricket Recovers under the baton of Thomas Adès. That same summer she also performed as the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s In America arranged for chamber ensemble at the opening gala of the Tanglewood Learning Institute. During her fellowships at Tanglewood she additionally sang in master classes with Stephanie Blythe, Tony Arnold, and Roger Vignoles; as soprano soloist in Bach Cantatas 211 and 105 coached by John Harbison; and in Lukas Foss’ Time Cycle, which she performed again in the fall of 2019 with Stephen Drury and the Callithumpian Consort at the New England Conservatory.

As a young artist in opera, Robin was a winner of the 2019 Buffalo / Toronto District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and has earned several apprenticeships. She most recently performed as a Young Artist with OperaDelaware, where she was scheduled to perform the roles of ‘Amore’ and ‘Valletto’ in L’incoronazione di Poppea and to cover the role of ‘Olympia’ in Les Contes d’Hoffmann before the festival was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. During that season other cancelled scheduled performances include the role of ‘The Little One’ with Opera Rara in Krakow, Poland, and ‘Nella’ in Gianni Schicchi with Virginia Opera. Before joining OperaDelaware in the 2019-20 season she was also a Studio Artist with Fort Worth Opera and an Apprentice Artist with Opera Southwest. Other opera performances include: ‘Amore’ in Orfeo ed Euridice (Opera Bel Cantanti); ‘Zerlina’ in Don Giovanni (Baltimore Concert Opera); ‘Patience’ in Patience (Victorian Lyric Opera Company); ‘La Fée’ in Cendrillon and ‘Miss Jessel’ in Turn of the Screw (Eastman Opera Theater); and ‘Suor Genovieffa’ in Suor Angelica (Oberlin in Italy).​

In concert Robin has most recently sung with the South Dakota Symphony as the featured soloist in their Christmas on the Prairie concert. Concert performances also include Handel’s Ode to St. Cecelia’s Day with the First Inversion Choir and period instrument band; the Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Bach b Minor Mass with the Voices Chamber Choir and Orchestra; Requiem in c by Michael Haydn and Dona nobis pacem by Vaughan-Williams at Eastman; and Johann Strauss’s Frühlingstimmen with the COSMIC Symphony Orchestra.​

Robin received her MM in Voice Performance & Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she won 1st Place in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition judged by Graham Johnson and placed 3rd in the Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition judged by Stephen Wadsworth. She also won the Voice Concerto Competition, for which she was awarded a performance of Witold Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neil Varon. Before attending Eastman Robin participated in the AIMS in Graz program, where she was the winner of the 2014 Harold Heiberg Leidersänger Preis for most oustanding performance of German Lied. As a winner of this award she was invited to perform a Liederabend at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC as her first ever recital performance.​

Robin graduated from Reed College with a BA in Linguistics, and before pursuing a career in voice was a high school math teacher in Silver Spring, Maryland. Since the pandemic, she has also begun work as an AI software engineer specializing in voice analytics and natural language processing.