Praised for her sparkling voice and stage presence, Indian-American lyric coloratura soprano Maya Kherani has been a featured soloist on the West Coast and beyond since completing her Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Maya recently finished her fellowship at the Boston University Opera Institute, where she sang the roles of Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon. After returning to the Bay Area, she recently triumphed in the role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with West Bay Opera.
Maya made her Houston Grand Opera (HGOco) debut in the role of Meera in the world première of River of Light. In summer 2014, Maya was a Bonfils-Stanton Studio Artist at Central City Opera, and in summer 2015, she returned to Central City as an Apprentice Artist where she sang the lead role of Altisidore in Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse by Boismortier to critical acclaim. Maya was also the recipient of the 2015 McGlone Award from Central City Opera.
Favorite roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Eurydice (Orfée aux enfers), Marie (La fille du régiment), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Poppea (Agrippina), Lieschen (J.S. Bach’s The Coffee Cantata), Monica (The Medium), and Nuria in Golijov’s Ainadamar with Opera Parallèle.
An active proponent of both early and contemporary music, Maya has premiered several works, including the aformentioned River of Light, Neil Rolnick’s Anosmia, released by Innova Records, Dante de Silva’s “graphic opera”Gesualdo, Prince of Madness, and Paul Bowles’ Three Pastoral Songs through the BluePrint New Music Project at SFCM. She enjoys working in collaboration with up-and-coming composers, and has sung in the premieres of Elliott Encarnacion’s oratorio El Otro Mesias and Valerie Liu’s song cycle Is This Our Season?, composed specifically for Maya’s voice.
As a passionate Baroque performer, she has been featured with the American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Bach Choir, the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the American Handel Society Festival. Maya’s numerous awards include 2nd Place at the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition (Opera Division), the Kalvelage award at West Bay Opera’s Holt Competition, two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (District level), and the Barlow Award at the San Francisco Bay Area NATS competition, where she also won first place in both the Professional Art Song and Aria categories.
Prior to her singing career, Maya graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. As an engineer, Maya has conducted original research at Princeton, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Texas Health Science Center. She has published original work in the scholarly journals Journal of Structural Biology and Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids. She is a member of the academic honor organizations Tau Beta Pi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi.
Maya also enjoys dance, especially Bollywood, Indian classical, and tap. She was a 4-year member and choreographer of Naacho Indian Dance troupe at Princeton University.
Maya’s hobbies include vegetarian cooking, reading, watching Sci-Fi TV shows, yoga, rock climbing, and long-distance cycling trips.
Maya was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and has lived in Missouri, Texas, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. She currently resides in Palo Alto, California with her husband.
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