Cynthia Lawrence

Professor, Endowed Chair in Music (Voice)


  • BM, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • MM, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Student of Barbara M. Doscher

At UK since: 2009

Soprano Cynthia Lawrence has sung on five continents and is hailed as one of America’s most exciting singing actresses. She is a regular guest of leading opera companies around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera; The Royal Albert Hall, London; the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin; New Israeli Opera; Opera Pacific; Opera Colorado; Deutsche Staatsoper; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Paris Opera, Prague’s National Theater; Grand Theatre de Geneva; Vlaamse Opera, Belgium; Castleward Opera, Belfast, Ireland; Opera Columbus; Dayton Opera; Minnesota Opera; Opera Ontario; Athens Festival, Theater Megaron; New York City Opera; Lake George Opera Festival; Opera Omaha; Central City Opera; Colorado Opera Festival; and Opera Memphis.

This past year Ms Lawrence sang Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with the National Symphony of Santo Domingo in a celebration concert under the baton of Maestro Antonio Molina as well as singing Tosca at Opera North Carolina and with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera. She has appeared in the Alltech Celebration of Song, and was a featured soloist in the World Equestrian Games which was held in Lexington, Kentucky and broadcast worldwide. Her Lady Macbeth at Palacio Das Artes, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and was a smash sell-out and she was a featured performer in the 75th Anniversary Gala of Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. In the fall of 2008 she was honored to be a selected soloist and speaker in the just released DVD “A Tribute to Pavarotti: One Amazing Weekend in Petra”. The previous December Cynthia sang the Gala Concert with Opera Fort Collins and was also in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she sang four concerts at the “Journey Through Time” festival and exhibition. During the summer she starred in a gala concert in Lima, Peru. During the past several seasons, she sang Madame Butterfly with the Lithuanian Nation Opera in Spain and Opera Carolina, Maddelena with Ben Heppner as Andrea Chenier with CulturArte de Puerto Rico, Lady Macbeth, with the Metropolitan Opera and the Florentine Opera. The year before Last year she sang Tosca with The Royal Albert Hall, London as well as with The Vancouver Opera. In previous seasons at the Metropolitan Opera she sang as Madame Butterfly and Tosca. She also sang Elettra in Idomeneo at The Washington Opera, Cio-Cio-San for Connecticut Opera and Tosca for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She also appeared at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Candace in A Wedding, and Opera Carolina, Atlanta Opera and Portland Opera as Tosca.

She has appeared over 70 times in concert with Luciano Pavarotti; touring cities and countries such as Doha, Qatar; Italy; Chile; Venezuela, Argentina; Germany; Norway; Japan; China; Malaysia; England; Canada; South Africa, and throughout the United States.

Her roles include her praised Tosca, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, Dolly in Sly, her celebrated Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Lavinia, in Mourning Becomes Electra, Elettra in Idomeneo, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Musetta in La Boheme, Micaela in Carmen, The First Lady, in Die Zauberflöte, Fiordiligi in Cosí fan Tutte, Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth, Die Frau in Schoenberg’s Von Heute auf Morgen, Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, LiuD, Marguerite, Countess Olga in Fedora, The Italian Singer in Strauss’s Capriccio and Mimi in La Boheme.

This Fall - Miss Lawrence will be singing Cio Cio San with the Lithuanian National Opera in Guangzhou, China; a Gala Celebration of the opening of the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center in Colorado as well as Britten’s War Requiem with the Louisville Choral Arts Society here in Kentucky. She resides with her two daughters and husband, Mark R. Calkins who is the Director of Music and Voice Professor at Berea College, in Berea, Kentucky. She maintains a private studio and is a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and enjoys conducting Master Classes for singers, performers and colleges. Recently she and Mark gave a joint Master Recital at the 4th International Conference on the Acoustics of Singing held at the University of Texas, San Antonio.