Cynthia Lawrence


  • 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; 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.

Cynthia Lawrence as Lady Macbeth, Metropolitan Opera
Lady Macbeth, Metropolitan Opera

As director of UKOT’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia the spring of 2017, Ms. Lawrence brought more than 30 years’ experience with her to this opera, having performed the role of Berta many times in David Gately’s, John Copley’s and other’s productions.

Locally Ms. Lawrence has been a featured soloist in the 4th of July Celebration at Transylvania University for the City of Lexington; on a KET television broadcasts of the Alltech’s Celebration of Song and the ‘100 year Gala celebration of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion’.

Recently Cynthia sang a CONCERT ‘CARACALLA FOR UNICEF’ as a guest artist at The Baths of Caracalla, Rome for a charity evening in aid of UNICEF along with: José Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Carly Paoli, Russell Watson, Andrea Griminelli & Alessandro Safina, accompanied by Roma United Orchestra, directed by David Giménez. Miss Lawrence appeared as Mimi in La Boheme with the National Symphony of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic as part of their 40th Anniversary celebration. The previous fall she sang one of her favorite roles of Madame Butterfly in Anthony Minghella’s production, to a sold out crowd at the Guangzhou Opera House in China. In previous years Ms. Lawrence appeared as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with the National Symphony of Santo Domingo as well as singing Tosca at Opera North Carolina and Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera. She has appeared yearly in the Alltech Celebration of Song, and was a featured soloist in the FEI 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 for the concert and 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 and 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 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, Musetta, Tosca, and Roxanne in Cyrano and Dolly in Sly opposite Placido Domingo. 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 and Carmen in Carmen; The First Lady and Pamina, 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; Liú in Turandot; Marguerite in Faust; Countess Olga in Fedora; The Italian Singer in Strauss’s Capriccio and Mimi in La Boheme.

Miss Lawrence also appeared in a Gala Celebration of the opening of the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center in Colorado and appeared with Opera Fort Collins in “Tea with the Diva”.

She resides with her two daughters and husband, Mark R. Calkins who is a 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 joint Master Classes, taught lessons and co-directed scenes at Augusta University’s ‘Opera Initiative Summer Workshop’ for young opera and Music Theater performers. They both taught and directed at ‘Opera Studio do Recife’ in Recife, Brazil; have presented a recital at Silver Lake College, Wisconsin; taught lesson and gave master classes at The University of Hidalgo State, Mexico; Georgia Regents College and at the 4th International Conference on the Acoustics of Singing held at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

I love teaching and performing. My goal as a teacher is to unlock the potential of every singer who studies with me through guiding their technique and bringing out their imaginative expression. Music is something that takes us where we’ve never been, only dreamed about or have forgotten existed. It is in every one of us to tell the story. I celebrate every students’ little ah ha’s! and the great triumphs.

Endowed Chair Voice/Opera


212 Schmidt