Grammy Award winning American mezzo soprano Tichina Vaughn has established an important presence among the world’s leading opera houses, concert halls and theaters. As an outstanding singing-actress versatile in opera, operetta, musical theater, and jazz, Vaughn continues to gather both popular and critical acclaim. Ms. Vaughn began her operatic career as a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program directly after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
The 2022-2023 season is full of debuts for KS. Vaughn. She opens the season with her Utah Opera debut as Mary in Der Fliegende Hollander. Further season debuts include Opéra National de Lyon as The Old Lady in Candide, with Fort Worth Opera as Amneris in Aida and as Monisha in Joplin’s Treemonisha at Opera Theater St. Louis.
For the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Vaughn returns to the Metropolitan Opera as The Hostess of the Inn in Boris Godunov, Maria in Porgy and Bess, and Serving Woman 1 in Elektra. She also debuted with Boston Lyric Opera in Terence Blanchard’s Champion as Emelda, and in the summer of 2022 joined the Cincinnati Opera as Amneris in Aida. On the concert stage she appears with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester at the Lucerne Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival as Maria in Porgy and Bess, as well as with the Landmarks Orchestra Boston in Beethoven Symphony No. 9; and the world premiere of “Many Mansions” by Diane White-Clayton.
.During the COVID-19 impacted 2020-2021 season Ms. Vaughn made her debut at Theater an der Wien as Maria in Porgy & Bess, returned to the Metropolitan Opera for performances of Porgy and Bess as Lily (performed), which opened the season.
In the 2018-19 season, Ms. Vaughn debuted at English National Opera and Dutch National Opera as Maria in a new production of Porgy and Bess followed by a return to the Metropolitan Opera for performances of Dialogues des Carmélites with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Additionally, Vaughn participated in the world premiere of Caruso a Cuba with Dutch National Opera and in Cavalleria Rusticana with the NDR Philharmonie Klassik Open Air.
Highlights from Ms. Vaughn’s 2017-18 season include her critical success as Herodias in Salome and Brigitta in Die tote Stadt at the Semperoper Dresden, followed by her return to the Metropolitan Opera for her role debut as the First Maid in Elektra with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She subsequently made further debuts as The Mother in Dallapiccola‘s Il Prigioniero under Erik Nielsen and with the State Opera Hannover as Begonia in Henze’s Der Junge Lord.
As a visiting artist, Ms. Vaughn made her Italian debut as Azucena Il Trovatore under the baton of Nicola Luisotti at Teatro Verdi Trieste where she was later heard as Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera, a role she also performed at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Teatro delle Muse Ancona, Teatro Verdi Salerno, and Teatro Filarmonico Verona. She became a regular guest at the Arena di Verona where she essayed more than 50 performances of Amneris in Franco Zeffirelli’s Aida as well as several performances of Azucena Il Trovatore. Additional success in Italy include Amneris at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and at the Festival Veneto as well as Azucena at Teatro Carlo Felice Genova and the Festival Arturo Toscanini Busseto. Further international engagements have included Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Budapest National Opera and Greek National Opera, Amneris in Aida at Opera Hong Kong, Herodias in Salome at Las Palmas Opera, Erda in Der Ring des Nibelungen at Finnish National Opera, Augsburg Opera, and the State Opera Kassel, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Venus in Tannhäuser at Hamburg State Opera, Maria in Porgy and Bess at the Bregenz Festival, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff at Korean National Opera, as well as Klytemnestra in Elektra, Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, and Princess Eboli in Don Carlo with Opera Frankfurt.
In North America Ms. Vaughn has appeared as Azucena in Il Trovatore with Sacramento Opera, Amneris in Aida with Michigan Opera Theater, Tulsa Opera, Seattle Opera, and Orange County Opera, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera at San Francisco Opera, and La Frugola in Il Tabarro with Los Angeles Opera.
From 2010 to 2018 Ms. Vaughn was a principal artist with Dresden Semper Opera where she achieved critical success as Azucena in Il Trovatore, Venus in Tannhäuser, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Klytemnestra in Elektra, Eboli in Don Carlo, Prince Orloffsky in Die Fledermaus, Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Grand Vestale in La Vestale, Herodias in Salome, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare, and Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin, among others.
From 1998 to 2006 Tichina Vaughn was a principal artist at the Stuttgart State Opera where she was awarded the title of Kammersängerin for her successes in such roles as Eboli in Don Carlo, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Widow Begbick in Mahagonny, Venus in Tannhäuser, Giulietta in Tales of Hoffmann, Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Herodias in Salome, Fricka in Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, and Erda in Siegfried and Das Rheingold.
In addition to her many operatic successes, Tichina Vaughn has performed symphonic concerts, chamber concerts, and recitals in many prestigious concert halls around the world. Featured works include the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony among others. Orchestras she has performed with include the Berlin Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Kennedy Center, Jerusalem Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Stuttgart Philharmonic, and the National Symphony of Ireland. She has collaborated with maestros Keri Lynn Wilson, James Conlon, Placido Domingo, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Bobby McFerrin, Daniel Oren, Sir Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich, Nello Santi, and Omer Meir Welber.
Her discography includes the Stuttgart State Theater Der Ring des Nibelungen which include her highly acclaimed appearances as Fricka in Die Walküre and Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, which were filmed for the DVD distributed by Euro Arts and recorded for Naxos. In 2005 Tichina released her solo portrait CD entitled “Christmas at My House”. Additionally she appears on the new release Schwanda the Bagpiper – Live from the Semperoper.
In addition to her title as Kammersängerin, Tichina Vaughn has received many awards and honors during her distinguished career including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Award, the Richard Tucker Foundation Study Grant Award, the Opera Index Vocal Competition Award, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Award, and a Birgit Nilsson Foundation Award. Most recently she was presented the Consul General’s Award for Cultural Diplomacy from the Consulate General in Milan.