Denyce Graves | Meet the Artists

Mezzo-soprano. Emelda Griffith in Champion.

A DDenyce Graves headshot.C. native, Denyce attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and was later awarded a scholarship to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Denyce’s title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila have made her particularly well-known to opera audiences. In fact, the last time she appeared with WNO, she played the beloved and timeless Carmen. For Champion, she reprises her role as the mother of boxing legend Emile Griffith, following the opera’s world premiere at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. 

A notable moment: In 2001, following 9/11, President Bush asked her to sing in the National Cathedral at a memorial for the victims. Her renditions of “America, the Beautiful” and “The Lord’s Prayer” were televised worldwide and led to an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. 

Enjoy a passionately intense excerpt from Carmen!


“She is almost too good to be true… a vital artist, a beautiful woman, a regal presence.” – The Washington Post

Buy tickets for Champion to experience Denyce’s voice in person.

To learn more about Denyce and to keep up with her magnificent career, follow her on Facebook, visit her website, and watch this recent television interview!