Kirsten C. Kunkle


"The piercing vocalizations performed by Kirsten C. Kunkle complement the oneiric experience mourning the heroine’s struggle and introducing a mystical, almost supernatural, element to the scenic reality." — PA Theatre Guide

"Saturating nether-world noise, distinctive lighting, and ethereal vocalities, including Kirsten Kunkle’s sublime singing, soundtrack a woman’s fight for air." — Lisa Panzer, Phindie

"Kunkle's beautiful operatic voice marks a great contrast to the other musical styles found in the show. It helps set her character apart and establishes her as a force of her own." — Stage Magazine

"Kirsten Kunkle used fiery dark tones to play the dramatic gypsy woman, Zemfira." — Broad Street Review

"With an intermezzo that features soprano Kirsten Kunkle singing the "Music of the Spheres" (inspired by a line from Poe's memento-mori poem "The Conqueror Worm"), OPERA MACABRE is sure to capture all the "chilling suspense and lurid language" — Deb Miller, Stage Magazine


Soprano Kirsten C. Kunkle has been hailed as an outstanding singing actress with a voice that has been described as beautiful, ethereal, powerful, fiery, and bewitching.

During the 2016 season, Ms. Kunkle made her role debut as Suor Angelica with Wilmington Concert Opera and revisited the role of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with OperaLancaster. She made her professional straight play debut in Machinal with EgoPo Classic Theater and her professional musical theatre debut as Domina in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with the Scranton Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, she was awarded an Honorable Mention for The American Prize in Voice – Professional Art Song and Oratorio Division (Women), was a semi-finalist for The American Prize in Opera (Women), and was chosen for the DC Metro Theater Arts Best of 2016 for her performance as the Mother in "Amahl and the Night Visitors" with OperaLancaster and for ensemble (role of Edith Standen) for the world premiere of "Shadow House" with The Philadelphia Opera Collective and PhilaLandmarks.

In recent seasons, Ms. Kunkle performed the roles of Mimì in La bohème with Windy City Opera, Rosalinde in Der Fledermaus with Opera Tennessee, First Lady in The Magic Flute with Delaware Valley Opera Company, and Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with OperaLancaster. With the Philadelphia Opera Collective, she has created leading roles in numerous world premieres, including Edith Standen in Shadow House, Annie Jump Cannon in Jump the Moon, Edgar Allan Poe in Opera Macabre: Edgar Allan Poe, and Dr. Frankenstein in By You That Made Me, Frankenstein. Other favorite roles include Iolanta and Brigitta in Iolanta, Zemfira in Aleko, Lisa in Pique Dame, Foreign Woman in The Consul, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel.

In 2015, Ms. Kunkle made her Carnegie Hall debut as a first-place winner in the American Protégé Competition. She was the 2014 Pennsylvania District National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award winner and won second place in the Roschel Vocal Competition in 2015. A soloist with the Dana Symphony Orchestra, Rome Symphony (Georgia), and Toledo Symphony (Ohio), Ms. Kunkle has also been active as a recitalist, performing in concert in Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Austria.

Ms. Kunkle attended Bowling Green State University and the University of Salzburg for her undergraduate studies, majoring in voice performance with minors in Italian and German. Her graduate degrees are in voice performance from the University of Michigan. A voting member of the Muscogee Nation, Ms. Kunkle commissioned and premiered sixteen original compositions, including one of her own, based upon the poetry of her ancestor and highly-acclaimed poet of the Native American Muscogee Nation, Alex Posey.

She has recorded extensively through the Comic Opera Guild, specializing in the works of Victor Herbert. Her recordings are collected at the Library of Congress, the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, and the Merkel Area Museum in Merkel, Texas. Ms. Kunkle is included on the list of Classical Native American Artists and Musicians at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and on the Molto Native Music list of performers.

Ms. Kunkle is originally from Fremont, Ohio and currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware.

Opera Tennessee - Chattanooga, TN
May 11 - 13, 2017

OperaLancaster - Lancaster, PA
April 21 & 22, 2017

Wilmington Concert Opera – Swarthmore, PA & Wilmington, DE
March 3 & 4, 2017

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"Si, mi chiamano Mimi"