Mezzo-soprano Hilda Harris, formerly a leading artist of the Metropolitan Opera, has performed throughout the United States and Europe. A native of Warrenton, North Carolina, she is known for her portrayals of the "trouser" roles in the mezzo repertoire. She has established herself as a singing actress and has earned critical acclaim in opera, on the concert stage, and in recital. At the Metropolitan Opera, she made her debut as the Student in Lulu and also sang Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), the Child (L'Enfant et les sortilèges), Siebel (Faust), Stephano (Roméo et Juliette), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), and Sesto (Giulio Cesare). During her extensive career, she has sung such roles as Carmen in St. Gallen, Switzerland; Brussels; and Budapest. In Holland and Belgium she sang the roles of Dorabella (Così fan tutte) and Rosina (Barber of Seville), and the title role in La Cenerentola.
She has also sung leading roles with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Seattle Opera, Spoleto USA, and the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy. She has appeared extensively in symphonic and oratorio repertoire with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Quebec Symphony, Helsinki Orchestra, Sweden's Malmö Symphony and the radio orchestras of Hilversum in the Netherlands.
Ms. Harris is a member of the Chicago-based Black Music Research Ensemble, whose purpose it is to discover, preserve, promote and perform music of black composers.
Her accomplishments have been documented in And So I Sing, by Rosalyn M. Story; Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Darlene Clark Hines; The Music of Black Americans by Eileen Southern; and African-American Singers by Patricia Turner.
Ms. Harris's discography includes Hilda Harris (a solo album); The Valley Wind (songs of Hale Smith); Art Songs by Black American Composers (album); X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (CD); From the South Land, songs and spirituals by Harry T. Burleigh (CD); and Witness, Volume II, compositions by William Grant Still (CD).
Ms. Harris taught voice at Howard University from 1991 through 1994 and at the Chautauqua Institution for 16 years. In addition to maintaining a private studio in New York City, she is a member of the voice faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a member of the Manhattan School of Music College faculty since 1991 and Precollege faculty since 2005.