Carley DeFranco is a Boston-based soprano known for her committed dramatic portrayals. This season brings performances with Emmanuel Music, Lorelei Ensemble & Boston Ballet, Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, Voces8, Symphony New Hampshire, Con Brio Choral Society, Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Falmouth Chorale, Oregon Bach Festival, Monadnock Music, the American Soloists Ensemble and the National Chorus of Korea.
Carley is proud to have sung more than 80 cantatas with Emmanuel Music in their weekly Bach Cantata Series as well as the St. John Passion, Magnifiat, Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew Passion, St. Mark Passion, Easter Oratorio, John Harbison’s Chorale Cantata for soprano, oboe, violin and strings, Supper at Emmaus, Abraham, Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day and Angelo in the staged recording of La Resurrezione. Her solo cantata highlights from Emmanuel Music include Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen! BWV 51, Selig ist der Mann BWV 57, and Ach Gott wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58. This year brings regular appearances in the cantata series, Reena Esmail’s This Love Between Us, Christmas Oratorio and Britten’s Les Illuminations.
An avid concert soloist, Carley has appeared with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra (Mozart’s Requiem), North Carolina Master Chorale (Handel’s Alexander’s Feast), Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (Monteverdi Vespers), Boston Cecilia (Rudoi Our Transcendental Passion), American Bach Soloists Academy (Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl, BWV 198), and Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra (Gounod’s Messe Solenelle, Saint Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, Schubert’s Mass in Eb Major). This season she sings with Symphony New Hampshire (Mozart Requiem), Dedham Choral Society (Vivaldi Gloria), Heritage Chorale (Vaughn Williams Dona Nobis Pacem), Con Brio Choral Society (Mozart Requiem and Forrest Jubilate Deo), Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus (Beethoven Mass in C and Choral Fantasy) and the Falmouth Chorale (Brahms’ Requiem).
Carley’s operatic credits include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Boston Opera Collaborative and Greater Worcester Opera, Lucy Lockit (The Beggar’s Opera) with Emmanuel Music, The Rose (The Little Prince) with NEMPAC Opera Project, the title role in Alcina with Opera del West, Yvette (La Rondine) with Boston Opera Collaborative, Nannetta (Falstaff) with Emerald City Opera and many world premieres in Boston Opera Collaborative’s critically-acclaimed annual festival of ten-minute operas: Opera Bites. She is known for her committed dramatic portrayals; Boston Musical Intelligencer called her performance as Lucy Lockit “a joy to watch and hear” and her performance in Boston Opera Collaborative’s staged Frauenliebe und Leben “almost filmic in its realism”. Last season, she joined the Boston Lyric Opera Chorus for performances of Cavalleria Rusticana and Champion (Terence Blanchard).
In demand for her performances of new music by American composers, Carley has given premieres at the Kennedy Center, Fog X FLO on the Emerald Necklace, New England Conservatory, Middlesex Community College, Mount Holyoke College, Longy School of Music, and American University. This year she was privileged to perform two new works by Mason Bynes with Boston Art Song Society: Dowland Impressions, arranged for voice and electric guitar and Songs for the People for voice and piano. An ever-evolving musician, Carley joins forces with Ben Schwendener in their duo Lyric, performing improvisations based on natural geometric design and contemporary poetry. Carley’s a proud member of the Byrne Band, founded by Corrine Byrne & co in 2022.
While all performing is founded in community, Carley finds special joy in singing at gatherings and community events. She has performed pop-up opera at the Roslindale Holiday Wander, sung from the back of a pick-up truck with Mass Opera, curated and performed concerts with Boston Opera Collaborative on the Emerald Necklace Series and throughout Boston, hosted private Zoom concerts with Emmanuel Music’s Musical Conversations initiative and given many tailored programs at birthday parties, wedding celebrations and holiday affairs.
Carley was the 2018-19 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music, a 2019 Fellow with American Bach Soloists, and a third place winner of the American Prize (Professional Division) in Oratorio/Art song. She is a current soprano scholar with VOCES 8 and will perform on their American tour in 2023. Carley is the Director of After School Music at Dexter Southfield and a Voice Instructor in Harvard University’s Holden Voice Program. She offers private lessons (in-person or online) from her home in Somerville.