Maria has been compared to Teresa Stratas as an extraordinarily gifted singing actress. Critics have hailed Maria for her ability to capture the essence of a character while maintaining exquisite singing. Robert Trussell of the Kansas City star wrote simply about her portrayal of Pat Nixon, “Her voice could stop time.” Throughout Maria’s extensive and busy performing career, she has performed leading roles with Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Boston Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, Portland Opera, New Orleans Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Madison Opera, Tulsa Opera, Wexford Opera Festival and Canadian Opera Company along with many other prestigious opera companies.
Of the many leading roles Maria has performed, one of her signature roles has been Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, which has been recorded on the Naxos Label. Of her many career highlights, one remains the PBS telecast as “Mimi” in "La bohème" at New York City Opera’s Live from Lincoln Center National Broadcast. Maria's favorite role to perform continues to be Madama Butterfly for the role itself and the many times she has performed it with her own children as Butterfly’s child, Sorrow.
Maria has enjoyed the opportunity of premiering new operas and reviving more recent operas. She has created the role of Mary in Mark Adamo's "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene" for San Francisco Opera. For Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Wexford Opera, Maria reimagined the newly reworked role of Marie Antoinette in the re-staging of John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles". Maria enjoyed singing Blanche in Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire" for Kentucky Opera. She has also recently premiered the role of “Krystyna” in Jake Heggie’s newly reworked opera "Out of Darkness" with The Atlanta Opera.
Other recent engagements include Nedda in "I pagliacci" and Violetta in "La traviata" with Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Pat Nixon in "Nixon in China" with San Diego Opera, the title role of "Suor Angelica" with Intermountain Opera Company and Opera Santa Barbara, the title role of "Madama Butterfly" with San Antonio Opera.
Along with Maria’s extensive operatic career, she has also been a soloist with Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Baltimore Symphony, Ravinia Music Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Minnesota Symphony, Elgin Symphony and Kansas City Symphony.
With years of training at the beginning of Maria's career, she is a proud alumna of Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (Ryan Opera Center), The Santa Fe Opera Apprenticeship Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Chorus Apprenticeship, Opera Colorado Young Artist Center and Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony now known as Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point.
Maria received her MM/Voice and DMA/Voice from The University of Kansas and her BME/Choral degree from UMKC where she is currently an Associate Voice Professor.
Most importantly, Maria and her husband are dedicated and proud parents to four amazing children.
"This is Prophetic!"
Nixon in China
Pat Nixon: Maria Kanyova
Liszt: "Oh quand je dors"
Maria Kanyova, Soprano
Robert Kania, piano
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL - CONSTITUTION | "OUT OF DARKNESS" | ATLANTA OPERA
"The first act gives us the story of Krystyna Zywulska. . . .The recollected scenes make for devastating drama, beautifully performed by Kanyova."
SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT | "SUOR ANGELICA" | OPERA SANTA BARBARA
"Maria Kanyova gave a fabulous, multilayered performance as Angelica that was lit from within by incandescent vocal prowess and emotional commitment to the role. In the final sequence Kanyova broke through the conventions of polite discourse and took the audience with her on a wild ride to the outer reaches of tragic emotion."
STAGE LEFT ST. LOUIS | "IL TROVATORE" | WINTER OPERA THEATER
"Soprano Maria Kanyova, who has given us so many top-notch performances in Opera Theatre of St. Louis productions over the years, is in fine form again as the object of Luna's unwelcome affections, trying to find happiness with doomed Enrico. Her dynamic range and vocal flexibility were impressive when we saw her at Wednesday night's final dress rehearsal and her acting was completely committed. Her "D'amore sull'ali rosee" in Act IV had real tragic weight."
KDHX ST. LOUIS | "IL TROVATORE" | WINTER OPERA THEATER
"But it is Maria Kanyova as Leonora who captures this show and makes it hers. It is she who masters the difficult beauty of Bel Canto in aria after aria -- the precisely articulated staccatos, the velvet glissandos, that smooth decrescendo down to a whisper! Her beautiful trilled "R"s are utterly sensual. She's amazing. And the lady can act! She has the instinct to carry focus, to make a beautiful stage picture, to fill any little pause with meaning. She's in subtle command of every scene. In a small, slim body she absolutely towers!"