Abigail
Raiford

Soprano
Abigail Raiford
(She/Her) Lyric coloratura soprano Abigail Raiford has caught the attention of many in the music world and beyond. She looks forward to making her debut as Elvira in L'Italiana in Algeri with Tulsa this fall.  Earlier this season, she made a splash during her first season with Central City Opera, stepping in last minute for the roles of Krysia and Ida and earning the CCO Opera Guild's McGlone Award.
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Abigail Raiford

Lyric coloratura soprano Abigail Raiford is a native of Queens, New York who has caught the eyes and ears of many in the music world. Most recently, she made a splash during her first summer with Central City Opera as a Bonfils-Stanton Studio Artist.  In the same weekend, she learned and performed the role of Krysia in Heggie's Two Remain with mere hours of preparation, and then stepped in as Ida in Die Fledermaus.  She was given the Central City Opera Guild's McGlone Award at the end of the summer.  Earlier this year, she completed her third season with Sarasota Opera, this time as an Apprentice Artist. In the fall, she will be premiering the role of Elvira in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri with Tulsa Opera. In 2021, she made her debut with St. Petersburg Opera Company, covering Despina in Così fan tutte and singing Olympia in Davies’ Pinocchio.  She also won 2nd Prize in the SAS Performing Arts Company 2021 Vocal Competition, was a Finalist of the NH Opera Idol Virtual Competition, and was a Semi-Finalist in the Artist Division of the Camille Coloratura Awards.  Earlier in the season, she returned to Sarasota Opera, where she previously made her debut as an Apprentice Artist in their Winter 2020 season, taking the stage as Second Witch in their production of Dido & Aeneas, and performing the role of Belinda for a family performance.   A lover of Mozart, her most performed operatic roles have been the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte) and Despina (Così fan tutte), and other highlights include Rose Maurrant (Street Scene), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Anicasia (La Dolorosa), and Yum-Yum (The Mikado).  Her vocalism has thrilled audiences on the concert stage as well, especially in Milhaud’s Chansons de Ronsard with the Mannes Orchestra, and John Mackey’s Songs From the End of the World with the University of Tulsa Wind Ensemble. Ms. Raiford has gained recognition as a finalist and Encouragement Award winner in the Student Division of the 2019 Camille Coloratura Awards, winning the Mannes Concerto Competition and the University of Tulsa Concerto Competition, being a two-time winner of the Riverside Opera Company Auditions, receiving the Hyechka Club of Tulsa’s Laven Sowell Collegiate Vocal Scholarship and the Sigma Alpha Iota Collegiate Honor Award. She has trained in programs across the country, most notably at Songfest in their Professional Program, the Crittenden Opera Studio Workshop, Manhattan Opera Studio, Mark Oswald’s Summer Opera Experience, Classical Singing and New York in June, and the Amherst Early Music Festival under Kent Tritle. During the summer of 2016, she spent six weeks studying music in the heart of Vienna, Austria.  In 2019, Ms. Raiford completed her Master of Music in Voice at the Mannes School of Music as a student of Amy Burton, where she was presented with the George and Elizabeth Gregory Award for Excellence in Performing.  She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Tulsa in 2017, under the tutelage of her mother, Judith Pannill Raiford.

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