Lyric Coloratura Soprano

  • Upcoming

    2018 Season

    April 23-27, 2018


    Jack and Jill and the Happening Hill
    Sarah Meneely-Kyder
    Salt Marsh Opera
    Stonington, CT

    April 29 & May 6, 2018


    G.F. Handel
    Pocket Opera
    San Francisco, CA

    May 5, 2018

    Featured Soloist

    Masterworks Chorale Gala
    Hillier Aerospace Museum
    San Carlos, CA

    June 1, 2018


    Today It Rains (World Premiere)
    Laura Kaminsky
    Opera Parallèle
    Santa Cruz, CA

    June 10, 2018

    Soloist | Performing Bernstein's Glitter and be gay

    Excursions in the Americas

    Work conducted by Christine Brandes

    Oakland Civic Orchestra
    Oakland, CA

    August 3 & 8, 2018


    G.F. Handel
    Opera NEO
    San Diego, CA

  • About

    Praised for her “crystalline tone” by Opera News, lyric coloratura soprano MAYA KHERANI has been lauded on both coasts for her luxurious voice and dynamic characterizations from the Baroque to the modern. San Francisco Classical Voice recognizes her as “obviously an enormous talent” and the Boston Music Intelligencer applauds her performances as evoking “the sparkling effervescence of a fine champagne from her first utterance to the final dance.”


    Ms. Kherani has enjoyed a busy 2017-2018 season, including her mainstage company debut as Despina in Così fan tutte at Opera San Jose, where she also sang Lisette in the student matinee performance of La Rondine as well as Yvette in all other performances. Last summer, she made her West Edge Opera debut as Britomarte in Martín y Soler’s L’arbore di Diana (The Chastity Tree). Upcoming role debuts include Jill in the world premiere ofJack and Jill and the Happening Hill with Salt Marsh Opera, Semele with Pocket Opera, participation in the world premiere workshop reading of Today It Rains by Laura Kaminsky with Opera Parallèle, and the title role of Partenope with Opera NEO under the baton of Benjamin Bayl.


    During the 2016-2017 season, Maya covered the role of Madame White Snake in the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s Gilgamesh with Beth Morrison Projects, as well as made triumphant appearances as Marie (The Daughter of the Regiment) and Gilda (Rigoletto) with Pocket Opera; Gretel in Boston Lyric Opera’s outreach performances of Hansel & Gretel; and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the BU Opera Institute. Her role debut as Susanna in West Bay Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro received rave reviews by critics over her “astonishingly acrobatic” voice (Repeat Performances) and “sparkling” and “delightful” portrayal (San Francisco Classical Voice).


    In demand for new and challenging works as well as for the Baroque oeuvre, Ms. Kherani has been called upon for a number of premières in her young career. In 2014, she made her Houston Grand Opera (HGOco) debut in the role of Meera in the world première of Jack Perla’s River of Light. Other premières include Neil Rolnick’s Anosmia, released by Innova Records, Dante de Silva’s “graphic opera” Gesualdo, Prince of Madness, and the West Coast première of Paul Bowles’ Three Pastoral Songs. In 2015, she appeared in the leading role of Altisidore in Boismortier’s Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse at Central City Opera, for which she was acclaimed for her “vocal triumph” in the “cruel demands” of the role; her “bright, strong voice and fluid dancing were notable strengths of the production”. She was also the recipient of the 2015 McGlone Award from Central City Opera. A passionate interpreter of Baroque music, Ms. Kherani has been featured with the American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Bach Choir, the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the American Handel Society Festival.


    Other critically acclaimed roles include Savitri (Savitri), Adele (Die Fledermaus), La Fée (Cendrillon), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Eurydice (Orfée aux enfers), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Poppea (Agrippina), Lieschen (J.S. Bach’s The Coffee Cantata), Monica (The Medium), and Nuria in Golijov’s Ainadamar with Opera Parallèle.


    Ms. Kherani’s numerous awards include 1st Place, Audience Favorite, and the Masterworks Chorale Award at the James Toland Vocal Competition (Tier II), 2nd Place at the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition (Opera Division), the Kalvelage Award at West Bay Opera’s Holt Competition, two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Barlow Award at the San Francisco Bay Area NATS competition, where she also won 1st Place in both the Professional Art Song and Aria categories.


    Ms. Kherani holds a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Music Performance from Princeton University, where she graduated summa cum laude and received the Isidore and Helen Sacks Award for excellence in Music Performance. She holds a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She resides in Palo Alto, CA with her pianist/management consultant husband, Zaafir, and a tank of fish. When not making music, Maya and Zaafir enjoy taking hiking and biking trips abroad and watching science fiction. The fish enjoy eating, chasing each other, and hanging out next to the bubbler in their aquarium.

  • 28

    Roles Performed


    Upcoming Role Debuts


    World Premieres Sung


    Awards Won

  • Media

    Par le rang et par l’opulence – La fille du régiment (Donizetti) – 2017 (Tyler Wottrich, Piano)

    Da tempeste il legno infranto – Giulio Cesare (Handel) – 2017 (Tyler Wottrich, Piano)

    Glitter and Be Gay – Candide (Bernstein) – 2016 (Brendon Shapiro, Piano)

  • Connect

  • Best of all may have been soprano Maya Kherani as Susanna. Her bright tones sparkled throughout the opera, and “Deh vieni, non tardar” in Act IV was delightful. Kherani had great chemistry with her Figaro, Isaiah Musik-Ayala. Their sense of timing of the physical humor was spot on and very funny.

    Charlise Tiee

    San Francisco Classical Voice, Oct 18 2016

    The student Nuria was sung with penetrating, crystalline tone by soprano Maya Kherani, who had little difficulty being heard above Golijov's dense climaxes.

    Jeffrey S. McMillan

    Opera News, May 2013

    Maya Kherani had a bright and supple top register and fetching acting...

    Adam Broner

    Repeat Performances, Aug 19 2017

    The center of their machinations, and of the opera, is Figaro’s bride-to-be, Susanna, portrayed by soprano Maya Kherani with a mischievous brightness. Her tight vibrato and nimble high notes are increasingly in demand around the Bay Area, and I most recently heard her sing as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with Chora Nova, where her clear high D (yes, a note above the usual benchmark, a high C) wowed an audience. Not only is her voice astonishingly acrobatic, but her acting was so believable...

    Adam Broner

    Repeat Performances, Oct 22 2016


    These are hand-picked singers who are spending the CCO season in a nationally recognized training program, established years ago by the respected pedagogue John Moriarty. They are performers with a bright theatrical future. No surprise, then, that the cruel demands of Altisidore proved a vocal triumph for Maya Kherani, who easily traversed her treacherous passages as a servant girl or as the bewigged Queen of Japan. Not only did she seem to enjoy those zillions of notes, but Kherani also reveled in her zany acting assignments, never once stooping to mugging or shtick.

    Marc Shulgold

    Classical Voice North America, Aug 4 2015

    Kherani’s account of the title role was sweet-toned and forthrightly dramatic, with a series of climactic high notes perfectly placed.[…] For the 40-minute “River of Light,” Kherani returned to give another superb performance as Meera.


    Joshua Kosman

    San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 16 2015

    The voices were beautiful, strong and pitch perfect the night I saw the performance. The sets, staging and costumes were uplifting carried the theme perfectly. The acting was superb as was the dancing. Maya Kherani was the standout in a cast that was outstanding.


    Barbara Keer

    LA Splash Magazine, Feb 2014

    Maya Kherani’s Tytania had the sparkling effervescence of a fine champagne from her first utterance to the final dance. Her entrance duet with Oberon had the competitive air of vocal ping-pong as Britten intended, and from the first minute we knew that this was definitely a “faery of no common rate.” Her extended cadenza of “Come now a roundel” was technically beautiful

    Joshua Collier

    Boston Music Intelligencer, April 15 2016