Nadine Sierra stands tall among today's finest young opera singers. Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1988, she was six when her mother borrowed a video of La bohème from the local library. Young Nadine loved it so much that the family still has the tape. Her passion for opera was fuelled by stories of her Portuguese maternal grandmother, a gifted singer whose father discouraged her from becoming a professional performer. Early training as a swimmer supplied Nadine with her formidable breath control as a singer and she joined the chorus of Palm Beach Opera at the age of 14, winning hearts across the United States the following year when she performed Puccini's "O mio babbino caro" on National Public Radio's From the Top talent show.
The 16-year-old soprano made her solo debut with Palm Beach Opera as the Sandman in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the Mannes College of Music in New York City and also studied at the Music Academy of the West, becoming the youngest singer ever to win the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award. Two years later, on Horne's advice, she entered the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won – the youngest soprano ever to do so.
Her career charts her remarkable rise from promising newcomer to diva in demand. She joined San Francisco Opera's renowned Adler Program in 2011, gaining invaluable professional experience in a succession of roles for the company. Global recognition followed in 2013 when, within the space of ten months, she won the Veronica Dunne, Montserrat Caballé, and Neue Stimmen international singing competitions. Her concert credits include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Her rising-star status was confirmed when she was named the 2017 winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Music Award – one of the opera world's foremost prizes for emerging vocal talent – and underlined soon afterward when she signed an exclusive contract to record for Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Gold, releasing her debut album, There's a Place for Us.
After having appeared in the Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall, she returned to the Met for the start of an acclaimed run as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Other highlights include Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 Kaddish conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, her role debut as Nannetta in Verdi's Falstaff conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin Staatsoper, and Norina in Donizetti's Don Pasquale for the Paris Opéra. Sierra made headline news with her La Scala debut, performing Gilda alongside the veteran baritone Leo Nucci's Rigoletto.