River of Light at HGO with Michael Sumuel, Baritone

River of Light at HGO with Michael Sumuel, Baritone

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 2016-2017 season, including covering the role of Madame White Snake in the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s Gilgamesh with Beth Morrison Projects, as well as 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, where she recently concluded her fellowship. She also sang Susanna in West Bay Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro; critics raved over her “astonishingly acrobatic” voice (Repeat Performances) and “sparkling” and “delightful” portrayal (San Francisco Classical Voice).

She will next make her mainstage company debut as Despina in Così fan tutte at Opera San Jose, where she will also sing Lisette in the student matinee performance of La Rondine. This summer, she will also make her West Edge Opera debut as Britomarte in Martín y Soler’s L’arbore di Diana.

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 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 (District level), and the Barlow Award at the San Francisco Bay Area NATS competition, where she also won first 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 bike trips abroad and watching science fiction. The fish enjoy eating, chasing each other, and hanging out next to the bubbler in their aquarium.

Maya’s side career lies in Web Design. She enjoys designing websites for other performers and professionals. Check out her work at

TechieDiva Website Designs

[Last updated April 2017]

Upcoming Engagements


April 2018
By Meneely-Kyder
Stonington, CT

April 2018
By Handel
San Francisco, CA

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