Noted for her "sensuous" and "strong" voice and "dramatic conviction" (New York Times), Devony Smith is a versatile soprano excelling in both contemporary and traditional repertoire. A California native, Devony makes her mark on New York City as a professional member of Musica Viva NY, where she has performed Ernest Chausson's “Chanson Perpétuelle” with the Aeolus Quartet, as well as the soprano solos for Vivaldi’s Gloria, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Carmina Burana, and Bach's Magnificat. Devony made her Lincoln Center recital debut as the Grand Prize Winner of the MIMF Art Song competition. This year, Devony was the recipient of the Lyndon Woodside award in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall. Also at Carnegie, she participated in the prestigious Song Continues Workshop with Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Graham Johnson. In 2019, she will present a recital in a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Citywide Concerts with her frequent collaborator, Nikolay Verevkin.
Recently on the operatic stage, Devony performed Kate Soper’s self-accompanied opera Here Be Sirens at National Sawdust, Violetta (La Traviata) with Narnia Performing Arts Festival, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Bronx Opera and OperaRox Productions, Cendrillon with Utopia Opera, and Vicky with Fresh Squeezed Opera in the East Coast Premiere of Bruce Trinkley’s Baby Shower. Patrick Dillon of OperaNews praised her Susanna, describing it as “utterly alive and natural, and beautifully sung.” Devony's theatrical experiences have been a rich compliment to her classical training. At Smother’s Theater in Malibu, she appeared in many theatrical productions. Her roles included Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly! and Mother Jones in Robert Shenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle, a seven-hour-long play in which she also sang Appalachian folk ballads and played the fiddle. This fall, she will make her role debut as Micaëla in the Axelrod Performing Arts Center’s production of Carmen.
Devony particularly relishes the opportunity to perform contemporary works. As a Sorel Fellow at Songfest, she performed John Harbison’s Simple Daylight at Zipper Hall for Harbison’s 80th Birthday celebration. As a 2017 fellow at Ravinia Steans Music Institute, she collaborated with composer William Bolcom in a concert of his art songs and cabaret music. As a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest in 2013, she performed the world premiere of Ben Moore’s "John and Abigail" and the west coast premiere of John Musto's "Six Scottish Songs." While earning her M.M. in Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College, she created the lead role in Shawn Jaeger’s opera, Payne Hollow, collaborated on concerts of contemporary music with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Joan Tower, and performed the world premiere of Daniela DeMatos’ “Encounter,” to high praise from both the New York Times and the Boston Classical Review. Smith received her B.A. from Pepperdine University, where she performed Meg in Adamo’s Little Women.