Noted for her "strong" voice and "dramatic conviction" (New York Times), Devony Smith is a versatile vocalist 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 chamber music with Aeolus Quartet, as well as the solos for Vivaldi’s Gloria, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Carmina Burana, and Bach's Magnificat. Devony sings in concert and opera for many New York-based companies including Five Boroughs Music Festival, New York Festival of Song, Brooklyn Art Song Society, and Fresh Squeezed Opera Company. Last year, Devony made her first appearance at Carnegie Hall in the finals of the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio competition where she was the recipient of the Lyndon Woodside award.
A champion of art song, she made her Lincoln Center recital debut as the Grand Prize Winner of the MIMF Art Song competition. At Carnegie Hall, she participated in the prestigious Song Continues Workshop with Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Graham Johnson. This year she presented a recital in a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Citywide Concerts with her frequent collaborator, Nikolay Verevkin. As a “Schwab Vocal Rising Star” through Caramoor and New York Festival of Song, Devony presented recitals curated by Steve Blier at Caramoor and at Merkin Concert Hall. In Fall 2019, Devony will perform in her first season with Brooklyn Art Song Society, singing selections from Joseph Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne.
Devony particularly relishes the opportunity to perform contemporary works. In 2020 she will create the role of “Idleness” in the world premiere of Kate Soper’s new opera, The Romance of the Rose. As a part of Opera Forum: New Works at Cincinnati Opera, she recently workshopped the title role in Matthew Aucoin’s New Opera, Eurydice, a Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera co-commission. 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, 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.
Recently on the operatic stage, Devony performed Kate Soper’s self-accompanied opera Here Be Sirens at National Sawdust, Micaela (Carmen) at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Bronx Opera, and Cendrillon with Utopia Opera. 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. Smith received her B.A. from Pepperdine University, where she performed Meg in Adamo’s Little Women.