Asian American mezzo-soprano Miya Higashiyama (pronounced Mee-ya) is currently residing in the Chicago area, attending the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University ('22) where she is receiving her Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Theresa Brancaccio. Last season at Northwestern, she sang La Messagiera in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (as a remote project due to COVID-19) and scenes from Cosi fan tutte as Dorabella. She placed in the top fourteen as a national semi-finalist in the NATS Classical Voice Competition in the Advanced Classical Treble category this past summer. Miya completed her Bachelor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington where she sang operatic roles such as Ruggiero (Alcina), Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Public Opinion (Orpheus in the Underworld), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), and Zita (Gianni Schicchi). While completing her bachelors degree, Miya also participated in a wide variety of prestigious choral festivals and tours with Choir of the West, and also sang with Symphony Tacoma, Vashon Opera, and more. In 2016 Miya was one of four participants featured in the Joyce DiDonato Carnegie Hall masterclasses streamed worldwide on Medici.tv and now available to watch on Youtube.
This season with Northwestern Opera Theatre, Miya will be singing the role of Rachel in the m midwest premiere of Jake Heggie's "If I Were You", and presenting her master's recital in the spring. This past November, Miya won an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition (Wisconsin District).
Miya is thrilled to be joining Des Moines Metro Opera for their 50th season as an Apprentice Artist in their Apprentice Artist Program, singing in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cenerentola and Dorabella in scenes programs, and more.
When she is not singing, Miya enjoys water color and acrylic painting, coffee (like a true Seattle native!), makeup, and film.