Award-winning coloratura soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest is firmly committed to the continuous evolution of classical vocal music. Her “bright, dazzling vocal technique” (San Diego Story) has captured the attention of composers worldwide, resulting in numerous world premiere performances including works by James Erber (UK), Lei Liang (CN/US), Veronika Krausas (CA/US), Gérard Pape (FR), Rand Steiger (US), Jeffrey Holmes (US), Jack Van Zandt (US), and Annie Hsieh (AU), among many others.
Kirsten has sung as a soloist with the GRAMMY-winning Partch ensemble, La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, YMF Debut Orchestra, MiraCosta Symphony, HEAR NOW Festival of New Music, the Industry, kallisti chamber opera, Musica Vitale, wild Up new music collective, Joe Garrison and the Night People, UCLA John Cage Symposium, UCSD's Palimpsest, CalArts New Century Players Ensemble, and Chapman University’s New Music Ensemble, and has performed at venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, REDCAT, Copley Symphony Hall, Aratani Japan America Theater, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Théâtre Le Palace in Perigueux, Autonomous University of Baja California, and the Moore Theater. She has given solo recitals on concert series' hosted by Harvey Mudd College, Chapman University, and Tuesdays @ MONK Space, was a featured soloist in the LA Philharmonic’s installation, Nimbus, and has recorded for several interactive operatic experiences and film scores. Kirsten has also sung numerous times on the LA Philharmonic's Noon to Midnight, as well as with groups including Bang on a Can All-Stars, Accordant Commons, San Diego Symphony, red fish blue fish, and San Diego Pro Arte Voices. She can be heard on recordings released on Centaur Records and Albany Records.
Operatic roles include "La Princess" in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges (Perigueux, France), "Polly Peachum" in Weill's Threepenny Opera (San Diego CA), and "Mabel" in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance (Fort Worth, TX).
Kirsten holds a DMA in Contemporary Music Performance in Voice from UC San Diego, an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and a BM cum laude from Chapman University’s Conservatory of Music. She founded UC San Diego's annual Undergraduate Opera in 2017, producing and directing full operas each Spring and a Fall scenes program comprised entirely of undergraduate Voice Majors. Kirsten currently lectures in Music at California State University San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley College.
"...extraordinary performance virtuosity."
"Ms. Wiest’s vocals were transparently pure of tone..."
"...impressive range and power."
"The audience demanded it to be repeated. Kirsten Ashley Wiest, the soprano at REDCAT, demonstrated why."
-Los Angeles Times
"unforgettable and decidedly surreal"
-San Francisco Classical Voice
"a bright, dazzling vocal technique."
-San Diego Story
"...feathery, etherial glory."
-UT San Diego
"...a paragon of pitch – spot on."
-San Diego Story