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Soprano Misha Penton’s diverse performing career includes opera, concert and multidisciplinary performance projects. As a champion of new music, she sang the principal roles in Divergence Vocal Theater’s world premieres of the operas, Selkie, a sea tale, composed by Elliot Cole; and Klytemnestra, composed by Dominick DiOrio, both settings of Misha’s libretti. She also sang the role of Leah in Ofer Ben-Amots‘ contemporary multimedia chamber opera, The Dybbuk, presented by the Jewish Community Center Houston’s Maurice Adamo Music Foundation Residency. She created the roles of Isabelle and Brooklyn in the world premieres of The Masque by Roger Keele for Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival and James Norman’s opera Wake, with Opera Vista, respectively; and Marguerite in Norman’s Incline, O Maiden, a monodrama for soprano and chamber ensemble, with Audio Inversions, a new music ensemble in Austin, Texas. Additional recent performances included Voix et Harpe, Misha’s performance concept of French art song, poetry and dance, in the Impressionist Galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; the world premiere of Dominick DiOrio’s The Captured Goddess, a setting of the work of turn of the century American poet, Amy Lowell, at The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas; a guest artist residency at Lone Star College Montgomery, Conroe, Texas; as well as a reprise of the role of Klytemnestra, in the galleries of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Misha is the founder, artistic director, and ensemble lead artist of Divergence Vocal Theater, a Houston-based opera, new music and multi-performing arts ensemble. She is one of Houston Press’ 100 Creatives of 2011, and is named a 2012 finalist for Best Artistic Director by the Houston Press Theater Awards for her work with Divergence Vocal Theater.
Misha has created experimental vocal soundscapes for contemporary performances at DiverseWorks Arts Space (Houston); the University of Houston Center for Choreography; New Orleans contemporary dance company, Happensdance; ActLab Studios (Austin); and for The Olimpias, an international artists’ collective and performance research series. Additional professional affiliations include Houston Grand Opera, Mercury Baroque, St. Cecilia Chamber Opera, The Foundation for Modern Music and The University of Houston Center for Creative Work. Misha continues studies with her mentor, Lois Alba; she has studied with Kathleen Kaun and Katherine Ciesinski, each inspiring teachers who encouraged her unique artistic journey.
Upcoming projects include CD release concerts of Elliot Cole’s Selkie, a sea tale, with an accompanying music video, both produced by Misha; the world premiere of a new song cycle based on Misha’s fairytale poetry by composer, George Heathco; an artist residency with the theater and music departments of Texas A&M University; and a reprise of the role of Klytemnestra at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Divergence Vocal Theater
Divergence Vocal Theater is an ensemble of performer-creators, cultivating our art adventure-to-adventure. What does that mean?: If an opera company were a rock band, we'd be it. The performance work here is made by a small conspiracy of professional opera and classical music singers, instrumentalists, theatrical designers, theater and dance artists, composers, writers, and media artists (translation: my friends and I do some really cool stuff).
Divergence Vocal Theater has sought counsel and creative support from some of Houston’s finest musicians, arts organizations, and business people. We count among our advisors professionals and friends at Houston Grand Opera, Eastman School of Music, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, University of Texas Austin, and Houston’s renowned energy sector business entrepreneurs.