Mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson has been at the forefront of innovation in operatic and concert performance for 20 years, recognized as much for her artistic bravery as for the beauty and warmth of her voice. A graduate of The Juilliard School (where she was awarded the Taranow Prize in Voice and was the Winner of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Competition) and Barnard College, Brenda was in the Ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera for many years before continuing to La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera, where she was a Principal Artist for seven seasons, and at Opera Colorado, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, among many others.
Brenda has performed most of the major lyric mezzo roles, such as Idamante, Octavian, Dorabella, Niklausse, Hänsel, Cherubino, and Rosina, and has premiered over 30 vocal works. She has been an official vocal consultant to the Composers-in-Residence of Opera Philadelphia, and teaches classes in vocal performance as well as entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia. She has also presented classes at Juilliard, Mannes, Tanglewood, and for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists.
Patterson is a co-founder of the pioneering, ensemble-based Victory Hall Opera in Charlottesville, VA, launched in 2015 ("the future of the field" - Washington Post), and is one of only two singers in America to hold the title of Director of Music of an opera company. She is also the Exec. Director and a co-founder of SINGTANK, an artist-advocacy think tank for singers that VHO launched in 2021.
Her groundbreaking work with VHO has won multiple awards for innovation from The Jefferson Trust, the NEA, New Music USA, among many others, and she has been awarded the Music Academy of the West's Alumni Enterprise Award three times, a national prize recognizing projects in the arts that are "revolutionary, daring & inspiring".