Shawnette Sulker has been described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a singer “…displaying a bright, superbly controlled soprano with perfectly placed coloratura.” On the operatic stage, Ms. Sulker has been a featured artist in three San Francisco Opera productions: Porgy and Bess, The Mother of Us All, and Louise. She was also a part of the joint production of Dido and Aeneas between San Francisco Opera and the Crucible, singing the roles of Second Woman and First Witch. She has sung leading roles with many other companies including Hawaii Opera Theatre, Internationale Opera Producties (The Netherlands), Opera Naples, Union Avenue Opera, Natchez Opera Festival, Festival Opera, Mendocino Music Festival, West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, Livermore Valley Opera and Pacific Opera Theatre to name a few.
Roles in Ms. Sulker’s repertoire include Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Olympia/Giulietta/Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Musetta (La Bohème), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Zerlina and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Frasquita and Micaëla (Carmen), Despina (Così fan tutte), Clara and Serena (Porgy and Bess), Belinda, Second Woman and First Witch (Dido and Aeneas), Amore (Orfeo ed Euridice), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Treemonisha (Treemonisha), Rosabella (The Most Happy Fella) and Little Red Riding Hood (Little Red Riding Hood).
Ms. Sulker created the role of Corina in the world-premiere of David Conte’s opera Firebird Motel. This original cast recording can be found on the Arsis label. Her film credits include a soundtrack performance for the movie Mimic and an on-camera operatic appearance in the feature film Jackson directed by J.F. Lawton.
In concert, Ms. Sulker has performed the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Non sa che sia dolore with American Bach Soloists. She has sung St. Teresa I (Four Saints in Three Acts) and Monteverdi’s Lamento della ninfa for Mark Morris Dance Group in Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The soprano made her European concert debut with the Jugendsinfonieorchester Leipzig singing all the female roles in a concert version of Porgy and Bess and the soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and Prague’s Smetana Hall. She also performed a solo recital in Amsterdam’s Red Door Studio.
Ms. Sulker has also performed as soloist in Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Orff’s Carmina Burana with Santa Clara Chorale & Symphony Silicon Valley. For the San Francisco Choral Society, she has sung Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Virgine and Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium and Magnificat. With Masterworks Chorale, Ms. Sulker has performed Fauré’s Requiem, Bernstein’s The Lark and Carmina Burana. She has also sung Orff’s masterpiece with the UC Davis Symphony Chorus & Orchestra (as well as Rutter’s Requiem), the Mendocino Music Festival and Livermore Valley Chorale. Other performances with Livermore Valley Chorale/San Francisco Concert Chorale include Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Requiem. She debuted with Peninsula Cantare singing the soprano solos in Haydn’s Mass in B♭ and Pergolesi’s Magnificat. Other distinctions include the soprano solos in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Redwood Symphony, a Pops Tribute to Leonard Bernstein with Mendocino Music Festival and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in G, which was performed at the National Shrine in Washington, DC. Ms. Sulker has been a special guest of the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka, Japan where she has performed a series of Christmas concerts.
Ms. Sulker graduated from Bennington College as a vocal performance major and was awarded scholarships to attend both the Contemporary Opera and Song Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the OperaWorks Summer Intensive Program in Los Angeles. Ms. Sulker was also a resident artist for the Natchez Music Festival in Mississippi. A winner of career scholarships from the East Bay Opera League Vocal Competition, Ms. Sulker has also been a regional finalist with the NATS Competition and a finalist and award winner with the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition.