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Meet Maya Kherani, soprano

I’m so grateful to be a part of the Opera San José family, especially in today’s tumultuous times. Although I’m not a Bay Area native, my husband and I have lived in Palo Alto for the better part of the last 10 years. It’s truly special to be able to give back to the Bay Area community through this beautiful operatic artform, especially now when we all need art and beauty more than ever.

My journey into opera is quite unconventional. I sang in choirs all throughout school, but my undergraduate degree is in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. My first operatic experience was singing Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, for which I auditioned on a whim. I had never seen an opera before!After that,I got totally hooked on opera. I went to the SF Conservatory of Music for a Masters in Vocal Performance, and the rest is history. It’s funny–no one in my immediate family can hold a tune or play an instrument!

Off-stage, I love to do yoga, drink coffee, watch Sci-Fi TV shows, cook, and bake!My pièce de resistance is a Tarte au citron, which requires me to squeeze 12 lemons! I love kitchen gadgets and probably have every appliance you could think of. I enjoy experimenting with new flavors and cuisines. My husband and I also really enjoy doing hiking and biking trips when we travel abroad, and now,more locally.I am so eager to meet all of you, and I am so thankful to be singing again!

Maya Kherani, Opera San José Resident Artist



Indian-American soprano Maya Kherani has been lauded for her vibrant voice and exciting characterizations in repertoire from the Baroque to the modern. Upcoming projects include a debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as DRUSILLA/FORTUNA for L’incoronazione di Poppea with Mo. Alarcon, Messiah with Mo. Pearlman Boston Baroque, SUSANNA Le Nozze di Figaro Opera San Jose, as well as PAMINA Die Zauberflöte and GILDA Rigoletto Opera Modesto.

This past season’s engagements included POLLY PEACHUM The Threepenny Opera West Edge Opera, ROSINA Cinnabar Theater, Laura Kaminsky’s Today It Rains Opera Parallèle, the title role of PARTENOPE Opera NEO, MUSETTA La Bohème West Bay Opera and her European debut with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini – Seminari di Musica Antica singing the modern-world première of French Baroque works from Caribbean. She then returned this past February to sing in a follow-up program, directed by Mr. Memelsdorff and Vivica Genaux.

Recent seasons featured Ms. Kherani’s mainstage company debut as DESPINA in Così fan tutte Opera San Jose, where she also sang LISETTE in La Rondine, ALTISIDORE in Boismortier’s Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse at Central City Opera, her debut in the role of MEERA in the world première of Jack Perla’s River of Light Houston Grand Opera (HGOco), BRITOMARTE in Martín y Soler’s L’arbore di Diana (The Chastity Tree) West Edge Opera, JILL in the world première of Jack and Jill and the Happening Hill Salt Marsh Opera, the title role of SEMELE Pocket Opera, and FRASQUITA Carmen West Bay Opera. Other premières include Neil Rolnick’s Anosmia, released by Innova Records in 2013, and Dante de Silva’s “graphic opera” Gesualdo with Opera Parallèle. A passionate interpreter of early music, Ms. Kherani has been featured with the American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Bach Choir, the Amherst Early Music Festival, Early Music Vancouver, and the American Handel Society Festival.

Ms. Kherani’s numerous awards include semi-finalist in the 2020 Glyndebourne Cup, the 2015 McGlone Award from Central City Opera, 1st Place and Audience Favorite at the James Toland Vocal Competition, 2nd Place at the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition the Kalvelage Award at West Bay Opera’s Holt Competition, two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the top overall Barlow Award at the San Francisco Bay Area NATS competition, where she also won 1st Place in both the Professional Art Song and Aria categories.

Ms. Kherani graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and certificates (minors) in Music Performance, Materials Science, and Robotics and Intelligent Systems. At Princeton, she received the Isidore and Helen Sacks Award for excellence in Music Performance and was a dancer and choreographer for Naacho South Asian Dance Company and a member and soloist in the Princeton University Glee Club. She holds a Master of Music degree with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Professional Certificate from the Boston University Opera Institute.