Maria Kanyova

Maria Kanyova
Associate Professor of Voice

Contact Info
223 Grant Hall


Maria has been revered as an extraordinarily gifted singing actress. Critics have hailed Maria for her ability to capture the essence of a character while maintaining exquisite singing. Robert Trussell of The Kansas City Star wrote simply about her portrayal of Pat Nixon, “Her voice could stop time.” Throughout Maria’s extensive and busy performing career, she has performed leading roles with Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Boston Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, Portland Opera, New Orleans Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Madison Opera, Tulsa Opera, Wexford Opera Festival and Canadian Opera Company along with other prestigious opera companies. 

Of the many leading roles Maria has performed, one of her signature roles has been Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, which has been recorded on the Naxos Label.  Of her many career highlights, one remains the PBS telecast as Mimi in La bohème at New York City Opera’s Live from Lincoln Center National Broadcast. Maria's favorite role to perform continues to be Madama Butterfly for the role itself and for the many times she has performed it with her own children as Butterfly’s child, Sorrow.

Maria has enjoyed the opportunity of premiering new operas and reviving more recent operas. She has created the role of Mary in Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for San Francisco Opera. For Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Wexford Opera, Maria performed the newly reworked role of Marie Antoinette in John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles. Maria enjoyed singing Blanche in Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire for Kentucky Opera. She has also recently premiered the role of Krystyna in Jake Heggie’s newly reworked opera Out of Darkness with The Atlanta Opera. Other recent engagements include Nedda in Pagliacci and Violetta in La traviata with Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with San Diego Opera, the title role of Suor Angelica with Intermountain Opera Company and Opera Santa Barbara, and the title role of Madama Butterfly with San Antonio Opera. 

Along with Maria’s extensive operatic career, she has also been a soloist with Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Baltimore Symphony, Ravinia Music Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Minnesota Symphony, Elgin Symphony and the Kansas City Symphony. With years of training at the beginning of Maria's career, she is a proud alumna of Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (Ryan Opera Center), The Santa Fe Opera Apprenticeship Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Apprenticeship Program, Opera Colorado Young Artist Program and Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point. Maria received her MM, Voice and DMA, Voice from The University of Kansas studying voice with Norman Paige and her BME, Choral from UMKC, studying voice with Inci Bashar.

Maria has been a private voice teacher throughout her extensive singing career and is dedicated in passing along her knowledge of the art of beautiful singing as it relates to putting it into practice.  Please visit her personal webpage for more information on each aspect of Maria’s career and to read student testimonials of her teaching.