The American soprano and mezzo-soprano, Valeria Lynn Kishkunas, Valeria obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in both Music (Vocal Performance) and Humanities from the University of Northern Iowa (2004-2010); and her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Northern Iowa (2010-2013), where she studied with Professor Jeffrey Brich and coaches with Dr. Korey Barrett. She took first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and was a finalist in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a winner at the 2014 Wisconsin District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was awarded an Encouragement Award at 2013 auditions. She is currently studying with Julia Faulkner, director of vocal studies at the Ryan Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Valeria Kishkunas has been a featured soloist on concerts with UNI Singers, Men's Glee Club, Woman's Chorus and the Northern Iowa Bach Cantata Series. as well as a soloist in BWV 166 (April 2012) and George Frideric Handel's Messiah in Waterloo, Iowa. has performed with the UNI Opera Ensemble, most recently as The Queen of the Night in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Manja in Emmerich Kálmán's Gräfin Mariza, and Bellina in Prima Donna. She has also performed in scenes concerts as Ariadne in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser, Vitellia in W.A. Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, and Manon in Puccini's Manon Lescaut. She participated in the Cedar Rapids Opera Young Artist Program for several seasons, where she performed in concerts, productions of Verdi's Aida, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly as well as the role of Mother in an outreach production of Little Red Riding Hoods Most Unusual Day. In summer 2013, she had her role debut as Donna Anna in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop. She was Hailed by the Des Moines Register as "clear and ferociously expressive", appeared as Mimi in scenes from Puccini's La Bohème at Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), and in in September 2015 gave there a recital at Luther College with Wesendonck Lieder, a song cycle by Richard Wagner, The Shining Place by Lee Hoiby and songs by George Gershwin and Ottorino Respighi.
Valeria Kishkunas has been Professional Musician at Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre (May 2008-February 2009); Soprano Section Leader at First Congregational Church of Waterloo, Iowa (February 2006-June 2010); Mezzo Soprano Section Leader in First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir of Waterloo, Iowa (August 2010-May 2013); Soprano Soloist at Old Capitol Opera in Iowa City (November 2014); Professor of Voice at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa (August 2014-June 2015). Shee has also worked at JCPenney, a retail company in Decorah, Iowa (Department Supervisor: December 2013-August 2014; General Manager: since April 2015). She currently lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa and is married to Colin Smith (2014).