Cherry Duke

singing actor, voice teacher,
stage director, producer, arts consultant, diversity advocate

Humor and Smarts

“…she inhabits her role with humor and smarts.”

Pure Gold

“…Cherry Duke [is] pure gold. Vocally light and powerful, physically agile, and with great comic sense, Ms. Duke is worth the price of admission.”

Femme Fatale

“Duke’s performance felt not only fully lived but also like an astute commentary on her iconic character.”

Convincing Chemistry

“Cherry Duke, often heard in travesti roles, was a comic, befuddled hero who generated convincing chemistry…”


“Cherry Duke is spunky and exuberant and sang and danced her way into our hearts.”

Stole the Show

“Duke’s sultry voice matched her seductive performance…”

Cherry Duke’s diverse body of work includes creating the role of The Captain in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s landmark opera Dog Days, touring with the American Spiritual Ensemble, 60+ operatic roles, 30+ oratorio/concert roles, and numerous premieres and workshops of new works. Currently, Cherry Duke is a principal artist and Artistic Associate with El Paso Opera, a regular soloist with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and teaches voice and directs the opera program at The University of Texas at El Paso.

Named a “Champion of Diversity” by Black El Paso Voice, Cherry Duke is an active performer and researcher of classical vocal music by underrepresented composers. Her recital of art songs by African Diaspora composers was featured on KTEP radio and multiple conferences. She produces and directs Zarzuela at UTEP, and is an advocate for diversity in voice studios, schools, and solo competition repertoire.

“Vocally, the company’s firepower was in the two main mezzo-soprano roles…. Cherry Duke’s Nero was this Poppea’s perfect match. Ms. Duke sang the music of this top-drawer historical creep with a regal bearing, even as he reveled in the destruction of his foes.”

Allan Kozinn

The New York Times

“Mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke nearly stole the show both vocally and theatrically as the canny Isabella. Duke’s sultry voice matched her seductive performance, and she delivered the florid bel canto filigree with comfort.”

Jim Lowe

Rutland Herald

“Cherry Duke, as Sally Rogers…was another standout. Duke was supremely versatile, equally at home being hilarious as Joe’s blind date as she was sadly touching in her aria ‘Being Lonely is not so Funny.’”

Steve Siegel

The Morning Call

“Cherry Duke, a plummy mezzo, took the role of the Captain, the officer who invades the family’s home and issues stern warnings.”

Willard Spiegelman

Opera News