The Captain in the acclaimed world premiere production of DOG DAYS [Photo by James Daniel]

Cherry Duke is known for her performances in cross-over, mixed-genre and brand-new music-theater works. As a soloist in several seasons of New York City Opera’s VOX concerts, she has sung a variety of styles, including roles in Scott Davenport Richards’ jazz opera, Charlie Crosses the Nation and Gordon Beeferman’s micro-tonal opera, Ratland.

Additional roles in new and/or experimental works include:

  • The Captain in DOG DAYS by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, Montclair Peak Performances, Montclair, NJ, World Premiere September 2012, Fort Worth Opera May 2015, Los Angeles Opera June 2015, NYC premiere with Prototype Festival January 2016
  • Dr. Vera in initial reading of Patient Zero by Diedre Murray with Music-Theatre Group, 2015
  • Kathleen in workshops of Matthew Aucoin’sCrossing, with Music-Theatre Group and American Repertory Theater, 2014
  • Lisette in the premiere reading of STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME, a new opera by composer Gerald Cohen and librettist Deborah Brevoort, April 2013
  • Sally Rogers in THE LIFE AND LOVE OF JOE COOGAN, by Paul Salerni and Kate Light, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, World Premiere September 2010
  • Lady Olive in THE SECRET AGENT, by Michael Dellaira and J.D. McClatchy, Center for Contemporary Opera, Szeged National Theater (Hungary 2012), Opéra Théâtre d’Avignon (France 2013), New York City, World Premiere March 2011
  • Lady Annabelle Byron in ADA, by Kim Sherman and Margaret Vandenberg, The Flea Theater, Ensemble Repertory Theater, New York City
  • Countess in THE BLACKAMOOR ANGEL (a “cabaret opera”) by Diedre Murray and Carl Hancock Rux, Bard Summerscape Festival and Joe’s Pub, New York City
  • Jo March in LITTLE WOMEN by Mark Adamo, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, New York City Opera Japan Tour
  • Jennifer Bellona in CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES: MACBETH with Yuval Sharon‘s TheaterFaction, New York City

new music & theater reviews


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

—Willard Spiegelman, Opera News

The Life and Love of Joe Coogan (World Premiere)

“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

Jo March in Adamo’s LITTLE WOMEN (with Christopher Larkin, Marin Alsop and George Manahan conducting)

Jo March in Little Women

“Mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke was a standout as Jo. In a vital, shapely vocal performance, she caught both the character’s headstrong determination and the reservoir of tenderness underlying it.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Duke is a singer who communicates both the music and the text impeccably… it takes ‘heroic diction’ to do that and Duke surely has the helden-delivery.”

San Francisco Classical Voice

“Duke was superb! She created a vibrant, strong-willed woman who knows her own mind and her own place in the world. Her singing proved crystal clear, beautifully consistent and always true to the meaning of the text. Her striking voice-acting and stage movement set a high standard for the entire work.”

The Daily Progress

Nellie Forbush in South Pacific

“Nellie Forbush, played by Cherry Duke, is spunky and exuberant and sang and danced her way into our hearts.”