Hailed as “impeccable” and praised for her “dusky instrument”, Sri Lankan-American mezzo soprano Tahanee Aluwihare is regularly sought out for her unique vocal timbre and vibrant stage presence.
In the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Aluwihare made her Tri-cities Opera debut in Kamala Sankaram’s live streamed virtual-reality opera, Miranda, where she premiered the role of Anjana. She also sang the title role in a filmed version of Dido and Aeneas with Boston Camerata, in addition to many virtual appearances with companies across the United States. She returned to Opera Idaho for their 2021-2022 gala concert, Opera in the Park. In the same season, she made her debut with Cambridge Chamber Ensemble in the title role of Holst’s seldom performed opera, Savitri.
In the 2022-2023 season, she makes her debut with Opera San Jose as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. She will return to both Opera Idaho and Boston Camerata, for the roles of Ježibaba in Rusalka and Dido in Dido and Aeneas respectively.
In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Aluwihare joined Opera Memphis as a Handorf Company Artist, where she began the season with a 30-day guerilla-style campaign of opera, presenting free performances across Memphis for the entire month of September. During Fall 2019, she performed in multiple dynamic concerts at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Museum, including Opera Meets Broadway, Words and Music and an interactive reduction of The Magic Flute. During winter 2020, she was asked to perform the principal character, Alice Mitchell, in Opera Memphis’s workshop of Pretty Little Room. Ms. Aluwihare also performed the roles of La Badessa and La Suor Zelatrice in Suor Angelica and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi for a Puccini double-bill. Due to the pandemic, her upcoming debut as Dorabella in Così fan tutte at Playhouse on the Square was canceled. For the summer season, she was selected as an Artistic Fellow for both the Hogfish Regenerative Theater Festival and the Lake View Music Festival, with both festivals being postponed indefinitely.
In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Aluwihare was selected as a Young Artist with Opera Idaho, and covered Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Amneris in the company’s spring production of Aida. Through this appointment, she gave numerous outreach concerts across the state of Idaho and performed in the company’s touring production of The Enchanted Forest for K-8 school audiences. In 2019, Ms. Aluwihare not only covered the role as an Apprentice Artist with Charlottesville Opera, but also debuted the title role of Bizet/Brook’s La tragédie de Carmen with City Lyric Opera in New York City, where she was reviewed as “marvelous,” with remarks that her “dusky instrument and seductive presentation gave us a believable free-spirited Carmen.”
During the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Aluwihare covered a diverse range of musical performances. She covered the title role of Carmen in the Netherlands with Opera Noord-Holland-Noord and premiered the roles of the Monkey Queen and Lord of the Tigers in Houston Grand Opera’s (HGOco) touring production of Kamala Sankaram’s new work Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers. Outside of the operatic cannon, she was invited to perform in HGOco’s Harmony of Trees, a multimedia presentation incorporating ten languages and diverse cultural components into the art installation “Hello, Trees!” at Discovery Green. Additionally, she sang the role of Sinang in the Tagalog language production of Felipe de Leon’s Le Opera Noli Me Tangere with Opera Brittenica, as part of a national revival of the seminal Filipino work.
Previous seasons’ highlights include: Ruggiero (Alcina) with Opera del West; Zita (Gianni Schicchi) and La Badessa and La Maestra della Novizie (Suor Angelica) while on fellowship with Berlin Opera Academy; Beppe (L’amico Fritz) as an Alumni Artist at Longy School of Music of Bard College; Idamante (Idomeneo) at the Lidal North Opera Workshop in Crete, Greece, the opera’s original setting; and Ms. Aluwihare’s mainstage debut as Lola in (Cavalleria Rusticana) performed across Germany and France with Opera Classica Europa.
Ms. Aluwihare earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College with concentrations in Music and Anthropology, and her M.M. in Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. During her studies, Ms. Aluwihare performed several times with the Mount Holyoke Orchestra under the baton of Tian Ng Hui and was awarded the Dorothy Currey Award for Excellence in Music for two consecutive years. While studying at Longy, she performed principal roles in the program’s opera workshop as well as a variety of chamber music, including less performed works such as Edvard Grieg’s Haugtussa.
Ms. Aluwihare is also interested in the intersection between art, education, and social justice, and has been a guest speaker at Tufts University and Mount Holyoke College. She is also a teaching artist in residence with Lake Area Music Festival for the 2020-2021 season.
Outside of her rich and varied musical career, Ms. Aluwihare pursues her other passions, which include the culinary arts as a trained French Patisserie chef, Art and Literature as an avid reader and museum-goer, and of course, spending time with her Brittany Spaniel, Hugo.
Updated on May 11th, 2021