Siena Forest, a lyric coloratura soprano, sets herself apart with her dynamic stage presence, facile voice and deftness in bringing new works to life. This season with Minnesota Opera, Siena, “one of the performances vocal highlights,” premiered the role of Paula Jordan in William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell’s new opera Dinner at Eight where she “fervently sang” a “gorgeous ballad” (“One Moment He’s Devoted”). In October 2016, Siena was a semi-finalist in the Mildred Miller Competition and placed 4th in Piccola Opera's Third Annual Opera Voice Competition. She is elated to be reprising the role of Frasquita with the Lakes Area Music Festival and Bergen Baker, her favorite Mercedes. The two were chosen as one of the top 10 scene-stealing performances in the Twin Cities Arts Reader during the 2014-2015 season.
During the 2015-2016 season with Minnesota Opera, Siena realized the roles of Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Pamina in Komische Oper Berlin’s unforgettable production of Die Zauberflöte where she “soared through her arias, especially Act 2’s ‘Ach, ich fühl’s, es ist verschwunden,’” and was the first of the "exquisitely sung" Wood Sprites in Dvořák’s Rusalka. Siena also covered the role of Wendy Torrence in the highly acclaimed world premiere of Stephen King’s The Shining, composed by Paul Moravec with librettist Mark Campbell. That Christmas Siena was the soprano soloist in South Dakota Symphony’s performance of Handel’s Messiah and received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera Auditions Minnesota District in March 2016. Siena covered the role of Marie in La fille du regiment with Mill City Summer Opera (2015), and had the honor of singing the National Anthem with the Minnesota Orchestra at their outdoor Music in Plymouth summer concert.
In Minnesota Opera’s 2014-2015 season Siena took the stage as the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel and covered Gretel. “Soaring above the patter of a lively smuggler’s quintet” Siena “engagingly performed” a “memorable characterization” of Frasquita in Carmen. Siena also covered Adina in L’elisir d’amore, and Jocelyn Jordan in the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate by the Pulitzer Prize winning team, Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell. Siena starred as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and was featured as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the OK Mozart International Music Festival under Constantine Kitsopoulos’s baton in the summer of 2014.
A graduate of Indiana University and winner of the Wilfred C. Bain Opera Competition, Siena studied with Carol Vaness. She appeared with Indiana University Opera Theater as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (2013), Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff (2013) and Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème (2011) and was the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai (2014). In the summer of 2013, Siena was a Studio Artist with Central City Opera in Colorado where she received the Award in Honor of Patsy Rose Musser.
In her spare time, Siena enjoys hiking, reading novels and biographies, gardening, traveling, cooking, baking bread, laughing with her husband and cuddling their two cats.