Vira Slywotzky has performed principal roles with Seattle Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Chelsea Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, Light Opera of New York, Sarasota Opera, Boston Midsummer Opera and Victor Herbert Renaissance Project – LIVE!, and has appeared in concert with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Hudson Festival Orchestra, Rockland Camerata and New Haven Chamber Orchestra. She has sung recitals, concerts and cabarets in New York at Merkin Hall, Metropolitan Room, Opera America, Sheen Center, SubCulture, Symphony Space, The Duplex, Ukrainian Institute, Ukrainian Museum and Weill Hall. Internationally Slywotzky has performed at the Hudson Music Festival in Hudson, CA, Festival D’Avignon in Avignon, FR, at Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the American Church in Paris, FR, at the Armel Opera Festival in Szeged, HU, at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, RU and at the Gustov Adolf Church in Sundsvall, SE.
Slywotzky has always been committed to keeping the performance of Ukrainian song thriving. In February 2022, her efforts to bring Ukrainian song to a broader audience intensified, and took on new meaning as she began advocating for Ukraine and fundraising for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. To date, her efforts have served to collect over $85,000 to help civilians and soldiers in Ukraine in their fierce fight to survive the ongoing attacks from the east and to ensure a peaceful and democratic future for Ukraine.
Until spring 2020, Slywotzky sang soprano. Her operatic repertoire included Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Nedda in Pagliacci, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Micaela and Mercedes in Carmen, Magda in The Consul, Mrs. Fiorentino in Street Scene and the title role in Vanessa.
In the spring of 2020, Slywotzky began transitioning to contralto, and has since been exploring operatic roles such as Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Marquise in La fille du regiment, Principessa in Suor Angelica, Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Gaia in Daphne and Polina in Piques Dame.
A champion of new music, Slywotzky has premiered more than 30 vocal works, ranging in size and scope from stand-alone song to opera, perhaps most notably creating the role of Mrs. Fatima Bakshlevi in The Woman in Penthouse A as part of Single Occupancies: Three Contemporary Opera Theatre Monologues at Key West Studios in Key West, Florida in January 2020.
Recital partners include Peiharn Chen, Dina Pruzhansky, Yegor Shevtsov, Daniel Stagno and David Sytkowski.
In May 2018 Slywotzky founded the concert series Vira & Friends, with the aim of bringing people together to enjoy the live performance of songs written for voice and piano. For information on artists, repertoire and venues visit the Vira & Friends page.
From 2008 to 2018 Slywotzky performed with Mirror Visions Ensemble, a vocal trio known for its innovative programming, nuanced performances and extensive commissioning. Slywotzky can be heard on the group’s 2015 commercial recording, The Three-Paneled Mirror.
The recipient of a 2007 Richard F. Gold Career Grant, Slywotzky has twice been a New England Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and in 2009 was the sole representative of the United States at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Slywotzky is as happy onstage acting, narrating and emceeing as singing. She is particularly proud to have performed in all three major versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – as Helena in the Britten opera, First Fairy in Mendelssohn’s ballet and Bottom in the original Shakespeare.
Slywotzky received an MM from Mannes and a BA from Yale. She was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Slywotzky has been a member of the Berkshire Opera Festival’s Board of Directors since a year before the organization’s 2016 inaugural season, and has served as President and Secretary.