Australian-born American soprano Danielle de Niese makes her San Francisco Opera debut in a role she sings this season at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her career got off to a prestigious start when, at age 18, she became the youngest singer ever to enter the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. A year later she made her house debut as Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro). Soon after came important operatic debuts with the Netherlands Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival, and the Paris Opera, but it was her portrayal of Cleopatra in a David McVicar production of Handel's Giulio Cesare for her 2005 Glyndebourne Festival debut that brought her to true international acclaim. Since then de Niese has enjoyed operatic successes on the stages of the Paris Opera, Zurich Opera, Netherlands Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago among many others. Orchestral engagements have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Other important opera engagements this season include L'incoronazione di Poppea with Madrid’s Teatro Real and the title role of Semele at the Theâtre des Champs Elysees. Her debut solo album, Handel Arias was released to international acclaim in 2007, and her much anticipated second recording, The Mozart Album, was released this past fall. Born to parents of Sri Lankan and Dutch heritage, Danielle de Niese grew up in Los Angeles. The soprano has been captivating audiences since childhood, when she was a fixture of Los Angeles local television hosting a weekly arts showcase for teenagers, for which she won an Emmy Award.