|Year of Birth:||1979|
Danielle de Niese (born 11 April 1979) is an Australian-American lyric soprano. After success as a young child in singing competitions in Australia, she moved to the United States where she developed an operatic career. From 2005 she came to widespread public attention with her performances as Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne, England.
De Niese was born in Melbourne, Australia, after her parents, Chris and Beverly, had migrated from Sri Lanka to Australia as teenagers. She is a Sri Lankan Burgher with some Dutch and Scottish heritage. In 1988, at the age of nine, she became the youngest winner of the Australian TV talent competition, Young Talent Time. In the competition, she was singing a Whitney Houston medley, for which the prize was A$ 5,000 and a Yamaha baby grand piano, which she still owns.
In 1990, her family moved to Los Angeles, where she became a regular guest host of the TV programme L.A. Kids for which she won an Emmy Award at the age of 16.
De Niese made her professional operatic debut at the age of 15 with the Los Angeles Opera. She became the youngest singer ever to participate in the Young Artists Studio at the Metropolitan Opera, where she debuted in 1998 at the age of 19 as Barbarina in a new production of The Marriage of Figaro directed by Jonathan Miller and conducted by James Levine. She studied voice privately with Ruth Falcon, and at the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan.