A versatile lyric soprano praised for her clarity and warmth of tone, Christa Durand has performed in hundreds of concerts and shows in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. A native of Santa Rosa, California, Ms. Durand is recognized as a gifted performer who is equally comfortable in a classical recital hall as she is in an intimate cabaret venue.
Ms. Durand was a recipient of the Everett B. Person Scholarship for Vocal Studies at Sonoma State University, where she received her classical training and her Bachelor of Arts in Music. During her studies, Ms. Durand became an avid enthusiast of new works and composers. She works, and has worked with, many composers to help bring their opera, folk, jazz, and new-age visions to life.
Christa is dedicated to exploring and promoting the relevancy of classical music in our lives today through several outreach programs. She is a member and performer with Opera on Tap, San Francisco, an organization that aims to expose new audiences to opera by taking it out of the concert hall and into alternative venues. Ms. Durand is the Artist Director of The Artists' Salon, which reintroduces the the classical salon format into the home with the aim to enthusiastically foster meaningful conversations around art and music.
She also coordinates and performs accessible opera outreach programs for schools, senior living communities, and the public, and is one of the founders and on the board of the non-profit Up Street Music Patrons. Up Street Music Patrons fund music education and provides musical opportunities to adults and children for personal and cultural enrichment. They raise money in order to give scholarships for to college music majors, help subsidize tuitions for music lessons, and help subsidize student tuitions for music and performing arts programs. Up Street Music Patrons also subsidize professional performances to be brought into schools and the general community for no or low cost.
While at Sonoma State, Ms. Durand began collaborating with composer Glenn Grubbs. Ms. Durand and Mr. Grubbs have released two albums with their new age western rock project, Image and Nation, and continue to produce cutting edge music together. Ms. Durand also met and began collaborating with composer Noam Lemish, Will Johnson, and Brian Wilson. Recently she sang the role of Cassandra in Dr. Wilson's opera, Agamemnon, and sang in the world premier of Richard Evans' Irish Poet Patriots at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Ms. Durand has collaborated with Livingston Sound to present a large-scale 5-act River Opera at Warnecke Ranch & Vineyards in Healdsburg. Following the curving intersection of Brooks Creek and the River, the Opera moves from glade to glade, using natural features to define the stage. Ms. Durand frequently collaborates with the Vespertine Orchestra, a classically trained electric and acoustic duo based out of Petaluma, California. Their music ranges from experimental to electronic dance, with a massive touch of minimalism. Ms. Durand also guest performs as a guest singer with Due Zighi Baci ("Two Gypsy Kisses"), presenting authentic, soulful stylings of popular European cafe music. You can find her performing with Goat Hall Opera, Jarvis Conservatory, East Bay Musical Chairs, The Artists' Salon, Opera-tunity, and Opera on Tap San Francisco.
In January 2019, Ms. Durand and her husband, Evan Bowers, purchased Music to My Ears in Cotati. They hope to continue the almost two decades of tradition as a community and family music center offering privates lessons in voice and most instruments, musical and opera productions, acting classes, and musical groups. They endeavor to make it a safe and supportive space for students of all ages and abilities to explore music and theater arts.