Background: Kristen Yarborough has been described by Classical Voice North Carolina as a soprano with a "robust voice and brilliant and seemingly-effortless high notes." She is often heralded for her ability to combine the vocal demands of opera with the acting chops needed to effectively communicate her characters. Ms. Yarborough, a North Carolina native, actively performs with the Asheville Lyric Opera. Ms. Yarborough's interest in classical vocal literature developed after she graduated from Catawba College with a degree in musical theatre. After graduation, she began training classically while pursuing an acting career. She was accepted to the North Carolina School of the Arts and the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute where she completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in vocal performance and opera. Ms. Yarborough has also received further training at the Vocal Arts Symposium in Colorado Springs where she worked with renowned soprano, Martile Rowland. Additional studies include coachings with Virginia Zeani, Ruth Golden and Howard Watkins. She has also had the pleasure of working with Will Graham, Tim Myers and James Marvel. Upcoming engagements include Norina in Asheville Lyric Opera's Don Pasquale in January, 2010. In November, 2009, she will stage direct Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel in collaboration with Asheville Lyric Opera's Education Opera program. Last year, she sang Verdi and R.Strauss selections for Asheville Ballet's Shakespeare in Ballet and performed Verdi, Donizetti and Mozart selections for Hendersonville Symphony's A Grand Night for Singing. She sang the soprano solos for the Rutter Requiem and Schubert Mass in G at St. James Episcopal Church, Hendersonville. She also performed Verdi and Mascagni selections on Asheville Lyric Opera's concert, Taste of Opera, and performed a solo recital of opera and musical selections for First United Methodist Church, Salisbury, NC. Ms. Yarborough also made her stage directing debut with Asheville Lyric Opera's Education Opera production of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Previously with Asheville Lyric Opera, Ms. Yarborough performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and covered the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in ALO and Opera Company of North Carolina's combined production, singing one performance at the public dress rehearsal. She also covered Violetta and sang Flora in La Traviata, and sang Giannetta in L'Elisir d'Amore. Roles while in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute include: Elettra in Idomeneo, Euridice in Orpheus and the Underworld, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Dorine in Tartuffe, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Eudora in Belisario, Violetta in scenes from La Traviata and Mrs. Bennet in a workshop premiere of Act I of Mechem's Pride and Prejudice. Ms.Yarborough has also sung with Western Piedmont Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and Piedmont Opera. Ms. Yarborough has served on the faculties of Children's Theatre Charlotte, North Carolina School of the Arts Community Music School and Summer Session, the Matthews Playhouse and Mars Hill College. She is the director of the Performance Internship Program at Asheville Lyric Opera and is a member of the adjunct voice faculty at Western Carolina University. When not performing, she enjoys hiking in the mountains of Western North Carolina and spending quality time with her dog, Lily.