Cara Bender is an operatic soprano hailing from Corning, New York. She is thrilled to make her debut with The Florentine Opera Company as a 2023 Summer Studio Artist, where she will perform Donna Anna and Contessa Almaviva in abridged productions of Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro. In March, Cara performed as a featured soloist in the premiere of a new choral opera, Adrift, with Nightingale Vocal Ensemble. Over the past year, Cara has appeared in multiple concerts with Nightingale Vocal Ensemble and made a return to The New England Conservatory of Music to present a recital of American songs and French mélodie.
Cara concluded her second summer as an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera in 2021, where she covered Masha in The Queen of Spades and was featured on multiple concerts, performing selections from Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Bluebeard's Castle, Così fan tutte, Die Walküre, and The Rape of Lucretia.
Cara has made role and house debuts as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, a part of Luke A. Housner’s Summer Opera Workshop, the Witch and the Mother in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with Due Donne Productions, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Oberlin in Italy, and La Bergère in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with Miami Summer Music Festival. Selected partial roles include Elettra in Idomeneo, Thaïs in Thaïs, Marguerite in Faust, Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, and Alice Ford in Falstaff. Also a passionate champion of art song, Cara was a Young Artist at the 2019 Leeds Lieder Festival for her UK debut and regularly performed on The New England Conservatory’s Liederabend Concert Series.
A recent graduate of The New England Conservatory, Cara was heard as the Lady with a Cake Box in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Giunone in Cavalli’s La Calisto, and The Mistress of the Novices in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. During her undergraduate studies, Cara participated with the Oberlin Opera Theater, portraying Miss Jessel in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and The Wife in Wargo’s The Music Shop. For her oratorio debut, Cara was the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria with Oberlin’s Musical Union and Arts and Sciences Orchestra and in 2018, she was selected as a finalist in the Oberlin Concerto Competition, performing Samuel Barber's Andromache's Farewell.
Cara earned her MM in Vocal Performance from The New England Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Jane Eaglen where she was a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship and the Beneficent Society Scholarship. Cara also earned her BM in Vocal Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying with Daune Mahy and receiving both the Dean’s scholarship and the Helen Hodam Scholarship in Voice.