Described as “a voice to watch” (Opera Canada) and “scene-stealing” (Calgary Herald) with “an immediately captivating presence” (Opera News), Turkish-Canadian mezzo soprano Beste Kalender’s first appearance at Carnegie Hall was in 2017 as part of the Spotlight Recital Series, after which she was featured as the Artist of Month by Musical America Worldwide. She returned to Carnegie Hall in 2018 for the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration, along with internationally celebrated artists such as Isabel Leonard, Nicole Cabell, Warren Jones, and Lester Lynch.
A frequent performer on concert and opera stages internationally, Beste has recently performed at Opera San Miguel (Mexico), Helikon Opera (Russia), Bolshoi Theatre (Belarus), Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy), Sori Festival (S. Korea), and Les Chorégies D’Orange (France). She has also performed with various Canadian companies including Toronto Operetta Theater, Against The Grain Theatre, Edmonton Opera, VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, Opera On The Avalon, Amici Chamber Ensemble, Mississauga Symphony, Koerner Hall, Sinfonia Toronto, and Toronto Choral Society. Future engagements include house debuts with Sofia National Opera and Ballet (Bulgaria) and Angers Nantes Opéra (France).
Beste made her professional debut in the title role of Bizet’s Carmen with Calgary Opera, where she was a member of the Emerging Artist Program. Her dramatic participation on the opening night was widely acclaimed in the media: “…on one hours’ notice, mezzo-soprano Beste Kalender, originally scheduled to sing the role of Mercedes, learned that she would have to sing the title role. This she did, and with remarkable success…” (Calgary Herald). Her American debut was with the title role in La Cenerentola by Rossini at Music Academy of The West.
Among her accolades, Beste is a recipient of the Canada Council for The Arts Grant for Professional Musicians (2015, 2017) and has been named Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques in Canada (2013 – 2019). She won the Sylva-Gelber Foundation Award (2016), the Inaugural Stuart Hamilton Memorial Award (2018), and most recently the Prix Jeune Espoir Lyrique du Canada from Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques (2019). Beste holds an Artist Diploma in Voice from The RCM’s Glenn Gould School as well as a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from University of Toronto, where she studied music cognition and development.
Beste’s repertoire also includes roles such as Helene (La Belle Helene), The Old Lady (Candide), Leokadja Begbick (Rise and Fall of the city Mahagonny), Jade Boucher & Mrs. Patrick DeRocher (Dead Man Walking), Flora (La Traviata), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Mercedes (Carmen), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Stephano (Romeo et Juliette), and Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) among others.