Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung has established herself in barely a decade as one of the most prodigiously talented singers of her generation -- no mean feat in an era in which classical music seems ever more marginalized in our culture, and consequently hard-pressed to find exciting new personalities and performers. Born in Colorado in 1969, she attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, followed by two California universities, before earning a place in the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artists Development Program. DeYoung's subsequent engagements included performances with the Boston, Chicago, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the BBC Symphony, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Later, she sang with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Vienna Philharmonic. On the operatic stage, she has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Houston Grand Opera, the Bayreuth Festival, Opera National de Paris, and the Tokyo Opera in roles including Fricka, Sieglinde, and Waltraute in the Ring cycle; Kundry in Parsifal, Venus in Tannhäuser, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, Dido in Les Troyens, Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust, Gertrude in Hamlet, Jocaste in Oedipus Rex, and the title role in The Rape of Lucretia. DeYoung's recordings, though relatively few in number, have been an impressive group, including Berlioz's Les Troyens, in a Grammy Award-winning release conducted by Colin Davis, Mahler's Das Klagende Lied under Michael Tilson Thomas, and Mahler's Kindertotenlieder and Symphony No. 3 with the San Francisco Symphony under Tilson Thomas, which won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Album in 2004. EMI has also released her first solo recital CD, and in 2007 she made her debut at La Scala in Milan. A stunningly beautiful woman with a warm, outgoing personality, DeYoung has been praised for her "increasingly voluptuous" voice by the London Times, in a review that also called her "the Jessye Norman of our day," while The Daily Telegraph has praised her for her "gleaming tone and high intelligence."