Melanie is a soprano who uses song and dance both to reframe opera through a female-driven lens, and to collaborate with living composers on new works that challenge systemic norms within classical music. Currently Melanie is a SEED Residency Artist with multimedia artist Olivia Hernandez/ONOH through [nueBOX], a Phoenix arts organization funding creative projects for emerging artists. Melanie is an alum of the 2020 DBR Lab at Arizona State University, a multidisciplinary arts lab curated by Daniel Bernard Roumain and Jeff McMahon. Through the DBR Lab, she created a choreographic adaptation of Olympia’s Doll Song that highlights the power of women owning their bodies and their stories. Recently, she also role-studied and sang Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare with Antigua y Moderna’s Young Artist Academy, and was a guest artist with the violin/guitar duo MeghanDiego through the Arts at Nativity Concert Series in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Melanie was also part of the Arizona Women’s Collaborative for a third season, collaborating with other female-identifying artists to create new interdisciplinary and female-driven compositions that premiered in March 2021.
Melanie was a 2019 Emerging Artist with Opera in the Ozarks, singing Amy in Little Women, Blonde in The Abduction from the Seraglio, and covering Musetta in La Boheme. She was also a 2019 Opera in the Ozarks Outreach Artist, performing for schools and communities in a preseason tour throughout Northwest Arkansas. Melanie was a featured performer with the 2019 OME New Music Festival in Phoenix, performing music by OME Guest Composer-in-Residence Sarah Gibson and premiering the song cycle Atypical Chronicles by composer Ashlee Busch. She was a 2018-2019 Molly Blank Fund ASU-Gammage Teaching Artist, developing her own artist residency based on the Kennedy Center’s arts integration method and leading Teaching Artist residencies at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona, and with the Scottsdale Arts Cultural Connections Program. Additional engagements include joining Arizona Opera as a 2018 Education Artist, singing nearly 100 performances of Hansel and Gretel (Gretel) and Opera 101: The Audition (Soprano Soloist) to nearly 40,000 students. As an Education Artist, Melanie was also a featured soloist in Candide’s Musical Mayhem, a lecture recital hosted by Arizona Opera and Nina Bernstein Simmons.
Melanie is a passionate advocate for contemporary music and using multidisciplinary forms to bring classical music to new audiences. She is part of the Arizona Women’s Collaborative, an initiative founded in 2018 to promote the creation of new music by female-identifying composer/librettist teams. In the Collaborative’s inaugural season, Melanie worked with composer Ashlee Busch and poet Rosemarie Dombrowski to create the song cycle Atypical Chronicles, a composition of music, vocals, and electronics that engages with the nonverbal world of Autism via the performative exploration of music and sound. Melanie also was the soprano soloist in the Collaborative’s premiere of 1936, a collaboration with composer/conductor Erica Glenn, writer Kalani Pickhart, choreographer Heeyoung Lee, and dancer Lisa Juliet. Beyond the Collaborative, Melanie’s dance training has been featured in Arizona Opera’s Rusalka and as Galatea in a site specific choreographed adaptation of Handel’s Acis and Galatea. She has also sung in multiple readings of new operas and musicals, singing Silvia in Behold the Man (Paul Fowler/Andrew Flack), Lynn in The Halloween Tree (Theo Popov/Tony Asaro) in collaboration with Arizona State University and American Lyric Theater, and Lillie in Babe (Andrea Jill Higgins/Carolyn Gage) with the National Women’s Music Festival.
Additional performances include Owen Wingrave (Mrs. Julian) and The Magic Flute (Papagena) with Arizona State University, and The Gypsy Baron (Arsena), and Dido and Aeneas (Belinda) with the Mittelsächsisches Theater-Freiberg, Germany. Melanie is also an alum of the Arizona Opera/ASU Study Cover Program, having prepared roles in Falstaff (Nannetta), Don Giovanni (Zerlina), The Magic Flute (Papagena), and Don Pasquale (Norina) under the tutelage of Arizona Opera staff and ASU faculty.
Melanie’s accolades include being a Grant Recipient from the Arizona State Lyric Opera Theatre Guild, an Encouragement Award Winner at the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions, and a Semi-Finalist in the Phoenix Opera Southwest Vocal Competition, Melanie holds degrees from Arizona State University (MM/Opera Performance), and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BM/Voice with a Dance Minor). She currently studies with Stephanie Weiss.