Melanie is a soprano and dancer reframing standard opera repertory through a movement-driven lens, and creating new works that challenge systemic norms within classical music. This season, she presents choreographed operatic works with Spoke the Hub Dance and Borne Dance Company, and as a featured artist with Take Root at Green Space. Melanie is also part of the artist ensemble of Your Faithful Reader, an experimental theatre company curated by Miriam Wasmund, where she is currently writing and composing works for their 2023/2024 cycle. She is completing prerequisite courses for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies through a Work/Study Internship with Alexandra Beller/Dances, and is a member of the 23/24 Maestra Music Mentorship Program, an initiative pairing emerging artists pursuing careers in music making with established female or non-binary artists.
Recent 2022-2023 projects include performing with Your Faithful Reader at Triskelion Arts, and presenting her choreography at National Sawdust, Triskelion Arts, GreenSpace, Spoke the Hub, Bridge for Dance, SMUSH Gallery, and in guest appearances with Borne Dance Company and Reaction Dance Company.
During the 2021-2022 season, Melanie collaborated with multimedia artist ONOH as SEED Residency Artists with [nueBOX]; with support from composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, they arranged the finale to Mozart’s Don Giovanni for soprano, dance, visuals, and electronics, reframing the story through a female perspective. Additional 2021-2022 projects include choreographing and performing Jake Heggie’s Eve Song with pianist Karey Miles, premiering composer Ashlee Busch’s Joy Girl with Micaela Rebb and the Arizona Women’s Collaborative, and joining the 2022 Teaching Artist Training Cohort with Mark Morris Dance Group.
Melanie was a 2019 Emerging Artist with Opera in the Ozarks, singing in Little Women (Amy), The Abduction from the Seraglio (Blonde), covering Musetta in La Boheme, and touring Northwest Arkansas as a Pre-Season Outreach Artist. She was a featured performer with the 2019 OME New Music Festival, performing music by Guest Composer-in-Residence Sarah Gibson and premiering composer Ashlee Busch’s song cycle Atypical Chronicles. As a 2018-2019 Molly Blank Fund ASU-Gammage Teaching Artist, Melanie developed her own artist residency based on the Kennedy Center’s Arts Integration Method, and led Teaching Artist residencies at Red Mountain High School (Mesa, AZ), and with the Scottsdale Arts Cultural Connections Program (Scottsdale, AZ). Additional engagements include joining Arizona Opera as a 2018 Education Artist, singing in Hansel and Gretel (Gretel), Opera 101: The Audition (Soprano Soloist), and in the lecture recital Candide’s Musical Mayhem (Featured Soloist).
Melanie has sung in multiple workshops and readings of new operas and musicals, Silvia in Behold the Man (Paul Fowler/Andrew Flack) with Arizona State University, Lynn in The Halloween Tree (Theo Popov/Tony Asaro) in collaboration with Arizona State University and American Lyric Theater, Lillie in Babe (Andrea Jill Higgins/Carolyn Gage) at Arizona State University and the National Women’s Music Festival, and La Babette in Big Red Sun (Georgia Stitt/Jon Jiler) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Melanie’s accolades include being an Arizona State Lyric Opera Theatre Guild Grant Recipient, an Encouragement Award Winner at the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions, and a Semi-Finalist in the Phoenix Opera Southwest Vocal Competition. She is also an alum of the DBR Lab, an interdisciplinary artist lab curated by Daniel Bernard Roumain, Jeff McMahon, and Arizona State University. She holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BM/Voice with a Dance Minor) and Arizona State University (DMA/Voice & MM/Opera Performance), where her graduate research focused on using Gaga Movement Language and Bartenieff Fundamentals to help singers develop deeper kinesthetic connections to their vocal technique. She currently lives in Brooklyn, and studies with Riley McKinch and Stephanie Weiss.