Melissa Jean Chávez, soprano, has been acclaimed by the Washington Post for her “voluptuous voice” and “cooly exemplary production”. DC Metro Arts writes "as an actress, Chávez commands the stage and uses the tremendous range of her gorgeous soprano to full advantage." Recent and upcoming roles include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Laurie in Tender Land, the title role in Adriana Lecouvreur, Beatrice in Beatrice et Benedict, Maddalena in Andrea Chenier, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Carmela in La Vida Breve, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the title role in Adrianna Lecouvreur, Beatrix in Les Bavards, Libby Norton in the premiere of Norton: A Civil War Opera, Donna Elivira in Don Giovanni, Desdemona in Otello, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Hannah in The Merry Widow, Geraldine in The American Maid, Adina in L'Elisir d'amore, Giulietta in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Ms. Chávez did her apprenticeship for four years as young artist at the prestigious Castleton Festival, directed by Lorin Maazel where she has covered Britten's Les Illuminations and understudied Desdemona in Otello among other singing opportunities.
Ms. Chávez is equally at home on the concert stage. Recently, Ms. Chavez performed as a soprano soloist in the Beethoven 9th Symphony, Mozart Requiem, Handel Gloria, Villa Lobos Bachianas Brasilieras no. 5, Handel Messiah, Bach Magnificat, and in a touring recital of Schubert and Wolf Goethe-Lieder. She will also appear with the United States Army Chorus as a soloist. Additional recent performances include the soprano soloist in the Webber Requiem, Barber's Knoxville Summer of 1915, Copland's Old American Songs, and Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn with orchestra. Recent recital venues include The Barns at Rose Hill, Temple Rodef Shalom, Har Shalom Congregation, Indiana University, Shenandoah Conservatory, Bowie Performing Arts Center, and Front Royal Presbyterian Church. Ms. Chávez is a soprano soloist and music ministry assistant at Front Royal United Methodist Church and performs locally and regionally as a soloist and recitalist.
Ms. Chávez is a winner of the 2010 and 2007 Bach-Handel Competition, winner of the 2011, 2010, and 2009 NATS Student Auditions: Advanced College Women Division, a finalist in the Shenandoah Concerto Competition, Philadelphia Lieder Society Competition, Opera at San Nicola compeition, and has received multiple grants for recital performances. In 2011, Ms. Chavez was a winner of the Assisi Music Festival Competition and traveled to Assisi Italy to perform as a soloist in the Assisi Music Festival.
Ms. Chávez has studied with Susanne Mentzer, Debra Lawrence, Aime Sposato, and Richard Kennedy. She has sung in several opera programs, including Repertory Opera Theatre of Washington D.C., Opera in the Woods, Winchester Opera Project, Summer Opera Theater Company of D.C., Bethesda Summer Music Festival, Crittenden Opera Workshop, and the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop.
Ms. Chavez studied at both Penn State University and Shenandoah Conservatory. Ms. Chávez has been selected to present performances at academic conferences, including a performance of Jake Heggie songs at the CMS 2007 National Conference, a recital performance of scenes from Astor Piazzolla's tango-opera Maria de Buenos Aires for the CMS International conference in 2009, and a lecture recital on songs of Modesta Bor at the CMS 2011 National Conference.
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