About Melody Wilson, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson has gained recognition as an accomplished operatic artist in the United States and Europe, equally celebrated in classic and contemporary repertory. Praised for her “rich voice and great acting chops” (St Louis Post-Dispatch), her “smoky mezzo-soprano and stately deportment” (Opera News), and her “beautiful voice and well-honed technique” (San Francisco Classical Voice), she’s been hailed for performances that “reign supreme” (St Louis Magazine), for her “ruby timbre” (KDHX) and for her “fine comic work” (Broadway World). She appears on Opera America Magazine’s winter 2024 cover as Fricka in Das Rheingold.
In 2023-24, she makes her Carnegie Hall debut in Mozart’s Requiem Mass on St. Patrick’s Day. She appears in Wagner all over the United States, recently making her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer, and returning to Seattle Opera as Fricka (Das Rheingold) and to the Dallas Symphony as Roßweiße in Die Walküre. 2024 brings company debuts with Atlanta Opera in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the New West Symphony in Händel’s Messiah, and with Bach Festival Florida and the Charleston (SC) Symphony in Paul Moravec’s oratorio Sanctuary Road. She recently gave recitals at Northwestern College (IA) and Pabianice, Poland. And another role debut, as Amneris in Verdi’s Aida at Union Avenue Opera, highlights summer 2024.
Wilson enjoyed a varied 2022-23, covering Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and John Adams’ new Antony and Cleopatra at San Francisco Opera, and Cousin Blanche in Terence Blanchard’s Champion at the Metropolitan Opera. Her season commenced with Olga, and Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff at Union Avenue Opera, and a concert performance of the mezzo-soprano role in Sanctuary Road with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, which she reprised in the staged opera version of the work with the Lancaster Symphony in February. She returned to a favorite role, Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco, with Washington Concert Opera in March. Her season concludes in May with a Beethoven 9th Symphony with the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, and a new work by Martin Rokeach, Bodies on the Line, with the Oakland Symphony.
In 2021-22, Wilson debuted with the San Francisco Symphony, performing a concert including Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody and spirituals rearranged by Jack Perla, and with the Oakland Symphony singing Strauss. She also debuted with Baltimore Concert Opera in the role of Principessa di Bouillon in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, and essayed the roles of Mum in Britten’s Albert Herring with the Princeton Festival, and Olga in semi-staged performances of Eugene Onegin with the Dallas Symphony.
In the 2020-2021 season, Wilson performed in a world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, New Works, Bold Voices Lab, a triptych of brief operas. Ms. Wilson performed both the roles of Kyra and Son in On the Edge (Karpman) and Janet Armstrong in Moon Tea (Mackey). Her OTSL season also included I Dream a World, the company’s first celebration of Juneteenth at the Missouri History Museum. She made company debuts with Indianapolis Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and with Cincinnati Opera as Mercédès in Carmen, and with the Kalamazoo Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
In the 2019-20 season, Wilson made her debut with Seattle Opera as Olga in Eugene Onegin, adding a solo recital there, and a joint recital with bass Zachary James in Sun Valley, ID in the winter of 2020.
In 2017-18, Ms. Wilson performed the role of Addie in Blitzstein’s Regina with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, with Opera News noting, “Melody Wilson’s smoky mezzo-soprano and stately deportment brought depth to Addie.” She performed Fenena in Nabucco and Linda in Lost in The Stars with Union Avenue Opera. In 2016-17, she sang Blumenmädchen in the world premiere of Mondparsifal Alpha 1-8, Jonathan Meese’s adaption of Wagner’s Parsifal under the baton of maestra Simone Young with the Wiener Festwochen and the Berliner Festspiele. The year before, she garnered acclaim as Mrs. Miller in Union Avenue Opera’s production of Doubt, for which she was nominated for the St. Louis Theater Circle Awards in the category “Outstanding achievement in opera,” and she made two important European debuts: in Germany at Theater Bremen, Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes and Mercédès in Carmen, and in Hungary at the State Opera Budapest, Maddalena in Rigoletto.
No stranger to contemporary repertoire, she has performed in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with Opera Delaware (Cherubino), Wexford Opera Festival (Opera Quartet) and Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Opera Quartet). As a Gerdine Young Artist, she also covered Denyce Graves in the role of Emelda in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s opera Champion with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In the standard repertoire she performed Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Flora in La Traviata, Kate in The Pirates of Penzance and Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess, all with Opera Delaware, Mercédès in Carmen; Frau Reich in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor and Suzuki (cover) in Madama Butterfly with Opera North; as well as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Larina in Eugene Onegin at the University of Michigan.
Ms. Wilson is also known internationally as a concert soloist and recitalist. She performed Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Slovak State Philharmonic, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Kennett Square Symphony, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with the Wexford Opera Festival Orchestra and Vienna’s Consortium Musicum, as well as Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli and Schubert’s Mass No. 3 in b-flat major, again with the Consortium Musicum. She was a featured soloist in Las voces de Montserrat Caballé in Zaragoza, Spain, and in The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington at the Wilmington Jazz Festival, and has presented solo recitals at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Wisconsin and the Barocksaal Vienna.
Ms. Wilson holds undergraduate degrees in Music and Spanish from the University of Delaware and a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she studied with Shirley Verrett and George Shirley.