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As a coveted performer with diverse repertoire, American soprano Michelle Areyzaga is held in high regard by orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and abroad. She was recently named Musical Ambassador to the Ravinia Festival, having championed the music of Leonard Bernstein throughout her career.
Recent and upcoming: Ms. Areyzaga was heard in Fabio Luisi's Mass with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble with its New York première at The Cloisters and Mozart's Requiem with Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Past seasons include guest appearances at Ravinia; performances with the St. Charles Singers in an all-Mozart program; a return engagement with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Monetevideo, Uruguay in the Brahms Requiem; Micaëla in Carmen with the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic; and a return to Ravinia in a Bernstein celebration. She was Artist-in-Residence last season with the Peoria Symphony and returns this season in a Bach concert; is reengaged with the Tucson Desert Song Festival under the auspices of the Tucson Guitar Society; and sings next season with the Holland Symphony.
Past seasons include her appearances with the Avalon Quartet in Bogotá and the Art Institute of Chicago where they presented Ginastera's Quartet No. 3; Messiah at Harris Theater in Chicago; concerts with the Richmond Symphony and Ft. Wayne Philharmonic; and, a Rose Hall Lincoln Center debut in an all-Verdi program. Ms. Areyzaga's activities have also included a return this summer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in two concerts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in songs by Fauré and Schubert and a previous concert with them on tour to Minneapolis in a reprise of the Alban Berg songs, Sieben frühe Lieder. She sang with the Minnesota Orchestra for a Holiday concert and debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay in Montevideo in the title role of Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri.
She has performed operatic roles with New York City Opera in Telemann's Orpheus as well as in their VOX series, and has appeared in leading roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Opera Birmingham, Ravinia Festival, and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.
Other important engagements include: a solo recital with Arts and Ideas Series (Fox Valley, IL); a recital with the Tucson Desert Song Festival with guitarist Rene Izquierdo; Vier letzte Lieder with the Evanston Symphony; Madama Butterfly with DuPage Opera; concerts with North Carolina Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Chicago Master Singers, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Mayne Stage in Chicago performance in Absurdopera by Gustavo Leone.
As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Richmond Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, Rochester Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, and North Carolina Symphony and sang the Bach B minor Mass in Costa Rica under the baton of Maestro John Nelson.
Ms. Areyzaga’s operatic roles have included Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro; title role, Madama Butterfly; Cunegonde, Candide; Adina, L’elisir d’amore; Despina, Così fan tutte; Zerlina, Don Giovanni; Pamina, Die Zauberflöte; Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi; both Musetta and Mimì, La bohème and Casilda in The Gondoliers.
Known as a foremost interpreter of vocal art song and chamber music, Ms. Areyzaga has been a repeat guest of the New York Festival of Song under the direction of Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Chicago Ensemble, as well as Chicago's Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, and the Tucson Desert Song Festival. She has collaborated with the Avalon String Quartet, the Cavatina Duo, and the Lincoln Trio, and has been selected to perform world premieres of many new works by American composers.
As a recorded artist, she has performed song cycles by Gwyneth Walker, The Sun Is Love (Proteus), Lita Grier's, Songs from Spoon River (Cedille) and The Small Hours, songs by William Ferris. She has sung numerous times in both live and programmed broadcasts on Chicago’s classical music radio station WFMT.
Chamber Music Society
“…Things brightened up after intermission. Andre Previn’s “Vocalise” was a patchwork of luscious bits performed by soprano Michelle Areyzaga, cellist David Finckel and pianist Alessio Bax. Three cabaret songs of William Bolcom returned Areyzaga and Bax to the stage. The soprano showed some charming acting ability and also perfectly placed into the hall notes from her highest range and whispers from her softest voice.”
— Joseph Dalton, Times Union
"Areyzaga's rendition of "Glitter and Be Gay" was easily the highlight of the set. Her sense of comic irony brought laughter as she pulled baubles from her bosom, and her spectacular coloratura singing shone brightly in this devilishly difficult number.
— Gene Harris, Richmond Times-Dispatch