Melanie Ashkar
(She/Her) Lebanese-American mezzo-soprano Melanie Ashkar is known for the "rich texture" of her voice and her "delightfully expressive" stage presence.
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Melanie Ashkar

Lebanese-American mezzo-soprano Melanie Ashkar is known for the “rich texture” of her voice and her “delightfully expressive” stage presence. This season, she makes role and company debuts with Opera Western Reserve as Mercédès in Carmen, with Winter Opera Saint Louis as Adah in Naughty Marietta, with L'Opera Comique de Washington as Metella in La Vie Parisienne, with the Arlington Chorale as the mezzo-soprano soloist in a world premiere oratorio, and with the Canton Symphony Orchestra in a program of Gustav and Alma Mahler songs. She also returns to New York City Opera as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette and to the Friday Morning Music Club in a recital of art song. Last season, she made her company debut with Opera Southwest as Catherine in Le Loup-garou, with Peabody Opera Theatre as Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon, and the Oratorio Society of Virginia as the Alto Soloist in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle. She also returned to Bel Cantanti Opera as Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and to OperaDelaware and Baltimore Concert Opera as Flora in La Traviata, a role she also covered at Virginia Opera. In the season prior, Melanie debuted with Pacific Opera Project as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel and with Skylark Opera Theatre as Olga in Eugene Onegin. She also covered Mlle Dangeville in Baltimore Concert Opera’s Adriana Lecouvreur and Mallika in Washington Concert Opera’s Lakmé. In addition to her operatic engagements, Melanie presented recitals with the Montpelier Arts Center as a winner of their 2021 Virtual Classical Recital Competition and with Sparrow Live as a Resident Artist. Prior to the pandemic, Melanie spent two years as a Resident Artist at Utah Opera, where she appeared as Clotilde (Norma), Second Lady (The Magic Flute), The Fox (The Little Prince), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), and Ida (Die Fledermaus). She was also featured with the Utah Symphony as a soloist in Handel's Messiah and Bernstein's Candide. Melanie spent two summers as a Bonfils-Stanton Apprentice Artist at Central City Opera, where she performed the roles of Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte) and La Madre (Madama Butterfly). Melanie has been recognized by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Opera Piccola, the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges Grant Awards, and the Gerda Lissner Foundation. A Washington, DC native, she holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Georgetown University, and Mannes College, The New School. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

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