Cynthia Wohlschlager, mezzo-soprano
Cynthia Wohlschlager, mezzo-soprano,is Associate Artistic Director and Director of the Young Artist Program for Nightingale Opera Theater. Cynthia is currently finishing her second year of D.M.A. work in Performance, Pedagogy, and Literature at James Madison University, where she works with the opera theater. This semester, she is music directing An Evening in Parisand Pirates of Penzancefor JMU. She has held appointments for Malone University as the vocal coordinator as well as being the founding artistic director of Malone Opera Theatre. In addition, Cynthia has taught on the faculties of Case Western Reserve University, The University of Akron, the summer festival Sessione Senese per la Musica et l'Arte in Siena, Italy, and for The Cleveland Institute of Music. Her research this past academic year included tracing Wagner's influence through French Composition during the Decade 1882-1892, Analysis of Vocal Formants, Effective Pedagogy in Opera Direction, and Hysteria, Character Perception, and Musical Treatment in Strauss's Elektra.
Performances have taken Cynthia to Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. A recipient of the O.D. Taliaferro Opera Award, Cynthia has additionally won the Max Berman Award for Outstanding Vocal Performance, the Tuesday Musical Club Competition, and the Dewey and Mary Gilley Memorial Award for Distinguished Opera Performance. She was a featured soloist at the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy for the Concert of the Midnight Hourand sang under the baton of Eduardo Müller in Graz. Role highlights include Secretary (The Consul), Ludmilla (Bartered Bride), Madame De Croissy (Dialogue of the Carmelites), Alma March (Little Women), Dritte Dame (Magic Flute), Angelica (Suor Angelica), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), and the Witch and Mother (Hansel and Gretel). A lover of new music, she performed the one woman surround sound concert story Rahabby MacDowell Fellow Jesse Ayers both in recording and for the CFAMC conference. Cynthia was a team member in 2016 for the Cleveland Art Song Festival and has had the opportunity to work in masterclass with Susan Graham, Elly Ameling, Mirella Freni, Martin Katz, Warren Jones, Peter Kazaras, Edward Crossley Mercer, Jason Paul Peterson, John Wustman, and Bodo Igez.
Highlights from Cynthia’s teaching studio include student performances at venues such as: Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, and Tanglewood; winning first place: Osaka International Music Competition (Japan), Schloss Mirabel Competition (Austria), Tuesday Musical Club Competition, Cleveland Pops Orchestra Competition, VOCI Competition, named finalist or semi-finalist: Classical Singer Regional Competition, Orpheus Competition, Irma Cooper Competition, and The American Prize.
Highlights from Cynthia’s work as a music and stage director include mounting productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Suor Angelica, The Medium, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Trial by Jury, andHMS Pinafore. Her new production of Beneath Suspicioncomposed by Jesse Ayers was a semi-finalist for the American Prize in performance. Other productions include Così fan tutteand Into the Woods where she works as the music director.As an orchestral conductor, she has conducted Amahl and the Night Visitorsas well as Italian works on concerts in Italy and Switzerland.