The purpose of this project is to provide a collection of transcriptions from the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. This project seeks to give a platform to all parts of the vocal performing arts to better understand the lived experiences and mentality of those professionals. In collecting stories from the COVID-19 pandemic Melody Moore, soprano, chatted with me about her ongoing experience from being in New York City to where she is now. Her candor is intermixed with a delightful wit that always invites for a lively discussion.
Melody Moore, soprano
Interviewed May 30, 2020
TB: So first off, thank you for chatting with me. I always like to start off these interviews on a positive note. So, what’s the best thing that’s happened to you in the last week?
MM: Oh, I love that. Sometimes my wife and I do a thing called ‘the rose and the thorn,’ what is the rose of the day and what is the thorn of the day? Helps to just get it off our chest, doesn’t it? I think the best thing that happened this week is that it’s my sister-in-law’s birthday and we had her over. We’ve been quarantining together because we live within a mile of each other and so we just decided, together we will do this. I made some food for her that she really enjoys. But to be with her—to laugh about life and her son and all the crazy stuff he’s getting up to—was just really alleviating a lot of pressure from the week. It was nice and I really enjoyed it.
TB: That’s so great! For those who aren’t familiar with your career, would you mind telling me a little bit about your background and a little bit about what you were up to pre-COVID-19?
MM: My career kind of took a turn for the better, and kind of fast after the Merola Summer program and the Adler two-year program that I did at San Francisco Opera, which are both rather well-known opera programs. I got to meet so many people and we did so many auditions all the time. Even if it wasn’t an audition on paper, what you were doing was meeting people all the time. So, because of that, it just kind of took off and I was able to begin the career that I didn’t know was possible. Of course, every artist has those years that are leaner than others, but mostly I was able to make it singing. (Keep us in groceries.)
Then suddenly, of course, right before this [the pandemic], I had gotten hired at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in my career. I’m going to be 49 on my birthday, so it’s a long time I’ve waited to get there. I was very excited about it and had gotten to go on stage once as a cover. (The lady I was covering was not feeling quite as well that day and I went ahead and got into costume and everything.)
So actually, I was doing an audition the day that this [the pandemic] happened, the day they closed it down. Broadway was first and then they closed all the other theaters. I had just finished an audition. I had sung and really it was one of the best auditions I’ve ever done. I felt very free and in my own self. I felt powerful. I literally walked out, took my heels off and put my Ugg boots on; then one of the servicers at my management team—who was there running the audition and making sure that everybody got in on time—he said, “I think there’s some news that’s coming your way and I think the Met’s going to shut down.”
I just really couldn’t believe it. I had seen the lines in the grocery stores; and had seen people behaving in certain ways; and of course, heard the news. But we couldn’t have known how fast things were just going to stop. I didn’t cry yet... I just went and packed my bags, changed my flight and left that night. I left New York within four hours of finding out that things were shutting. I didn’t want to leave but I thought, “Do not belabor this. It’s not going to be emotionally good. Do what you have to do. Get home.” [Sigh] It’s crazy.
TB: So, that takes me up to when you first found out about this. Obviously there are some other things that logistically occur with contracts like this. Did you have housing that you were paying for?
MM: I did, I had been there basically a full month. I had been back and forth from Houston because I had another contract there as well. So, for just a short time I was bouncing between those two cities, but I had secured homes [in both places]. This can happen sometimes on contracts [for housing], one of the places I was staying was only really available for one month. So, sometimes you have to move in between. I had paid for one full month and actually just moved into this other apartment that I had secured months ahead of time, just to make sure there was something available. Then I had to call them and say, “I don’t know what can be done and I know that you’re not under any obligation to do so, but I have to leave and I wonder if you can help me?” Now, I got lucky that they were kind enough to say, “What about 50% of what you didn’t use?” But as far as the other month that I was there, which I paid dearly for (because of course, it’s New York City) that was just gone. There wasn’t a reimbursement for that. I don’t know what to say about that. It was just such loss, all of a sudden, so quickly—both past loss and future loss. It’s as if the loss was a quasar. The light exploded out horizontally and it was collateral.
TB: That’s a very interesting way of putting it. Because when we’re talking about future loss, you were supposed to be heading into, is it the Vaughn Williams?
MM: Well, directly after that there was a Salome at Bard College. Then after that was a short Don Giovanni in Naples, Florida. There were some other things, you know, hoppitty-skippitty between the Metropolitan Opera and the Vaughn Williams (which was going to be a very nice gig). That piece is incredible. I was very excited to do it. Cincinnati Opera was supposed to be about now. And I still have not heard from Seattle Opera, I think they’re trying their best to make this season happen. [As of June 4th, Seattle Opera cancelled their first show of the season.] But I believe we’re going to get down to the wire. And my prediction as a person—not because I’ve got any foundational information from any source or authority—is that it can’t happen. I don’t know, and I have had to plan for the worst.
But yeah, I lost three quarters of my income on March 13. So did everybody else. And I can’t claim anything special here, except that the feeling of this kind of loss is hyper-special. No one has ever, in our history, felt anything like this. It’s the great leveler. It has just felled us. And the arts especially, because I believe we’ll be one of the last to return. There are just such large congregations that are necessary to open the doors of an opera house: you need that overhead being taken care of by ticket sales. And there’s just no way to get enough people safely into that arena—much less me spitting all over somebody while I’m singing.
TB: So could you dive into a little bit more about how this is affecting you financially? Because I think that in the brief time that we’ve been speaking, it’s safe to say you’re a practical person. So, you’re making it work. But could you talk a little bit about the financial health aspect?
MM: Yes, to start it all off, I got lucky that I had been called around Christmas time of last year (in fact, on Christmas Day). Houston Grand Opera had lost their Amneris: there was a health issue and they suddenly had to back out. Patrick Summers called me and I said, “Well, I don’t know the role of Amneris.” Because first of all, it’s typically a mezzo role, but I haven’t done Aida at all. So, I signed on and learned it as fast as I could. I learned it in nine days and ended up performing it. (I know, it’s crazy.) It’s between that and the Metropolitan Opera that I was able to save just a bit. That and I am practical. Because we have overhead and we have pre-requisite expenses before we ever begin work on a contract or get paid for that contract. Those are things like, settling up the housing and any kind of upkeep that you need before your first production date, which is typically a month or a month and a half before you would ever get a paycheck. So, I’ve had to be practical in some ways. And I think a lot of singers are, in terms of having to front money that has not been necessarily reimbursed.
So, because I’m practical—and because that gig that Houston provided for me was extra—it turned out to be that that’s what I used basically March through May to get ourselves in order and have a little something to bank on (literally for a couple of months). But I knew that it was dwindling. There was no way to make that stretch further than a couple of months really. A lot of the people I talk to that are very, very practical. A couple of friends of mine that have families that they’re raising while being singers (talk about practicality), also said, “As smart as we’ve been, what are we going to do?” So people started scrambling to think of what could they teach? Could they teach remotely? Could they offer something in terms of their musical services to the world? And if so, could they monetize it?
I could very quickly start to see the end of those funds (it’s not Elijah’s oil, you know). So, I started applying for a lot of things and unemployment was one of them; grants were another. It’s been ten weeks. I’ve still not heard from the California unemployment office at all. Not to say you didn’t qualify, nothing. Not even, “We got your application.” And I sent it in twice. I sent it once by snail-mail and once by fax to try to ensure that somebody would get it with a note attached saying, “Please excuse if this is a duplicate.” But I still haven’t heard anything. And until you hear from an unemployment office, you can’t apply for pandemic unemployment. So here we sit.
I ended up looking for work and I’ve been lucky to get a job. I work from home now and am working for a mortgage company. It is the oddest thing to say, but mortgage and banking are actually doing quite well right now. Because they’re having to deal with how to mitigate loss for every single customer. That means you’re on the phone constantly. And that means that you’ve got to help these people stay in their homes and figure out how to potentially reduce their monthly payments, because no one can do it. In my company alone, we have over 100,000 people defaulting on loans and we are having to figure out how to modify their agreements.
TB: What would you say is the hardest lesson that you’ve learned so far in this situation?
MM: There have been a few... Tears come at one of them, and I think it may be the first time I’ve really cried about it. But I think there’s something about talking to another person and having somebody help hold what you’re feeling that causes tears to flow. I think one of the hardest things I’ve learned is just how much I love what I do. And how much I miss it. I don’t think I knew it. I think I had gotten very used to it.
There are things that any singer would tell you, if they’re honest. It’s freaking hard in this world we live in and in the world of a singer and a professional musician. It’s hard. It’s hard to be away from home. It’s hard to keep all those irons in the fire benefiting you financially. Because it’s hard to organize a life on the road, which is basically keeping two homes going at the same time. Any relationships that you want to keep going, that’s hard as well. And there were things throughout my 13 years (hopefully, I get to say 14 soon) of being a professional that I didn’t enjoy. And some of the business side of it is hard. But I miss it.
I miss the expression of it [music and singing], because I did not understand until I lost it how much expression there was in it. How much of myself I got to speak with. How down to my toes I go to. When you’re comparing and contrasting figures on a computer about someone’s loan there isn’t a ton of expression in that, right? I have found ways in which my flow is sort of creative... I have been told by my supervisors that I have a very creative mind toward how I do this job. [Laughter] And I am sure that’s quite true. I’m sure that I bring strengths to it from all of what I have learned in music. My ability to memorize is huge. My ability to categorize is huge. My ability to catch a mistake is huge. Because that’s what we do, minute by minute. We look at a score and we’re either told, “Wait a minute, that pitch is a little off” or “I think you’re singing a D sharp instead of a D.” So we’re constantly honing as musicians, aren’t we?
We’re just honing and honing and honing. I’m used to catching those things: either mistakes that I’ve made or errata in a score, discrepancies between distributors of that score. We do that a lot. So, I’m sure there are some things I’ve learned that have helped me in this work. But I’d say one of the hardest things so far is to realize that I was actually rather in love with what I do.
TB: So, can I ask, are you still singing?
MM: I haven’t, no. And I’ll cry about that too. I haven’t sung. When this happened, I felt stifled. I felt silenced. I felt quiet and I haven’t been able to find a reason for the expression yet. I feel afraid to sing sometimes. Because I’m afraid to want it. I’m afraid to want to sing. Because, if I want to, where am I going to go? There is not a place for me to do it. Not in the way that I do it. Not in the way that we do it. As opera singers, it is big and unruly and loud and broad. And it’s meant to evoke so many things in other people. That collaboration is missing. The way that what I do affects another person is just not there right now. I can do a little ditty on a Zoom call or I can do a little ditty and record it. It’s not the same for me.
I realized that too, that there was something about the throng—the tsunami of people affected—that really melts my butter. And I didn’t know how much I would miss that. There’s something about it, that I... It’s almost like, if it’s not that, I don’t want it. I haven’t really been singing...
Now, I will tell you that these last four days, I was sent my first edits of an album that I recorded in Romania last year. It’s Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. And, oh! I suddenly felt maybe for the first time the desire to do that again. That listening to myself (which isn’t always a positive thing or a pleasant thing for me), I could hear that expression that I miss. I could hear myself turning a phrase and really feeling it and connecting with that character. And it made me want to sing. I was on a break from work and got these edits. I turned it on and I said, “Nicole [Melody’s wife], listen to this! I can’t believe we did this. This seems like another world. How did we do this?”
There’s a track where the men say “Hello, Minnie,” and they bring her into the drama and introduce Minnie to the audience. Then she sings about, “What are you boys doing here? I thought it was time for our Bible lesson. Sit down you unruly pack of wolves.” Basically spanking them by saying sit down and behave. And I found myself singing it. I just opened it up, here in the apartment, out of nowhere. And it surprised me. I have not really sung anything for two months. All of a sudden I was singing... And I couldn’t stop.
So the rest of my work [day] I just kept it running. And I thought, “Don’t think of it critically, just listen to it. Listen to what you did. Just enjoy it and let it wash over you. You did that.” Through tears, I sang a little bit. And I really enjoyed it. I think that was a seal that broke on my quiet, on my pain of COVID-19, and of what that’s done to us. I believe I will continue to sing.
TB: How do you think that this pandemic is going to change our musical landscape?
MM: In a way I wish I were a soothsayer. But when you do see your future, you lose freewill over how to prepare yourself for that future. All of a sudden the knowing takes away the journey. So, I have to speculate without any real understanding. Because I don’t think we understand the virus. As far as I can tell, this year is out. As far as I can tell, even through maybe December of this year, I can’t imagine people feeling comfortable squeezing elbows together [in a theater]. And I don’t blame them.
As for into the future: what I believe will happen are concerts, where people could gather maybe outside, might come back. Because there would be the fresh air aspect, so something like the Hollywood Bowl maybe could happen. But if you think about numbers, you’re reducing those numbers by three quarters or so, because you’ve got to put space in between each person, at least for a while. So, I don’t know if companies can afford to open their doors if they don’t have people sitting in the seats or if they don’t have enough people sitting in those seats. Even willing people have to sit apart from each other. So, I don’t know how that looks. But it’s kind of interesting to me.
I know that LA Opera’s young artists program has really kept going during all of this by providing concerts between the audience—who would dial in, watch, and maybe donate—and a person doing more of a recital. So, that would be one pianist and one singer, who can stay six feet apart. The pianist could, if necessary, [wear a] mask, although that keeps them from being able to see their hands as well. But it has been working for people to do little single concerts and maybe ask for donations for that.
But as far as the huge art of opera, symphony, and orchestral concerts, I don’t even know how to begin to think about that working in the foreseeable future. We would have to have such security in the fact that we weren’t spreading something, especially to those who never got it the first round (if there is going to be a second round of this virus affecting people who never got it the first time). They have called the virus a clumsy virus and maybe even a dumb one, because it doesn’t grow and change. It seems to be becoming weaker, instead of adapting to what we’re doing. It’s just kind of giving up, putting its little shoulders up and dying. So, I don’t know what that means for September, October, or November, [or] during winter, when people stay in more.
It’s so hard to see the future of what it is we’ve done. We are face-to-face often. I can’t imagine that. I can’t imagine interacting with another person and in telling them with vehemence how I feel as the droplet spray is all over the place. I can’t imagine the props. They were talking about that, what about props in opera? What about how many hands have touched it? How do we clean that?
TB: Or if you’re thinking about it, as you’re standing on stage and projecting over the orchestra, how does the orchestra feel about that?
MM: How does the orchestra feel about that? And if we were all on the same level, how does the front row feel about that? Just by the act of projection, are you losing the first quarter of your audience right off the bat? It is so hard to understand what’s going to happen. I know this [though], if I were able to do it tomorrow safely, I would run and jump toward it because I miss it that much. I do have some things scheduled for 2021. There’s a concert in Poland and we were going to record Un Ballo in Maschera in Monte Carlo, actually. The conductor of this potential gig says that he still wants to see it happen. And there’s a still a part of me that’s like, “Well, okay, recording... You could create distance, I’m at a mic.” Maybe record each of us individually and when we were singing together, spread us out. We could maybe do that because the audience isn’t actually involved. I could see that happening still and I’m getting a little excited about that. In fact, I’m starting to look at the score and understand it more, because I want to have something to look forward to.
TB: What advice would you give to the next generation, the young singers, as they’re going through this experience?
MM: I’ve been thinking a lot about that because to have a future we must have people willing to be part of that future. My advice would be to think together and gather together. And to let your voice be heard about how payment structure works. As I have spoken about in this interview already, up until this point, the way that it works for us is that we funded ourselves long before we ever got to the contract. I think that the way this goes forward—for singers to be more secure in the work that they do—is that we’re going to have to see a pay structure change.
I would say to younger singers, work together to get that nailed down for yourselves and to get that agreed upon. It may look something like, upon signing this contract (to say that I will work for X, Y, Z), I get a portion of the pay for my housing or for my groceries. The contract that you sign would be meted out in a more even manner, so that you’re not waiting and waiting and waiting (and potentially running up against one of these force majeure clauses). It didn’t work for us. And a lot of us lost everything and have families that we’re trying to support on that.
So for the future (art aside, because that’s another whole topic), gather your forces and work together toward an understanding of what it is an artist puts out financially before they ever get to the city. And see if there isn’t a way to make that a little bit more livable. Because there have to be some protections in place for the future of opera. There have to be some protections in place for those singers to feel that there’s been remuneration for the work that they have already done to get there. The coaching they’ve already paid for, the amount that they’ve already put out, it just can’t be a wash for them. It isn’t fair. That’s where I would start.
The singing, if you’ve got a good teacher, then just keep yourself prepared. Be ready to go when we do open. I think that those kids are going to be ready for that. They’re hoping for it, they want it. But I think what needs to be changed is the structure of how we are cared for financially. And what kind of priority is given to that singer who hasn’t even shown up yet. There’s a respect level that has to change in the world of opera towards the singer. So, the only way that’s going to happen is for these young people to actually demand it; to show up ready for the change; and to help these companies understand how to help them.
TB: How is this pandemic shaping your next five years’ goals?
MM: I know, and I have always known (I’m grateful for that [having known]), that I will make it. Me, myself, Melody Moore, will make it through this pandemic. I don’t know what exactly that looks like. Do I become one of the best quality analysts and auditors at PennyMac Mortgage Company? Maybe. So, the only way to move forward—instead of looking at what you’ve lost and how you’re going to get it back—is to be your best person in that day and to put your best foot forward towards your future as you wish it to be.
So, I have to prepare for the inevitable. In my mind, I also have to prepare for the inevitable positivity of getting my life back. I can’t just prepare for the inevitable loss of what I’ve known; that is preparing for a devastating future. So, there’s part of me that has to look forward and say, “When we come back, what shape am I in?” So, that helps me to get out of my funk, in a way. This two month break that I’ve taken, I’ve done that before, that’s called summer. I did that during school and had a little bit too much fun (and not practiced the way that I should).
But I believe that the way that it shapes my next five years is that I prepare for a really fabulous life. One of the things I’ve done is get this job [with the mortgage company]. One of the other things I’ve done, is to sign up for school. I am going back to school in an area that I’ve been passionate about for a very very long time, which is wine making. I am actually a certified sommelier and I did that while I was singing. It was just something I did for myself. It was something I was interested in and I went and got an education for two years in school. But now I am going back to it. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think I’ll sing again. It means that I want to look forward to something. And it means that I don’t want to sit and worry about what may happen that is outside of my control. What is in my control is the education of myself and my forward momentum. That’s up to me. So, for now, what I’m doing is working a job, making sure that we can stay in our lovely apartment and live our lives the way that we wanted to.
We moved to Los Angeles to be close to family. We moved here to have summer longer. And I want to enjoy that. So, I’m going to work very hard at a very low paying, entry-level job and that’s who I am for right now. But what I’m also going to do is educate myself in the wine industry and enjoy that. Enjoy this time of learning, which I don’t always get. The third thing I am going to do to ensure the next five years, is practice a little more often. Open up those pipes again and see how that feels and allow there to be space for the joy of music and of making it. That is just about the best I can do while not knowing what’s on the horizon and what we’re able to open and not open.
So, next five years, who’s even to say? I can see music again. I can see it happening. I can see people going to see an opera again. It may not happen this [year] or even half of next year, so I just feel I have to put my nose to the grindstone and do my daily work toward making sure I’m ready when it does open. Little things that make the big things work.
TB: So, as we are closing up here, before I ask you my last question, is there anything else that you would like to add on to our conversation that you feel we haven’t chatted about?
MM: No, I feel that we’ve talked in depth about this experience. We’ve talked about fears, hopes, finances, and scary stuff. I think there’s been a gift in all of this, of the understanding of the minutiae of life. That when it comes down to it, it is the little stuff that really, really matters. I’m home. We are together. We are safe. And we are making it work. In that way, we are lions in this life. In fact, the strength that we are showing in this pandemic is what’s going to make us come back. But it feels sometimes like the slowest cog in a wheel of a machine that is so much bigger than us that we can’t see.
TB: So, what is your video binge recommendation for the pandemic?
MM: I’m not a big TV person, but I have found a couple of things. If you’re so inclined, there’s a show that came out of drag culture called We’re Here. While it is not produced by RuPaul, it has some of the drag queens that we’ve become more familiar with over the years in it. The guys that put this show together, which I find so brilliant, wondered what would happen if some character as big as some of these drag queens are, entered a small town? What would happen? Are they accepted? Are they talked to? Do people change their minds? Is there an impact in sharing what would normally not be shared? Something has come out of this show that’s much bigger than drag queens, or small town mentality, or politics. It has really become a balm for me. There are only four or five of the shows but I really recommend it. If you want to see some drag queens go bust up small town mentality (but still be kind and find things within people themselves that they didn’t know was there), it’s a surprising little show.
The other thing we found was a British show. I don’t know if people have been watching The Great British Baking Show for quite some time, but there’s another one akin to it called The Big Flower Fight. There are these topiaries that people are making that are something like 8-10 feet tall. Again, it’s not about the flowers, it’s about the people. There’s a father-son duo on there that are working through their issues and become [more] trusting of each other. It’s absolutely incredible. We’ve been beasting it like, “One more show! Just one more! Wait, it’s midnight... one more!” We’ve really enjoyed it.
Also, I’m a really big fan of Westworld, a dystopian series. But right now, I’ve not been able to handle that dark color. But I’m bent toward dystopia because there’s only one way to come out of it and usually, that is people gathering together, working together—and there being a evolution. So, I love the ending of a dystopia, right? Because it turns into something like a utopia.
Melody Moore, soprano
Bradley Moore, piano
Gordon Getty, composer
3 Welsh Songs: No. 3, All Through the Night
Melody Moore, soprano
Bradley Moore, piano
Samuel Barber, composer Hermit Songs, Op. 29: No. 8, The Monk and His Cat
About Melody Moore
Soprano Melody Moore is enjoying a thriving career on the world’s leading stages, prompting Opera News to label her “a revelation,” and of her recent sold-out appearance at Carnegie Hall to rave, “As I left the auditorium, I could only think: more of Moore, please.” The current season marks the release of her first solo album entitled An American Song Album with pianist Bradley Moore on Pentatone Records.
In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Moore will make two notable role debuts: her debut as Amneris in a new production of Aida at the Houston Grand Opera, and following, her role and house debut as the Foreign Princess in Rusalka at Cincinnati Opera. Additionally, Ms. Moore will sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Opera Naples, and will conclude her season as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at Seattle Opera. Concert highlights include her debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Das klagende Lied under the baton of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the title role in Strauss’ Salome at Bard College, and a solo recital and masterclass at Lawrence University. In the summer, she sings Vaughan Williams’ masterful Sea Symphony with the Oregon Symphony, led by Carlos Kalmar.
In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Moore returned to Houston Grand Opera to reprise the roles of Senta in the season opening production of Die fliegende Holländer led by Music Director Patrick Summers, and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in a new production by Kasper Holten, and returned to Los Angeles Opera for a role debut as Gertrude in Hänsel and Gretel under the baton of Music Director James Conlon. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Dresdner Philharmonie in the roles of Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, both of which were recorded for commercial release by Pentatone Records. Ms. Moore also sang Senta with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Edo de Waart, and debuted with the Grant Park Music Festival for Delius’ A Mass of Life at the Grant Park Music Festival, and sang the title role in Salome in Daegu, South Korea. Other recording projects included Minnie in La Fanciulla del West in Cluj, Romania, and the title role in Madama Butterfly in Lisbon, both recorded for commercial release by Pentatone Records.
In the 2017-2018 season, Moore made three major role debuts: Elisabetta in Don Carlo at Washington National Opera; the title role in Salome at Florida Grand Opera; and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theater, as well as singing her signature roles of Tosca in a return to Opéra de Montréal and for her house debut with Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, and Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer in a new production by Tomer Zvulun at Atlanta Opera. Her portrayal of Desdemona in a full recording of Verdi’s Otello was released by Pentatone Records.
Recent career highlights include a house and role debut at Seattle Opera in the title role of Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová; appearances with San Francisco Opera in the title role of Tosca, Susan Rescorla in Heart of a Soldier, Mimì in La bohème, and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro; Houston Grand Opera as Julie in Show Boat, Marta in the American premiere of Weinberg’s The Passenger, the title role in Carmen, Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Washington National Opera as the title role of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Phillip Glass’ Appomatox, and in Francesca Zambello’s highly acclaimed production of the Wagner’s full Ring cycle; Los Angeles Opera as Tosca, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and in productions of Der Zwerg and Der Zerbrochene Krug; Opéra de Montréal as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly; Glimmerglass Festival as Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth and Senta in Der fliegende Holländer; Lincoln Center Festival in The Passenger; English National Opera as Mimi and as Marguerite in Faust; New York City Opera as Rita Clayton in the New York premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and as Regine St. Laurent in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna; and Austin Lyric Opera as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer. Additional performances include the title roles of Manon Lescaut at New Orleans Opera, Tosca with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Opéra de Bordeaux; and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Atlanta Opera and Opera Colorado.
On the concert stage, Ms. Moore has appeared with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for Bruckner’s Te Deum led by Music Director Donald Runnicles; Bard SummerScape Festival as the title role in Turandot; Bavarian Radio Symphony in performances and recording of excerpts of Gordon Getty’s opera, Plump Jack, conducted by Ulf Shirmer and with the New Century Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. She has joined Rufus Wainwright for gala concerts at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, and has sung Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Madison Symphony and at Festival of the Arts Boca. Her solo recital performances have included a sold-out debut recital at Carnegie Hall and the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, as well a program featuring suppressed music of the Holocaust presented under the auspices of the Atlanta Opera.
A graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Melody Moore is a former Adler Fellow of San Francisco Opera and a participant of the Merola program.