Mercury Orchestra

Chelsea Basler, soprano


Grammy Award-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler continues to make her mark in an extensive array of operatic roles due to her unique combination of vocal appeal and artistry. Praised for her “luminous voice” with its “easy soaring range”, she has also been noted for her “wonderful acting” and ultimately deemed “simply superb.”

Ms. Basler enjoys a particularly strong relationship with Boston Lyric Opera, which she initially joined as an Emerging Artist during the 2013–2014 season. She began the 2016–2017 season with her critically acclaimed role debut as Micaëla in Boston Lyric Opera’s mounting of the Calixto Bieito production of Carmen. Her other roles with Boston Lyric Opera include Valencienne in The Merry Widow; Zerlina in Don Giovanni; Glasha in Katya Kabanova; Isolt the Fair in Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé (The Love Potion); Flora/Violetta cover in La traviata; Contessa Ceprano/Gilda cover in Rigoletto, Enrichetta/Elvira cover in I puritani; Margret in Lizzie Borden, a production which was reprised at the 2014 Tanglewood Festival; and Papagena/Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Opera News praised Ms. Basler’s portrayal of Isolt in Le vin herbé as “lovely, passionate, and clear.”

In the autumn of 2017, Ms. Basler will rejoin Boston Lyric Opera in their collaborative project with Music Theatre Group to present the world premiere of Mark Campbell and Julian Grant’s new opera The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, in which she will create the role of Margery Campbell.

In 2016, Ms. Basler appeared as Floyd’s Susannah with Pasadena Opera and Mozart’s Susanna in Opera Saratoga’s production of Le nozze di Figaro. In the former role, she has benefited from the mentorship of the role’s creator, the late Phyllis Curtin, and both the coaching and enthusiastic endorsement of Carlisle Floyd himself. During the spring of 2017 she joins Virginia Opera to cover Liù in Turandot, and during the spring of 2018 she reprises the title role of Susannah in her Nashville Opera debut.

Ms. Basler has fulfilled several prestigious young artist residencies, most recently joining Santa Fe Opera as a 2015 Apprentice Artist, covering Arminda in Mozart’s rarely performed La finta giardiniera and creating the role of Sara in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, a live recording of which was released by Pentatone and was nominated for a Grammy Award. As a 2013 Apprentice Artist with Opera Saratoga, she performed Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore. In 2012 and 2013, Ms. Basler was a young artist with Sarasota Opera, covering Gilda in Rigoletto and Liù in Turandot and appearing as Guardian of the Dawn in Daron Hagen’s Little Nemo in Slumberland and Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men. As a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera in 2012, Ms. Basler covered the role of Magda in La rondine.

An accomplished concert and recital performer, Ms. Basler has performed Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Clearlakes Chorale, Mozart’s Exsultate jubilate, Handel’s Messiah, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Atlantic Symphony, and has appeared in recital at the National Opera Center in New York City. During the 2016–2017 season, Ms. Basler appeared with the Atlantic Symphony for their Joyful Noise holiday concert, the Clearlakes Chorale for Puccini’s Messa di gloria, the MIT Symphony for Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, and Boston’s Masterworks Chorale, with whom she will perform both Haydn’s Little Organ Mass and Mozart’s Missa brevis in B-flat major. Looking ahead to the 2017–2018 season, Ms. Basler will début with the Glen Falls Symphony as soloist for a Bach cantata and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.

Ms. Basler’s talents have been recognized throughout the vocal competition circuit. In 2017 she won first place in the National Opera Association’s prestigious Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, as well as both Fourth Place and the Lorena Beasley Mangin Memorial Award in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Vocal Competition (Shreveport, LA). In 2016 Ms. Basler placed as a semi-finalist in the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Competition and second place winner in the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, under the auspices of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Ms. Basler has also earned the Flournoy Award from the Mary Jacobs Vocal Competition, Boston University’s Kahn Award, first place in the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition, and a grant from the Shoshana Foundation. Ms. Basler earned her Artist Certificate (Opera Institute) and Master of Music from Boston University and her Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory.


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