Praised for her “radiant and all-encompassing soprano” (Chicago Tribune), Michelle Areyzaga performs a diverse range of orchestral, oratorio, opera, and chamber repertoire. As a “consummate vocal actress” (Fanfare), she is held in high regard throughout the United States and abroad for her “appealing, expressive soprano” (New York Times).
Michelle has appeared as soloist with orchestras and festivals across the country including the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Colorado Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Flint Symphony, Fort Wayne Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Rochester Symphony; the Ravinia, Oregon Bach, Blossom, and Grant Park music festivals.
Abroad, Ms. Areyzaga has performed with the Orquesta Sinfónica de México, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, and Uruguay’s Orquesta Sinfónica del Sodre. She sang in Costa Rica’s first performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass with the National Symphony Orchestra under conductor John Nelson. She appeared as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor at England’s York Minster Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Church in Oxford. At Paris’s L’église de la Madeleine, she was soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the orchestra of London’s Royal Academy of Music and the St. Charles Singers.
Michelle has sung leading roles for New York City Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Birmingham, and other regional companies. Some of her favorite roles include Micaela (Carmen), Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Musetta (La Bohème), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Cunegonde (Candide). Her staged portrayals have consistently garnered high praise such as “sensational” for her performances of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (The Chicago Reader) and “stunning” as Bubikopf in Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Opera Magazine, London).
Highly respected for her work as an avid chamber musician and recitalist, Michelle has been a repeat guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Festival of Song, the Avalon String Quartet, The Lincoln Trio, and has been a member of the Chicago Ensemble since the beginning of her career.
Renowned for her artistry with new music and contemporary composers, Ms. Areyzaga has been honored to perform and record multiple world-premieres for composers Gwyneth Walker, Lita Grier, Stacy Garrop, Fabio Luisi, and Gustavo Leone. Her most recent art song album, Were I With Thee, features all contemporary American art songs with texts by women, including world-premiere recordings of works by Wayland Rogers and Gwyneth Walker. Artsong Update praised Were I With Thee as “one of the finest art song CDs ever… a ground-breaking art song CD of twenty-first century sensibility.”
As a lifelong champion of Leonard Bernstein’s music, Michelle toured Bernstein on Broadway for six years together with Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie. Ms. Areyzaga was named Musical Ambassador of the Ravinia Festival’s Bernstein at 100 Centennial Celebration.
Ms. Areyzaga is artist faculty at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Loyola University Chicago. Michelle is passionate about guiding and inspiring her private voice students through her knowledge of vocal literature, technique, and her training as a life coach.