Described as an “eye-catching” singer with an “attractive, ample voice” (Beckmesser.com) and “superb dramatic instinct” (El País), Brazilian-American mezzo-soprano/alto Melissa Zgouridi, is quickly making a name for herself both in Europe and in her native USA. Most recently she was awarded 5th Prize as well as the Extraordinary Prize “Mercedes Viñas” at the 57th International Tenor Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona. She was a District Winner in the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the second place winner of the 2019-2020 American Prize in the "Women in Art Song & Oratorio" category, has been the recipient of the Young Talent Award at the Immling Festival's International Singing Competition, First Place in the Friends of Eastman Opera Vocal Competition, and the winner of a 2015-2016 Fulbright Grant.
Some of Melissa’s recent performance highlights include the Alto Solo in Messiah (Händel) with Scratch Muziekdagen Leiden in the Netherlands, performing as a Lehrbuben in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) conducted by Christian Thielemann and directed by Jens-Daniel Herzog at the 2019 Salzburg Easter Festival, and singing the role of Roßweiße in a concert version of Die Walküre (Wagner) with the Staatstheater Augsburg in Germany.
Melissa graduated with distinction from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria) in 2018 with a Master’s Degree in Lied and Oratorio performance, where she studied Lied with Thérèse Lindquist and voice with Michèle Crider. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York (USA), where she studied with Dr. Robert McIver. During her studies she sang several roles including Bradamante in Alcina (Händel) and Olga in Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) at the Universität Mozarteum, and Mère Jeanne in Dialogues des Carmélites (Poulenc), Amastre in Xerxes (Händel), and Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief (Menotti) with Eastman Opera Theater. She spent two summers with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, where she sang the role of Dame Quickly in Falstaff (Verdi) in 2013, and covered the role of Maddalena in Rigoletto (Verdi) and performed the role of Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe (G. Moore) in 2015. Melissa has participated in various training courses and masterclasses with Brigitte Fassbaender, Hedwig Fassbender, René Massis, Norbert Schmittberg, Yamina Maamar, Elisabeth Werres, and Graham Johnson. Melissa is based in Salzburg, Austria and studies voice with American mezzo-soprano, Katharine Goeldner.
A passionate oratorio and concert performer, Melissa has been heard as a soloist in Petite messe solennelle (Rossini), Messiah (Händel), Matthäus-Passion (Bach), Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” (Mahler), Symphony No. 3 (Mahler), Magnificat (Vivaldi), Paukenmessen (Haydn), Requiem (Mozart), and Mass in C Major "Piccolomini" (Mozart). At the 2017 St. Gellert Festival in Szeged, Hungary, she sang the alto solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
In September 2020, Melissa will be a featured Britten-Pears Young Artist at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), where she will work with Anne Sofie von Otter and Malcom Martineau. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa was scheduled be a featured Festival Artist with Opera Saratoga (USA) from May through July 2020, where she would have sung Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, performed the Alto Solo in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and covered the role of Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan.
Melissa will join the ensemble of Saarländisches Staatstheater in January 2021. Her upcoming roles include Siegrune in Die Walküre (Wagner), Mercédès in Carmen (Bizet) and the title role in the new opera, Marlène Baleine.
Updated: July 2020