Website-Gradient-5_edited.jpg
Melissa December Portraits (low-res)-3.jpg

 //

 

BIOGRAPHY

Hailed for her “enchantingly beautiful mezzo, strong characterization & [voice] full of colors” (Saarbrücker Zeitung), Melissa Zgouridi, is quickly making a name for herself both in Europe & in her native USA. In January 2021, the young Brazilian-American-Chinese singer began a half-year contract at the Saarländisches Staatstheater, where she performed the 3rd Weird Sister in Pascal Dusapin's "Macbeth Underworld" in Saarbrücken & at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. Melissa was subsequently invited to join the ensemble starting in 2021/2022. Her roles this season include Ruggiero in “Alcina”, Dryade in “Ariadne auf Naxos" & Mercédès in "Carmen". In addition to her productions in Saarbrücken, in October 2021, Melissa performed Berg’s “Sieben frühe Lieder” with ensembleKONTRASTE under the baton of Maestro Jac van Steen in Nürnberg.

 

Melissa is the recipient of numerous prizes & awards. She was most recently a finalist and the recipient of the “Eva Kleinitz Award” at the 2021 Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino (Jury Chairman: Dominique Meyer), a semifinalist in the Paris Opera Competition & was selected as a recipient of the 2021 Bayreuth Scholarship by the International Richard Wagner Association. Melissa was the winner of the fifth prize & the extraordinary prize “Mercedes Viñas” at the 57th International Tenor Viñas Competition at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, a District Winner of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the recipient of the second prize in both the “Lied & Oratorio” and “Opera” categories of the The American Prize Competition. Further accolades include the “Young Talent Award” at the Immling Festival’s International Singing Competition,  first prize in the Friends of Eastman Opera Vocal Competition & was the recipient of a 2015-2016 Fulbright Grant.

 

Prior to her Fest engagement in Saarbrücken, Melissa appeared in various concerts & projects throughout Europe. She was a featured soloist in Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” at the 2017 St. Gellert Festival in Hungary. In 2019, Melissa sang Roßweiße in a concert version of Wagner’s “Die Walküre”, conducted by Maestro Domonkos Héja, at the Staatstheater Augsburg in Germany. That same year, she performed as a Lehrbuben in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”, conducted by Christian Thielemann & directed by Jens-Daniel Herzog, at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In the Summer of 2020, Melissa was scheduled to make her role debut as Suzuki in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at Opera Saratoga (USA) & was selected to be a Britten-Pears Young Artist in the course with Anne-Sofie von Otter & Malcom Martineau at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) - both engagements were cancelled due to COVID-19.

 

A passionate oratorio & concert performer, Melissa has been heard as a soloist in Bach's "St. Matthew Passion", Vivaldi’s “Magnificat", Haydn’s “Scena di Berenice” & “Paukenmesse", Handel’s “Messiah”, Mozart’s "Coronation Mass", “Requiem" & "Mass in C Major ‘Piccolomini’”, Beethoven’s "Symphony No. 9”, Rossini’s "Petite messe solennelle” & Mahler’s "Symphony No. 2" & "Symphony No. 3” in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands & the United States.

 

Melissa graduated with distinction from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria) with a master’s degree in Lied & Oratorio performance & holds a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York (USA). She completed additional training & residencies with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center (USA), Exzellenz Labor Gesang with Hedwig Fassbender & René Massis (Germany), Eppaner Liedsommer with KS Brigitte Fassbaender (South Tyrol), the Canto Vocal Program (online) with Lucy Arner, Liora Maurer & Sharon Mohar & with Opera Saratoga in an online version of their 2020 Young Artist program.

 

In addition to singing, Melissa is the founder of her own small business. Melissa Zgouridi Studios is a creative studio with a focus on photography & web design services for musicians & artists.

 

Updated: December 2021