Biography

Melissa Parks_Blue

Praised for her “lush-voiced mezzo-soprano” by The New York Times and as “a fine singing actress” with “spot-on comedic timing” by Opera News, MELISSA PARKS has firmly established herself as one of her generations most sought-after singing actresses.

The 2009-2010 season proved especially noteworthy for Melissa, who began the season with her Italian debut as Mrs. Lovett in Bologna, Modena, Lugo and Piacenza in the Italian premiere of SWEENEY TODD and concluded the season performing the role of Mescalina in Ligeti’s LE GRANDE MACABRE in the critically acclaimed production with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Maestro Alan Gilbert.  Of her performance, The New York Post proclaimed that “as Mescalina, Melissa Parks combined a firm mezzo-soprano with the high-camp mugging one would expect in the role.”

Recent and upcoming performances include house debuts with Shreveport Opera and Pensacola Opera as Ruth in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, a return to Michigan Opera Theatre as First Maid in their critically acclaimed production of ELEKTRA, an appearance with the Ridgefield Symphony as mezzo soloist in Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY, Ruth in PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Amarillo Opera, and a return to Utah Opera as Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO.

MelissaParks_BenchPerformances of note include a return to the New York Philharmonic as the Forester’s Wife/Owl in THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN; Baba in THE MEDIUM with Michigan Opera Theatre; Dame Quickly in FALSTAFF with Utah Opera, Cleveland Opera and Boston Youth Symphony; Third Maid in ELEKTRA with Seattle Opera; Mrs. Peachum in THE BEGGAR’S OPERA under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel at his Castleton Festival; Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera, and Madison Opera; and both LA FILLE DU REGIMENT and AUFSTIEG UND FALL DER STADT MAHAGONNY with The Metropolitan Opera.

Melissa has previously performed the roles of La Marquise de Birkenfeld in LA FILLE DU REGIMENT with Opera Philadelphia and The New York City Opera; Zulma in L’ITALIANA IN ALGIERI with Seattle Opera and Anchorage Opera; Azucena in IL TROVATORE with Michigan Opera Theatre; Erda in DAS RHEINGOLD, Mamma McCourt in THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE, and Mary in DER FLIEGENDER HOLLÄNDER with New Orleans Opera; The Mother/Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL with Chautauqua Opera and Palm Beach Opera; and Ulrica in UN BALLO DI MASCHERA with Virginia Opera.

Well known for her Gilbert and Sullivan roles, Melissa has performed well over 150 performances each of Katisha in THE MIKADO, Ruth in PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and Little Buttercup in H.M.S. PINAFORE appearing with Opera Omaha, Nashville Opera, Utah Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Augusta Opera, Cleveland Opera, and Pittsburgh Public Theatre as well as touring the United States with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players.

Melissa has also enjoyed concertizing with symphonies across the United States as soloist in Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY with The Tucson Symphony, The Madison Symphony, and The Ridgefield Symphony;  Alto soloist in Handel’s MESSIAH with The El Paso Symphony and The Ft. Worth Youth Symphony; Alto 1 soloist in Mahler’s EIGHTH SYMPHONY with The Buffalo Philharmonic; and as the mezzo soloist in Verdi’s REQUIEM with  The Utah Symphony under the baton of Maestro Keith Lockhart.

As winner of the Fifth Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, Melissa had the distinct honor of performing the roles of Mistress Quickly in FALSTAFF and Alisa in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR on a Gala Concert with the acclaimed tenor.