A Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon is a former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. She made her critically acclaimed debut with Los Angeles Opera in Roberto Devereux (Sara) under Eun Sun Kim and alongside bel canto veterans Ramon Vargas and Angela Meade.
This season, Dixon makes debuts with Amarillo Opera in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina), embarks on a duet recital tour with her husband, tenor Carlos Santelli, and participates in the final workshop of Heggie’s new opera, Intelligence. Future engagements include the world premiere production of Intelligence at Houston Grand Opera.
Last season, she made debuts at Opera Louisiane in the title role of Bolcom’s Lucrezia, Hawaii Opera Theatre in The Tragedy of Carmen (Carmen), Festival Opera in Norma (Adalgisa) and Tel Aviv Summer Opera in Carmen (title role), returned to the Ravinia Festival for La clemenza di Tito (Annio), conducted by James Conlon, and San Francisco Opera for a Schwabacher Debut Recital.
Ashley made her San Francisco Opera mainstage debut in the world premiere of Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life (Angel First Class). During her two-year tenure as an Adler Fellow, she was seen in Carmen (Mércèdes), Rusalka (Third Wood Sprite), Manon Lescaut (Italian Singer) and Hansel and Gretel (Sandman). In “The Future Is Now,” the end-of-season concert featuring the Adler Fellows, she performed a duet from Massenet’s Cendrillon and Dopo notte from Handel’s Ariodante. Dixon continued to perform amid the pandemic, joining the Atlanta Opera for her house and role debut as Carmen, was a soloist in San Francisco Opera’s holiday gala alongside Michael Fabiano and Sondra Radvanovsky, appeared as a featured guest artist with Opera San José and joined West Edge Opera for Elizabeth Cree (Doris).
Dixon has cultivated a passion for French repertoire ranging from Baroque to Berlioz, with roles including Gluck’s Orphée, Cendrillon, Marguerite (La damnation de Faust) and Carmen. Additional roles in her arsenal include the title roles of Ariodante and Giulio Cesare and Angelina in La cenerentola.
As a two-year participant in the Merola Opera Program, she was seen in Gianni Schicchi (La Ciesca), Menotti’s The Medium (Mrs. Nolan), Walton’s The Bear (Popova) and ended her summer season on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House, singing an aria from Cendrillon as part of the Merola Grand Finale concert.
She made debuts with Detroit Opera (formerly Michigan Opera Theatre) in Copland’s The Tender Land (Mrs. Splinters) and at the Ravinia Festival in Ravel’s Shéhérazade. She workshopped Laura Kaminsky’s Hometown to the World: Postville (Linda Larsen) and participated in San Francisco Opera’s “Opera for all Voices.” At Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, she was the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, performed Schubert’s Ständchen with the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club and sang the title role in a concert version of Dido and Aeneas.
Dixon earned her bachelor of music degree at Louisiana State University and master of music at University of Michigan, where she was seen in Handel’s Giulio Cesare (title role) and Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Sister Helen Prejean).
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