In the 2019-2020 season, pianist Madeline Slettedahl joins the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s music staff for its season-opening production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. In previous seasons at Lyric, Madeline worked on both Siegfried and The Pearl Fishers, also conducted by Davis. 2019 includes two intensives with the Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, studying both repetiteur work and conducting with Jonathan Papp and Richard Bonynge. Madeline has also been selected as a 2019 Britten-Pears Young Artist, to study both opera and art song at Snape Maltings in the UK. Other repetiteur work includes productions of Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief (Grant Park Music Festival), Cosí fan Tutte (ROC), the 2017 world premiere workshop of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A House Without a Christmas Tree (Houston Grand Opera), and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Music Academy of the West).
Photo by Simon Pauly
This season marks Madeline’s third year as the ensemble pianist for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Center. In this position, Madeline works closely with singers—coaching standard repertoire and participating in masterclasses with visiting artists, most recently Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, and Marco Armiliato. Madeline performs in recital regularly, most recently at the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s Lieder Lounge and the Cincinnati Song Initiative Recital series. She has also performed on several occasions with established alumni of the Ryan Center, including J’Nai Bridges, Quinn Kelsey, David Portillo, and Nicole Cabell.
An enthusiastic and accomplished collaborative pianist, Madeline is an alumna of both SongStudio and The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall, where she will return to perform with mezzo-soprano, Kayleigh Decker, as part of Carnegie Hall Citywide Series in the 19-20 season. She was a Music Academy of the West fellow in 2016, where she won First Prize in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. She and her fellow winner, baritone Ben Lowe, subsequently undertook a recital tour that included sold-out performances in Santa Barbara and New York City. As a strong advocate for new music she has debuted a number of commissions including the world premieres of Willows for solo piano by composer-conductor Roger Briggs and My Life a Lyric Cry by Greek-Canadian composer Constantine Caravassilis. In January, she had the opportunity to collaborate with composer Nico Muhly on his song-cycle Strange Productions, which she performed at Carnegie Hall’s SongStudio.
Madeline holds a Master of Music degree from Rice University where she was the recipient of the Andre Watts Scholarship and the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program Olshan Foundation Fellowship Award. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University where she was awarded first prize in the WWU Concerto Competition and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Piano Competition, as well as the Outstanding Music Department Graduate in 2014. Previous appointments include as staff pianist for the Shepherd School of Music and as assistant faculty at the Marrowstone Music Festival in Seattle, in addition to festival appearances at the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute and Winter Piano Festival. Upcoming recording projects include a Naxos release of Brahms’ Requiem, arranged for four-hand piano (with Craig Terry) and sung in English by Chicago’s Bella Voce, conducted by Andrew Lewis. She can also be heard each month performing on Chicago 98.7 WFMT in the Ryan Opera Center Recital Series.