Houston-based pianist and coach Madeline Slettedahl is an acclaimed collaborator known for her “exciting” and “extraordinarily expressive” performances (Seen and Heard International.) In the 2021-2022 season, she joins the Houston Grand Opera music staff, assisting on their productions of Carmen, Dialogues des Carmélites, and Roméo et Juliette. In the summers of 2020 (virtual) and 2021, Madeline was on staff with the Opera Theater of St. Louis as a principal coach for the company’s celebrated Gerdine Young Artist Program. Upcoming 2022 summer engagements include joining the music staff at Wolf Trap Opera, returning as an affiliate music staff member with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and a featured recital at Green Lake Festival of Music with soprano, Katie Henry.
Photo by Simon Pauly
During her recent three-year tenure as the Pianist and Ensemble Coach at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Center, Madeline joined the Lyric’s music staff for Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Siegfried, and Les pêcheurs de perles, all under the baton of Music Director Sir Andrew Davis. During the same period, she participated in many prestigious fellowships, including the Solti Accademia di Bel Canto (opera pianism and conducting with Jonathan Papp and Richard Bonygne), the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program (opera and art song with Anthony Pappano and Mark Padmore), The Song Continues with Marilyn Horne, and Renée Fleming’s SongStudio program at Carnegie Hall. Prior to her time in Chicago, she attended Music Academy of the West, where she won First Prize in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition.
An enthusiastic recitalist, Madeline shows an affinity for her collaboration which “provides poetry and propulsion” (Voix des Arts). Recent performances include engagements with baritone Will Liverman at Green Lake Festival of Music and University of Richmond. Previous appearances include the Carnegie Hall Citywide Series, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, the Collaborative Art Institute of Chicago’s Lieder Lounge, and the Cincinnati Song Initiative Recital Series. In addition to her work with singers, Madeline regularly performs chamber music with instrumentalists and has been featured with Icicle Creek Chamber Players and The Bellingham Festival of Music. In 2019, she appeared at TwickenhamFest, a summer festival co-founded by soprano Susanna Philips, where Madeline performed Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with pianist Myra Huang and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Upcoming recording projects slated for 2022 and 2023 include an album of songs with rising-star tenor Eric Ferring and an additional album of song and chamber music with Ferring and French string quartet Quatuor Agate, both for Delos Records. She is also featured on a recent recording of Brahms’ A German Requiem (four-hand piano arrangement version) with Craig Terry and Chicago’s Bella Voce under the direction of Andrew Lewis, released on the Naxos label in 2019. She can additionally be heard in the extensive archives of the Ryan Opera Center Recital Series hosted by Chicago 98.7 WFMT.
An advocate for new music, Madeline 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 2019, she collaborated with composer Nico Muhly on his song-cycle Strange Productions (SongStudio). She also served as repetiteur for the 2017 world premiere workshop of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A House Without a Christmas Tree (HGO.)
Madeline earned a Master of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she was the recipient of the Andre Watts Scholarship and Olshan Foundation Fellowship Award. She is also an alumna of Western Washington University (B.M. Piano Performance.), where she was awarded first prize in the WWU Concerto Competition, as well as the Outstanding Music Department Graduate in 2014. Previous appointments include staff pianist for the Shepherd School of Music and assistant faculty at the Marrowstone Music Festival in Seattle.
"the effectiveness...is heightened by...close collaboration with the pianist, whose phrasing provides poetry and propulsion." -Voix des Arts
"Slettedahl likewise is an extraordinarly expressive pianist, ever alert to the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic nuances of a song. The clarity she brought to the lusher, more chromatic accompaniments...was particularly impressive." - Seen and Heard International