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 Theatre of Saint Louis as a principal coach for the company’s celebrated Gerdine Young Artist Program.
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 has established a collaborative relationship with many singers from the Ryan Opera Center, and has been featured on such esteemed recital series including 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.
In August 2021, Madeline will record an album of songs with rising-star tenor Eric Ferring and French string quartet Quatuor Agate 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.