American mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker is currently an ensemble member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at The Lyric Opera of Chicago. Praised for her “dulcet-toned” mezzo by the Wall Street Journal, she was the recipient of three prestigious scholarships in 2019: the Luminarts Fellowship, first place in the Musicians Club of Women Scholarship Competition, and a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.
On the operatic stage, Kayleigh made her Lyric debut in 2018, singing Second Cretan Woman in Idomeneo. This was quickly followed by Dorothée in Cendrillon, and this season she will sing Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
An alumna of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory, Kayleigh was selected to participate in the Renee Fleming’s inaugural SongStudio at Carnegie Hall and, in the spring of 2018, was a Schwab Vocal Rising Star with Caramoor and the New York Festival of Song.
Particularly attentive to the role of music beyond its usual environs, her most recent recital programme with pianist Madeline Slettedahl is entitled One Hundred Years of the Vote, and was inspired by the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which prohibits federal and state governments from denying the right to vote to US citizens on the basis of sex. The programme features music by female composers writing around the turn of the century, along with traditional songs of the suffragettes.
Following their Carnegie Hall Citywide recital earlier this month, one reviewer proclaimed: “Every note that Decker, the possessor of a shimmering mezzo-soprano, sang was pure vocal gold.” The duo will perform the same programme again at the end of this month, as part of the Musicians Club of Women award-winners recital series in Chicago.
Speaking about her role as a musician on her blog, Kayleigh says, “As a singer, I collaborate, and (hopefully) connect deeply with people on a daily basis. I get to tell stories for a living. I use my voice and my body as a conduit for truth and expression, and I wholeheartedly believe that music, art, collaboration and storytelling have the ability to heal and help us to better understand ourselves, and one another. I have the privilege of witnessing some of the greatest artists in this industry up close and in their element, and I am constantly inspired by them and my fellow young artists.”
Kayleigh Decker will be represented at Askonas Holt by Sophie Dand and Olivia Fitzsimons. Welcome, Kayleigh!