Michelle Wrighte, Opera Singer: When the Music Stopped

Updated: May 2, 2021

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Podcast Description

An accomplished musical artist, 55 years old with finally the dream job of her musical career a member of the prestigious core chorus of the Lyric Opera Chicago.

After months of preparation, in the last stages of embarking on one the most demanding operatic challenges, Wagner’s The Ring Cycle, the pandemic closed the Lyric’s season as well as the city of Chicago.

It was running a marathon that suddenly stopped without having a chance to view the finish line: How does an artist, mother of a feisty tweener, and wife cope with the disappointment, full-time togetherness, homeschooling, and recrafting her career especially since singing, her life, is one of the most potent activities for spreading the virus?

Related questions: What will art and music like in a Zoom world? How can music save us? How will this inspiring, often entertaining, and funny woman, go forward with her vision to create a new way of making and sharing music during a global pandemic?


Michelle Wrighte is a classically trained professional opera singer whose versatile talent has taken her all over the United States performing many lead roles. She’s performed with high-profile companies such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, OperaDelaware, and Indianapolis Opera.

A passionate advocate of Baroque opera, she has been heard as Armindo in Handel's Partenope at Glimmerglass Opera, Ino/Handel's Semele at the renowned Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. A highly successful concert artist as well, Ms. Wrighte has sung the alto solos in Bach’s St. John’s Passion under the baton of Robert Shaw. Michelle sang Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem with the Elgin Symphony. She also performed Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Wrighte was a 1998 national finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has a Master’s in Music in vocal performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Currently, Michelle performs in the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus where she is also a frequent understudy and cover. Michelle enjoys discovering new genres of music and just recently sang and danced in the ensemble of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She was delighted to be performing at the prestigious Haymarket Opera. Michelle lives in Lombard, IL with her husband and tween daughter and has a thriving voice studio.

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