With her sparkling voice and stage presence, soprano Ashley Emerson has been described as a “vocal and dramatic delight.” In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Emerson returns to the Metropolitan Opera for her acclaimed portrayal of Papagena in The Magic Flute, and makes two company debuts in familiar roles: Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Omaha, and Flora in The Turn of the Screw with On Site Opera. In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Emerson performed the roles of Laura Fleet in the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, which was broadcast Live in HD to movie theaters worldwide, as well as Brigitte in Iolanta, and Papagena in The Magic Flute, all at The Metropolitan Opera. She also curated a recital of love songs based on the works of Robert and Clara Schumann which she performed at The Crosby Center in Belfast, Maine; and will take the recital to numerous venues in upcoming seasons.
Ms. Emerson is a graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and subsequently has appeared in over 190 Metropolitan Opera performances. Her 2018-2019 season included included Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore (Live in HD Broadcast), Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (Live in HD Broadcast), and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro at the Met. Additionally, she toured Russia in concerts celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with numerous orchestras, including the Russian State Symphony Orchestra (Svetlanov) at Tchaikovsky Hall, and appeared in chamber music concerts at The Twickenham Festival. In the 2016-2017 season, she was heard as Gretel in Hansel und Gretel with the Seattle Opera, made her professional European debut as Cunegonde in Candide with Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, and debuted at The Dallas Opera as Flora in The Turn of the Screw. Additional recent performances include the 15-year-old Girl in a new production of LULU at The Metropolitan Opera (Live in HD broadcast), Soeur Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites at Washington National Opera, Tebaldo in Don Carlo in a new production for Opera Philadelphia, and Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Des Moines Metro Opera. She has also appeared in major roles at Los Angeles Opera, The Tanglewood Festival, Pittsburgh Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Central City Opera.
Ms. Emerson received highest critical praise for her debut performances of Soeur Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites at Opera Theater of St. Louis, lauded as “definitive” (Opera Today), “exquisite” (Wall Street Journal), and “glorious” (The Washington Post). Other acclaimed and favorite roles include Marie in La Fille du Regiment (Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Maine, Greensboro Opera), The Maid in Thomas Ades’s Powder Her Face (Opera Philadelphia), and Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Palm Beach Opera).
She has been honored with awards from The Sullivan Foundation, The Gerda Lissner Competition, The Palm Beach Opera Competition, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In addition to the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Emerson has trained at the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, at the Marlboro Festival, the Verbier Festival, and the University of Southern Maine School of Music.