Lauren Decker, contralto, is currently finishing her second season in the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This season, she was seen on the Lyric Opera stage as Giovanna (Rigoletto), Schwertleite (Die Walküre) and Enrichetta (I puritani). In her first year with the Ryan Opera Center, she was Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and had the honor of sharing the stage with Plácido Domingo in a concert of La Traviata. Along with the significant opportunities to sing on the opera stage, Ms. Decker has also performed in a number of radio concerts for WFMT Chicago, including Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Brahms’ Zigeunerlieder. This March, marked her Verdi Requiem debut with the Elmhurst Symphony and Apollo Chorus of Chicago.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ms. Decker received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During her time in undergrad, she was also a member of Kalliope Vocal Arts where she had the opportunity to perform the roles of La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) and Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera). Decker feels fortunate to have spent two summers working with one of her most cherished mentors, Dolora Zajick, at the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, as well as the American Wagner Project (Washington, D.C.), where Ms. Decker was a featured artist for recitals in both 2015 and 2016. She spent the summer of 2017 at Tuscany’s prestigious Georg Solti Accademia, working with distinguished faculty including coach, Jonathan Papp, soprano, Barbra Frittoli, and conductor, Richard Bonynge. In March 2018, Decker received the Lola Fletcher scholarship in voice with the American Opera Society of Chicago. Highlights of her career include being featured in the Harris Theater “Beyond the Aria” series alongside Craig Terry, Christine Goerke and Eric Owens as well as an outreach recital at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrensville led, and accompanied, by Maestro Riccardo Muti.
Ms. Decker is thrilled to return to the Ryan Opera Center this fall for her third year to sing to roles of Annina (La Traviata), Inez (Il Trovatore) and First Maid (Elektra) as well as cover the roles of Erda in Lyric’s upcoming, new production of Siegfried and Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon. Next year, Ms. Decker will make her Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 debut, singing Maria Aegyptiaca, with the South Dakota Symphony in April 2019.