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Constance's Entrance: Dialogues des Carmélites (Francis Poulenc)
Ashley Emerson, soprano
Sharon Rattray, piano
November 2021
Ashley Emerson


With her sparkling voice and stage presence, soprano Ashley Emerson has been described as a "vocal and dramatic delight” (St. Louis Post Dispatch). In the 2021-2022 season, she returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Papagena in The Magic Flute and for their production of Boris Godunov. She will also debut the role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Cedar Rapids Opera, and sing Johanna Barker in Sweeney Todd with Opera Omaha.


During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Emerson curated and starred in a web series for Kentucky Opera titled “Hoops and High Notes”, and performed a recital of Beethoven and Schumann entitled “Wife, Children, and Friends” for the Truman Lyceum Series.  Engagements postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic included the world premiere of Omar at Spoleto Festival USA, a debut with Kentucky Opera as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Papagena in a new production of Die Zauberflöte at The Metropolitan Opera conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. 


In the shortened 2019-2020 season, Ms. Emerson returned to The Metropolitan Opera for her acclaimed portrayal of Papagena in The Magic Flute, and made 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 concert, she sang her first Handel’s Messiah (Part 1) with the New Choral Society.


During 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 Brigitta in Iolanta, and Papagena in The Magic Flute, all at The Metropolitan Opera. Her 2017-2018 season included Met performances as 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.


In the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Emerson was heard as Gretel in Hänsel 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. 


Other recent performances include Sister Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites at Washington National Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 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 with Atlanta Opera, Central City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Maine, Greensboro Opera and The Tanglewood Festival.


In recent seasons on the concert stage, Ms. Emerson has 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 present this in future seasons.  Ms. Emerson also toured Russia with The Turne Agency in concerts celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with numerous orchestras, and appeared in chamber music concerts at The Twickenham Festival.


 Ms. Emerson has been honored with awards from The Sullivan Foundation, The Gerda Lissner Competition, The Palm Beach Opera Competition, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera and subsequently has appeared in over 200 Metropolitan Opera performances.  Ms. Emerson further trained at esteemed institutions including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Verbier Festival, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist. Ms. Emerson is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine School of Music.