Hailed for her "warm, agile and full voice", soprano Chelsea Lehnea is quickly establishing herself as an exciting young artist equally at home on both the concert and opera stage. A 2016 alumna of the Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Singer Program, Ms. Lehnea made her Washington National Opera debut as Sister Catherine in Francesca Zambello's 2017 production of Dead Man Walking. In the winter of 2018, she joined the roster of Sarasota Opera to both perform Frasquita in Carmen and cover Adalgisa in Norma. She also made her New York debut with her initial exploration of the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, performing excerpts from the opera under the aegis of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and a made a significant role debut with St. Petersburg Opera (Florida) during the autumn of 2018, as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Lehnea made company debuts with St. Petersburg Opera (Florida) as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the Virginia Consort as the soprano soloist for Der Messias, and Bel Cantanti Opera (Washington DC) as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice. In the summer of 2019, she joined the Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera Center singing excerpts as the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in the Schwabacher Summer Concert, Elisabetta in scenes from Maria Stuarda in the Merola Grand Finale, and Woman at the Bar in the world premiere of If I Were You. Upcoming engagements include a role debut of Gilda in Rigoletto with Bel Cantanti Opera and her Gulfshore Opera debut as Musetta in La bohème in the spring of 2020.
In the 2015-2016 season, she completed her tenure with the University of Maryland's Maryland Opera Studio, performing the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Alexandra (Xan) in Blitzstein's Regina, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. In the 2014-2015 season, she performed the roles of Ruth in Christopher Patton's A Family Reunion with the Maryland Opera Studio and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Harrower Opera Workshop. Ms. Lehnea has also appeared in concert as soprano soloist for the Mozart Requiem, Haydn's Missa Brevis in F, the Fauré Requiem, and the Bach Ascension Oratorio BWV 11. She made her international debut in 2012 with the touring chorus Advent Now on their tour of Japan.
Ms. Lehnea is a graduate of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland where she earned her Master of Music in Opera Performance and is also a graduate of Lee University where she earned her Bachelor of Music cum laude in Vocal Performance. As a member of the Lee University Opera, she performed such roles as Lucy in The Telephone, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro and Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady. A highlight of her undergraduate years was her performance as soloist with the Lee University Festival Choir at the 57th Inauguration of the President of the United States in 2013.
Ms. Lehnea has earned encouragement awards from the 2016 George London Foundation Awards Competition and the 2016 Licia Albanese–Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition. She also won an encouragement award from the 2014 Pro–Mozart Society of Atlanta and placed as a finalist for the 2013 Jenny Lind Competition for Sopranos.