Praised for her “dulcet-toned mezzo-soprano” by the Wall Street Journal, Kayleigh is a recent graduate of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
She made her Lyric Opera debut as Second Cretan Woman in Idomeneo, followed by Dorothée in Laurent Pelly’s critically acclaimed Cendrillon under Sir Andrew Davis' baton in 2018. Still to come this season she sings Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. Notable cover roles in Chicago include Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Laura Luisa in Miller and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni conducted by James Gaffigan.
An alumna of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory, Kayleigh’s roles at CCM Opera include Fox The Cunning Little Vixen, Le Prince Charmant Cendrillon, Idamante Idomeneo and the title role of Ariodante. Other opera highlights include the title role in La Cenerentola for Queen City Opera, Peggy in Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown for Cincinnati Opera, and Fox in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince for Cincinnati Chamber Opera.
Future plans include her Glyndebourne Festival debut covering Ruggiero Alcina, Annio La Clemenza di Tito for Opera de Rouen also touring to Paris, and a return to the Lyric Opera as a Guest artist.
A passionate song interpreter, she was named one of Caramoor’s 2018 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars and was a participant in the inaugural season of Renée Fleming’s SongStudio at Carnegie Hall. She has given recitals produced by the Cincinnati Song Initiative, and this season performs a solo recital at Carnegie Hall and the Chicago Cultural Center.
In 2019, Kayleigh was the recipient of three prestigious scholarships: the Luminarts Fellowship, first place in the Musicians Club of Women Scholarship Competition, and a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. Further accolades include first place in the Three Arts Scholarship Fund Competition and The Macdowell Society Scholarship Award in Cincinnati, second place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions-Great Lakes Region, first place in the CCM Corbett Competition, and the Encouragement award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions-Cincinnati District in 2016.
Kayleigh was a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Utah Festival Opera. Other training programs include the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Vocal Academy, and Oberlin in Italy. She also participated in the first of Joyce DiDonato’s Masterclass Series at Carnegie Hall, streamed live on Medici.tv.
"For their recital...the elegant mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker and the exciting pianist Madeline Slettedahl conceived a program...with a political edge that created just the right amount of frisson...She has that essential quality for a song recitalist: the ability to create miniature worlds through her voice, expressive face and judiciously employed hand movements. Most importantly, her voice is equal to the expectations that her innate glamour and poise instantly raise. In other words, as a friend put it after the recital, she’s the whole package."
Rick Peridian, Seen and Heard International