B I O G R A P H Y
Kayleigh Decker, praised for her "dulcet-toned" mezzo-soprano by the Wall Street Journal, is currently an ensemble member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at The Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is a 2019 recipient of the Musician's Club of Women Lynne Cooper Harvey award, the Luminarts Foundation Fellowship, and the Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.
This past season at Lyric, Ms. Decker made her debut as Cretan Woman # 2 in Idomeneo, a production in which she also covered Idamante. She was later seen as Dorothée and covered Le Prince Charmant in Laurant Pelly's celebrated production of Cendrillon. In January 2019, Ms. Decker participated in the inaugural SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, under the auspices of Renée Fleming. She also returned to Cincinnati, where she graduated with her masters from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, to perform in a recital with the Cincinnati Song Initiative.
The 2017-2018 season included two title role debuts for Ms. Decker; La Cenerentola with Queen City Opera, and Ariodante with CCM Opera. In the spring of 2018, Ms. Decker was also a Schwab Vocal Rising Star with Caramoor and the New York Festival of Song performing From Lute songs to the Beatles, a carefully curated English art song recital by Steven Blier.
During her time in Cincinnati, Ms. Decker sang the Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen, Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon, and Idamante in Idomeneo all with CCM Opera. In addition, she sang the role of Peggy in Opera Fusion’s workshop of Shalimar the Clown, and the Fox in Cincinnati Chamber Opera's production of Rachel Portman's The Little Prince. In Oberlin Opera Theatre productions, she was seen as Mutter in Hänsel und Gretel, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring. In February of 2015, she was honored by the opportunity to create the role of Sarah in the world premiere of Carlota by Paul Davies at the Mexican Heritage Center in San Jose.
Ms. Decker graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2015, where she studied with Professors of Singing Timothy LeFebvre and Marlene Rosen. She graduated as a recipient of the Faustina Hurlbutt Prize, the Louis and Marguerite Bloomberg Greenwood Prize, and was inducted into the National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda.
Ms. Decker has been the recipient of several awards including 1st Place in the Three Arts Scholarship Fund Competition and The Macdowell Society Scholarship Award in Cincinnati, 2nd place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions-Great Lakes Region, 1st place in the CCM Corbett Competition, and an Encouragement award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions-Cincinnati District in 2016.
In the summer of 2017, Ms. Decker was a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival, where she was seen as Gertie in Oklahoma!, and Scarlet in the world premiere of Robin Hood by Ben Moore and Kelley Rourke directed by Francesca Zambello. In past summers, Decker was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she covered the role of Peggy in the world premiere of Shalimar the Clown. She was also a young artist at Opera Neo, performing Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and she was a young artist at Utah Festival Opera, where she covered the role of Erika in Samuel Barber's Vanessa and Laurey in Oklahoma!. Ms. Decker was a participant in the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Vocal Academy, and Oberlin in Italy. She was also one of four young singers in the first Joyce Didonato Masterclass Series at Carnegie Hall, which was streamed live on Medici.tv.
Ms. Decker has been a featured soloist in many concert productions including Bach B Minor Mass, Handel Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Duruflé Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria . She has performed with notable orchestras such as the St. Louis Symphony, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. She has participated in master classes with Ricky Ian Gordon, Marilyn Horne, Mildred Miller, Delores Ziegler, and Brian Zeger.
In addition to her vocal talents, Ms. Decker loves to play her violin and bassoon.
"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. Every note that Decker, the possessor of a shimmering mezzo-soprano, sang was pure vocal gold. 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