Praised for her “dulcet-toned mezzo-soprano” by the Wall Street Journal, Kayleigh Decker is fast becoming a name to watch in Europe and her native USA.
Plans for the 23/24 season include Kayleigh’s house debut for Welsh National Opera as Dorabella in a new production of Cosi fan tutte cond. Tomáš Hanus, a return to Cincinnati Opera for staged performances of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio and cover Angelina La Cenerentola for Boston Lyric Opera. On the concert platform Kayleigh makes debuts with the San Francisco Symphony for Les Noces cond. Esa Pekka Salonen, Mozart Requiem with the orchestra of Welsh National Opera at St David’s Hall cond. Tomáš Hanus, the Messiah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment cond. Mogens Dahl in Copenhagen and returns to Lyric Opera Chicago as a Featured Alumna in their Ryan Opera Center audition finals performance. A keen recitalist, Kayleigh performs with Soka University, the Cincinnati Song Initiative and the Pacific Vocal Series.
The 22/23 season saw a number of house and role debuts for Kayleigh, including Dorabella Cosi fan Tutte for Dallas Opera & Ruggiero Alcina with Les Violons du Roy under the baton of Jonathan Cohen. Kayleigh returned to the Lyric Opera Chicago in her role debut as Isolier Le Comte Ory, described as “The finest overall performance of the afternoon” by the Chicago Classical Review, as well returning to Cincinnati Opera in her role debut as Alisa Lucia di Lammermoor and Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly.
As an ensemble member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kayleigh’s roles included her debut as Second Cretan Woman Idomeneo, Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly and a number of notable cover roles, including Le Prince Charmant Cendrillon, Rosina The Barber of Seville, Laura Luisa Miller and Donna Elvira Don Giovanni conducted by James
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.
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, Pelican Hill recital series and recently performed 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