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Michelle Ayres

Lecturer, Studio Artist Teacher, Soprano, Voice

Office: M204
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DMA, University of North Carolina
MM, East Carolina University
BM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Michelle Ayres is completing her DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She earned the MM from East Carolina University in 2010, and her BM from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1992.


Ms. Ayres was a 1999 New York District winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Vocal Competition, and winner of the New Jersey State Opera International Vocal Competition. Ms. Ayres has had triumphant debuts as the title roles in Madama Butterfly with Spokane Opera under the baton of Dean Williamson, Suor Angelica with the Opera Festival di Roma in Italy, and concert versions of the title roles in Aida and Madama Butterfly with the Stift Gottweig Oper Summer Music Festival series presented in tandem with the Vienna Folk Opera in Vienna, Austria.

Ms. Ayres was seen on Great Performances on PBS creating the role of Harriet Mosher in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’S Emmeline with the Santa Fe Opera under the baton of George Manahan and directed by Francesca Zambello. The performance was also released on CD by Albany Records.  Ms. Ayres’ other recordings include Dvorak, Puccini and Verdi arias and a collection of arias and duets with the Moravian Philharmonic under the direction of Elio Boncompagni and Peter Schmelzer.


Ms. Ayres’ other roles include Mimi in La Boheme with Opera Delaware, Micaela in Carmen with Opera Roanoke, Violetta in La Traviata with Greenville Lyric Opera, Micaela in La Tragedie de Carmen with Des Moines Metro Opera, Anna in Nabucco with the Sarasota Opera, and the title role in an abbreviated Susannah with the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre’s Artists in Residence.


Ms. Ayres won the UNC Greensboro Artist Competition, and performed Beethoven’s concert aria Ah, Perfido Op. 69 in debut with the UNCG Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Other recent engagements include the title role in Suor Angelica with UNCGreensboro Opera Theatre, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel with the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s Opera Theatre and the title role in Madama Butterfly and Magda Sorel in The Consul with East Carolina University Opera. Ms. Ayres has recently premiered a new work entitled “The Butterfly Song” by Rafael Valle, broadcast in part by PBS Eastern Carolina.