Michelle Monroe, mezzo-soprano, joined the voice faculty at the University of Northern Iowa in the fall of 2016. She earned her Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Northern Iowa and her Bachelor of Music Education from Northern State University. Before joining the faculty at UNI, Monroe taught private lessons and K-12 General and Vocal Music in the Iowa public schools. Her students have been chosen as festival soloists, winners in regional competitions, university soloists, and participants in regional young artist programs.
Monroe is a dedicated teacher and versatile performer. She is a frequent recitalist and often appears as a soloist with regional orchestras and companies, most recently in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, “Christmas on the Prairie” with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and as Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Nebraska Opera Project. Ms. Monroe joined Central City Opera as a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist during the summer of 2019, singing Une Récitante in Debussy’s La damoiselle élue. Other Young Artist Programs include the Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute, Music for Singers in Germany, Blooming Voce Summer Opera Workshop, and the Midwest Institute of Opera. While in Germany, she had the opportunity to perform with the Mittelsächsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany and to study Hugo Wolf’s Mörike-Lieder.
As a frequent guest with regional orchestras, Monroe’s concert credits include Requiem in D Minor (Mozart), Messiah (Händel), Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), and Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn) with the Grinnell Oratorio Society; and Theresienmesse (Haydn) with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. Her flexibility has also allowed her to perform as a soloist in Bach Cantatas BWV 84 and BWV 211 with the University of Northern Iowa Cantorei ensemble. Opera roles include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito), Blanche (Dialogues des Carmélites), Mrs. Gleaton (Susannah), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Die Knusperhexe (Hänsel und Gretel), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and the monodrama Black Water by Jeremy Beck.Ms. Monroe has gained special attention for her performances of American music. Of her performance of Jeremy Beck’s monodrama Black Water, the composer commented on her voice saying, “just glorious...its range, nuance, and beauty - [her] command of dramatic shape and musical details… all just marvelous.” She was awarded first place in UNI’s Graduate Symposium for two consecutive years for her research and performances of Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson and Jake Heggie’s Eve Song. One judge commented on her Eve Song performance: “She truly committed to the emotional arc of the piece, her intonation was clear and beautiful. She... was truly engaging.”