Vocal Studies, Soprano
Caitlin Shirley lends a colorful lyric soprano and vivacious stage presence to engagements in opera, oratorio, and musical theater. Based in North Carolina since 2014, she has appeared with concert organizations and in sacred spaces throughout the state. She performs regularly with the Raleigh Bach Soloists in diverse programs of Bach motets and cantatas, and in the music programming of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville. Her successful 2014 debut with the Choral Society of Durham in the C.P.E. Bach Magnificat was followed shortly thereafter with Handel’s Messiah at Lakeside Baptist Church in Rocky Mount featuring members of the North Carolina Symphony.
She continues to maintain a presence in the Chicago area, where she most recently sang with the Chicago Symphony Chorus at Symphony Center and in New York’s Carnegie Hall. Highlights of recent Chicago seasons included Haydn’s Creation with Music of the Baroque in the Harris Theater and on tour in southern California, the cabaret “Love and Marriage” and role of Adina in L’elisir d’amore, both with the Governors State University “Opera Up Close” series, and the role of Uxor Pilati in the St. Matthew Passion with the Chicago Bach Project. She sang over several seasons with such renowned Chicago ensembles as the Grant Park Symphony Chorus and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus.
Caitlin has been recognized by the Metropolitan Opera National Council with two Encouragement Awards (in 2011 from the Wisconsin District, and in 2010 from the Mississippi/West Tennessee District). She was the recipient of the Bellini Award of the Orpheus National Vocal Competition (2008), and was awarded third place in the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus International Vocal Competition, Junior Division (2007).
She has appeared with symphonic organizations throughout the Midwest, notably in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Bloomington Chamber Singers and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Columbus Philharmonic. An avid chamber musician, she performed Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras no. 5 at Chicago’s Heaven Gallery.
As a 2009 Apprentice Artist with Sugar Creek Symphony and Song, Caitlin covered the role of Laurie Moss in The Tender Land. During summer 2008, she was an Apprentice Artist with Ash Lawn Opera, where she performed the role of Mrs. Pearce in My Fair Lady.
Shirley received a Master of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she sang Ann Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, and Mrs. Hayes in Susannah. For the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she received a Bachelor of Music, she performed the title role in Haydn’s La Canterina as well as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro.