Soprano and native Angeleno Melodee Fernández was a semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Auditions. As a specialist of Spanish Zarzuela she has been the lead teaching artist and featured soprano of the LA Opera Zarzuela Project since its inception in 2012. She enjoys leading the Zarzuela Project, where she’s able to bridge her love of Zarzuela with her passion for teaching. The Zarzuela Project received awards for promoting Hispanic Culture and the Spanish Language from Cal Poly Pomona’s Spanish Language Association (2015, 2016) and performs to thousands of people every year. Since 2013 Melodee has been a soloist at White Memorial Medical Center singing for patients, families and staff as part of a wellness program supported by LA Opera Connects. Melodee is the immediate past president of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Los Angeles Chapter. In February she completed The Music Center’s 2020 Teaching Artist Training Program (35 hours) and has also received teacher training from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts for All Professional Artist School-Based Training Program (8 weeks), Gibson USA and while a student and Teaching Assistant at USC.

Last year Melodee gave lectures, including a lecture/recital, celebrating Zarzuela, Spanish opera and the return of El Gato Montés for the Opera League of Los Angeles and was interviewed for their BRAVO newsletter. She has also guest lectured for LA Opera (LA Opera Connects, Opera for Educators, Opera Talks), Hispanics for LA Opera, NATS-LA, OCSA, the Cal State Universities at Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Long Beach and Fresno and many other organizations. At the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid Melodee conducted extensive Zarzuela research. She sang with Opera Cómica de Madrid in a national tour of Spain performing in Agua, Azucarillos y Aguardiente and El Chaleco Blanco, sang in master classes led by Teresa Berganza, Ana Higueras, Marimí del Pozo, Martin Katz, Sherrill Milnes, Mignon Dunn, George Shirley and Graham Johnson, twice toured Japan as a featured soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale, sang the lead female roles of Paloma in El Barberillo de Lavapiés (Santa Barbara Grand Opera) and Susana in La Verbena de la Paloma (Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara), directed Goyescas for Lyric Opera of Los Angeles and La Verbena de la Paloma for Cal State Los Angeles, has been a featured Zarzuela soloist with the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts and sang Isabela with Daniel Catán in a workshop of his opera Rappaccini’s Daughter.

For her excellence in the interpretation of Spanish music, Melodee received the Joaquín Rodrigo Award from “Música en Compostela” (Santiago de Compostela, Spain). She has been an adjunct music professor at USC and Cal State Los Angeles and has also taught at College of the Canyons. Earning her MM and BM in Voice from the USC Thornton School of Music, she was a Voice Fellow at the Music Academy of the West, sang with Opera Pacific for ten years and is a member of AGMA.

The Zarzuela Project