Canadian mezzo-soprano Reilly Nelson has been praised by the Boston Music Intelligencer for her "bright and glowing [voice], with a bit of an edge when needed." Reilly recently completed her graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where she was a student of Thomas Baresel. Reilly is currently a member of The Barbara and Halsey Sanford Studio Artist Program with Kentucky Opera.
The 2018-2019 season includes two role debuts for Ms. Nelson: The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Kentucky Opera and Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with Cincinnati Opera.
Cincinnati credits include Flora Bervoix in La Traviata, Vera Lynn in the United States premiere of Another Brick in the Wall, and Lupe Marin in Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida with Cincinnati Opera, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel with CCM Opera, Mrs. Van Buren in a workshop of Ricky Ian Gordon's new opera Intimate Apparel in co-production with CCM, Cincinnati Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater's New Works Program, and Virginia Woolf in Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf in co-production with Cincinnati Chamber Opera and Cincinnati Song Initiative.
At home in both the operatic and concert repertoire, 2017 saw Reilly’s debuts with both the Cincinnati Symphony in Robert Kapilow’s Green Eggs and Ham under the baton of Maestro Keitaro Harada, and with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra singing excerpts from West Side Story. Reilly was a vocal fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center in the 2013 and 2014 summer seasons, where highlights included selections from Berlioz's Les nuits d'été with the TMC Orchestra led by maestro Stéphane Denève, a world premier of Bernard Rands' Folk Songs, and John Harbison's Closer to My Own Life with the TMC Orchestra. Other recital credits include Mahler's Rückert-Lieder with the CCM Philharmonia and Berio's Circles at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Ms. Nelson will make her Reno Philharmonic debut in April 2019 as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem.
Reilly was recently named one of the Top Prize winners at the prestigious international Lotte Lenya Competition. She was the winner of the 2017 Middle/East Tennessee District MONC audition and a 2016 finalist and winner of the Carolyn Weber Award in the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya Competition.