Reilly Nelson’s “distinctly warm and burnished” mezzo-soprano sound has been featured across North America in opera and concert performances. During the 2018/2019 season Ms. Nelson returned to Cincinnati Opera as an “enchanting” Stephano in Roméo et Juliette, made her Kentucky Opera debut as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and joined the Soo Opera Theatre as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. Ms. Nelson was scheduled to make her young artist debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the 2020 Glimmerglass Festival. In the 2020/2021 season Ms. Nelson will make her European debut at Tiroler Festspiele Erl as Caterina in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz.
Other 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, 2019 saw Ms. Nelson’s debuts with both the Reno Philharmonic in Mozart’s Requiem, and with the Lexington Philharmonic in the Trio of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. Reilly has also made appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and CCM Philharmonia.
Reilly holds graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Thomas Baresel. She has recently completed young artist residencies with Kentucky Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, and Cincinnati Opera.
Reilly was named one of the 2018 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.