Lisa Chavez, Mezzo Soprano, has been described by her “plush storm of a voice” and “graceful stage presence”.
This March Ms. Chavez made her debut with Sarasota Opera in the iconic role of Madame de Croissy in Dialogues
of the Carmelites. In June she made her Carnegie Hall debut as Alto Soloist in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo. Last season brought many opportunities to perform Carmen which is looking to become a signature
role for her. She will return to Sarasota Opera for all 11 performances of Carmen in their winter 2018 season.
Past Carmen productions include performances as a Guest Artist with Opera San Jose, and performances with New York City Opera. She garnered rave reviews including, “Carmen seems tailor-made for her. From her first appearance as the seductive gypsy who prizes freedom above all else, Chavez sounded terrific. ... Chavez's performance is something special” and, “Lisa Chavez was born to play Carmen, equipped with the classic Carmen look, vocal power and attitude.”
Chavez also sang the role of Paula in New York City Opera’s production of Florencia en el Amazonas to great acclaim. Opera Today wrote, “... Lisa Chavez, who gives one of the most compelling performances of the evening. With a rich, healthy mezzo voice, she brings the most three-dimensionality to her character, and her second act aria is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the opera.”
Ms. Chavez was also the Alto Soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale. For the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 season she was a principal resident artist with Opera San Jose. While there she debuted 7 new roles. Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri was the crowning jewel to her tenure at OSJ. Georgia Rowe from Opera News wrote, “Lisa Chavez, a resident artist with the company, glided through Isabella’s arias with
assurance; her buttery, richly colored mezzo was evenly produced throughout her range, sounding shapely in Act I’s
“Cruda sorte!” registering with luxuriant ease and beauty in her Act II invocation of Venus, “Per lui che adoro,” and
emerging with bright, forward tone in the ensembles. Chavez is a graceful stage presence, and there was no doubting
her character’s intelligence and resourcefulness. “Pensa alla patria” was her most convincing moment.”
Other roles sung during her time with Opera San Jose were; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Harriet Herriton in the professional premiere of Where Angels Fear to Tread, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Meg Page in Falstaff, and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte.
The 2012 – 2013 season also brought many triumphs to Ms. Chavez’ schedule. She began in the summer by joining the successful cast of Dicapo Opera’s Most Happy Fella, as the overbearing sister Marie. In February she portrayed Federico García Lorca in Golijov’s contemporary opera Ainadamar with Opera Parallèle. Chavez returned to San
Francisco, and Opera Parallèle, for a double bill of A Hand of Bridge and Trouble in Tahiti. She sang both Geraldine in A Hand of Bridge, and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti. Lisa closed her season with a bit of Russian drama as the matriarch Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin with Opera Company of Middlebury.
Other memorable roles have been; Secretary in The Consul, Madame Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons, Dorabella in Cosí fan Tutte, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. In November 2008 Ms. Chavez was a finalist in the
worldwide Opera Competition with Mezzo TV, and was seen performing the role of Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward’s The Crucible in over 40 European countries. “Mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez conveyed Elizabeth Proctor's rigidity and emotion with clear, focused sound” Opera News. She was invited to return to the festival in November 2009 to sing the role of Mrs. Bass for the European premiere of Tobias Picker’s dramatic work, Emmeline, televised on Mezzo TV.
In 2013 Lisa won First Place and Audience Choice awards in the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition with Opera Columbus, and also placed Third in the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition in San Jose. In 2014 she placed 2nd in the
Shreveport Singer of the Year Competition, and was also a grant recipient from the Giulio Gari Foundation. In 2015 she was a Finalist in the renowned Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. Ms. Chavez has also received Encouragement Awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation in 2009 and 2011.
Lisa is a graduate of the Master's Degree Program at Manhattan School of Music and was a founding member of Opera Collective, an independent opera company making Operatic repertoire accessible to all of the New York City metro area. Ms. Chavez is a California Bay Area native, born in Oakland, and attended California State University Hayward (East Bay) where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music.
"The superb cast featured Lisa Chavez as a poignant, full throated Dinah"
--San Francisco Chronicle
"All I've Ever Known"