An Evening of Original Music      Biography


Composer -- Lyricist -- Performer



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Melissa Shiflett began her career as resident composer to the experimental Dream Theatre at the Body Politic Theatre in Chicago.  She specializes in opera and song-writing.  Her opera Dora, composed to a libretto by Nancy Fales Garrett, was premiered by La MaMa, ETC in association with The American Chamber Opera Company and was given its second full production in 2009, by the Peabody Chamber Opera at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  Excerpts from Dora were presented on New York City Opera’s first annual Vox festival showcase.  Her opera My Undying Love: An Amusement was presented by The Construction Company in NYC, in 2008, in a workshop production by The American Chamber Opera Company.  Other operas include The Wild Goose Circus, a two-act opera to a libretto by Russell Davis which received  workshop performances while the composer and playwright were in residency at The Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, and Without Colors, a chamber opera based on a story by Italo Calvino, with a libretto by Mac Wellman, was produced by the Minnesota Opera New Music Theatre Ensemble.

Ms. Shiflett’s Songs on Sara Teasdale Poems and Water Dreams were premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2002 by soprano Shauna Holiman and can be heard on Albany Records.  Her Lullaby Duets were performed at the DIA Center for the Arts in New York, The William Ferris Chorale in Chicago, and on a concert of her songs at the 92nd Street Y on their Meet the Virtuoso series.  Songs she composed for theater have been performed both nationally and internationally in the plays Dracula by Mac Wellman and Tales of the Lost Formicans by Constance Congdon.  The most recent works, Fantasy Songs and The Rose Saga I and II , sung by Ms. Shiflett, have been performed at The Construction Company and at the 92nd Street Y.

Ms. Shiflett has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Margaret Jory Copying Assistance Program of the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and a Diverse Forms Artist Grant (funded by the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation and Jerome Foundation) to complete the orchestration of her opera Dora.  She holds degrees in Music Composition and Piano from the American Conservatory of Music.  She is a music instructor at the 92nd Street Y and is a member of ASCAP.
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