Kelly Hill, mezzo-soprano, recently graduated with her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in vocal studies from the University of Iowa as the Iowa Performance Fellow and student of Stephen Swanson.
Most recently, Kelly portrayed Prince Orlofsky in Bar Harbor Music Festival's Die Fledermaus. Also, she was delighted to return the home of her professional debut, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, by singing the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, nearly a decade after covering the same role as a Young Artist with the company. She debuted with her hometown symphony, The Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, in the world premiere of Jacob Banck's opera Karkinos, and returned to work with them on Jake Heggie's Two Remain in October 2022. Additionally, she was thrilled to solo in Handel's Messiah with John Hurdy and the Augustana Oratorio Society alongside friends, students, faculty colleagues, and her high school voice teacher, proving there truly is no place like home.
Her University of Iowa Opera Theater credits include the matriarch Madeline Mitchell in Jake Heggie's Three December, the tour-de-force role of Jo March in Mark Adamo's Little Women, as well the title character in Peter Brook's adaptation of La tragédie de Carmen. Her first hometown operatic performance was Marcellina in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro with the Opera Quad Cities. She appeared as a soloist in Hadyn's Missa in tempore belli and Karl Jenkin's The Armed Man with the combined choirs and orchestra of the University of Iowa under the direction of Dr. Timothy Stalter, and joined Dr. David Puderbaugh and the Chamber Singers of Iowa City on works of Haydn, Vivaldi, and C.P.E. Bach. Furthermore, she soloed with the choirs and orchestra of Cornell College for the U.S. premiere of Douwe Eisenga's The Flood, Requiem.
East coast performances included a return to the Opera Theater of Connecticut as Carmen, as well as a debut with the Hartford Opera Theater as Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward's The Crucible. Other Connecicut credits include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with OTC, and Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes with Madison Lyric Stage. She looks forward to heading back out east in March of 2022 to solo with the Hartford Chorale and Symphony for Handel's Messiah under the baton of Rick Coffey.
Kelly helped bring opera for the first time to the graduate student run Yale Cabaret for Menotti's The Medium, as well as the role of Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti. Other Yale credits include La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea, both Lucretia and Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and Marta in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.
During the summer of 2014, Kelly had the privilege of singing the title role in Bizet's Carmen at the Aspen Music School and Festival. As a recipient of the Charles Wall Fellowship, Kelly sang in a master class given by world-renowned soprano, Debbie Voigt, and collaborated with AMFS CEO and President, Alan Fletcher, on his original composition, Psalm 23.
Past concert work includes performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. She sang as the Alto Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Yale Philharmonia, as well as Magna Opera, a concert of opera scenes with The Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Previously, Kelly has worked as a Young Artist with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater, spent two summers as a Studio Artist at Central City Opera, as well as two summers as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera. Kelly is a native of Iowa, and received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Her Master's of Music degree and Artist Diploma were completed at the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of Doris Yarick-Cross. She is also a student of Braeden Harris and Alexandra Loutsion.