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Melanie Kohn Day

Director of VCU Opera

Associate Professor

Melanie Kohn Day has served as the director of VCU Opera since 1984. She served on the faculty of Boston University’s opera department, as coach and chorusmaster for Boston Concert Opera and coach for the Tanglewood Music Festival. In addition to performing in Carnegie Recital Hall, The Athenaeum in Boston, NBC-Boston, CBS-Boston, The National Cathedral, The French Embassy and The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on numerous occasions, Day was a 1994 United States Artistic Ambassador to South America where she presented sixteen concerts, two masterclasses and three television appearances throughout Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay with soprano Lisa Edwards-Burrs, sponsored by Arts America of the U.S. Information Agency and three foreign embassies. By invitation of the Costa Rican Cultural Center and Coca-Cola International, she presented concerts and masterclasses throughout Costa Rica with mezzo-soprano Karen Lykes. Day was the artistic director of the Lyric Arts Ensemble and served as music director of the James River Chamber Opera Company. She was coach-accompanist for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. After six years as the Principal Coach for Operafestival di Roma in Italy, Day was named artistic director of the program in 2005, a position she held until 2011. She has presented masterclasses in Virginia, Indiana, New Hampshire, and Rome. She has accompanied masterclasses for Sherill Milnes, Nico Castel, Joan Dornemann, Hans Hotter, Irmgaard Seefried, Walter Berry, Jörg Demus, Dalton Baldwin, Erik Werba, Mignon Dunn, Shirley Verrett, Martin Katz, Arlene Shrut, Elizabeth Vrenios, Peter Mark, Delores Ziegler and Dorothy Danner. Day has taught summer lecture courses for three years in affiliation with the Santa Fe Opera. In addition to directing VCU Opera, she is the instructor for “History of the Art Song,” “Voice Masterclass,” and vocal coach. Many of Day’s former students are now singing in opera houses throughout the world. She received two Master of Music degrees from Boston University, a diploma from the Franz-Schubert Institute in Austria, and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Maryville College.