Mezzo-soprano Melanie Ashkar is known for the “rich texture” of her voice and her “delightfully expressive” stage presence. This season, Melanie will be presented in recital by the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, Maryland, as a winner of their 2021 Virtual Classical Recital Competition. She was also named a Resident Artist with Sparrow Live, and will present several livestreamed recitals on their platform. Melanie was recently featured as a soloist with OperaDelaware and as a finalist in Piccola Opera's 2021 "Opera Idol" competition, in which she won the Audience Favorite award. As a Resident Artist at Utah Opera, she appeared as Clotilde (Norma), Second Lady (The Magic Flute), The Fox (The Little Prince), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), and Ida (Die Fledermaus). She also joined the Utah Symphony as a soloist in Handel's Messiah. Melanie spent two summers as an Apprentice Artist at Central City Opera, where she performed the roles of Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte) and La Madre (Madama Butterfly). Melanie has been recognized by the Nebraska District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges Grant Awards, and the Gerda Lissner Foundation Lieder/Art Song Competition. She holds a BA in Music and Linguistics from the University of Virginia, an MS in Linguistics from Georgetown University, and an MM in Voice from Mannes College.