American soprano Chelsea Lehnea is known for her powerful artistry, fearless personality, and unique sense of style. Critics have praised her “mercurial colored, highly responsive instrument that flew seamlessly through its registers” (The NY Times), “Her use of chest voice gave Paolina a powerful punch” (Operawire), “The soprano is a no-holds-barred singing actress” (Seen and Heard International), and her “ferociously brilliant vocal and dramatic ability that more than matched her eye-catching physicality” (Vero News).
Lehnea has secured top honors around the globe, claiming First Place at the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition, Premiere Opera Foundation Live Vocal Competition, Opera at Florham Vocal Competition, and the Camille Coloratura Awards Vocal Competition. Her achievements include a Sullivan Foundation Award and achieving finalist status at the XVII Concurso Internacional Montserrat Caballè where critics noted “En el buen nivel de todos los participantes, destacó Chelsea Lehnea, soprano norteamericana que se atrevió con una obra infrecuente hoy en día, llena de dificultades para el cantante. [In the good level of all the participants, Chelsea Lehnea stood out, an American soprano who dared with an uncommon work nowadays, full of difficulties for the singer.]” (Òpera Actual)
This season she will star in two new St. Pete Opera productions. She will be singing Liù in Turandot and make her highly anticipated role debut of the title character in Lucia di Lammermoor. She will also appear as a soloist for Vero Beach Opera’s Best of Broadway & Opera in Concert. Last season, Lehnea triumphed in her New York City role debut as Paolina in Poliuto with Teatro Nuovo. She made her debut with her hometown opera company, the Chattanooga Symphony and Orchestra, as a soloist for their Opera Extravaganza conducted by Pierre Vallet. She was a featured soloist for the Year End Gala of the Dream Orchestra of Los Angeles conducted by Daniel Suk and took Second Place at the Rising Stars Competition at Vero Beach Opera. In the 2021-2022 season, she debuted with Pacific Opera Project as Clorinda in La Cenerentola and performed as a featured soloist at the Northside Methodist Church of Atlanta captivating audiences in Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise. Notably, she received critical acclaim for her “excellent, sweet voiced Pamina” (The Berkeley Daily Planet) in Die Zauberflöte with the Merola Opera Program. In the 2019-2020 season, she performed the role of Gilda in Rigoletto with Bel Cantanti Opera followed by notable performances as Musetta in La bohème with Gulfshore Opera.
Lehnea’s ascent in the opera world began with her participation in the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer Program in 2016, which paved the way for her Washington National Opera debut as Sister Catherine in Dead Man Walking. In the subsequent season, she was a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera where she performed Frasquita in Carmen and covered Adalgisa in Norma. Noteworthy milestones include her Masterclass performance of the mad scene of Lucia di Lammermoor under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, her performances with St. Pete Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, being the soprano soloist for Der Messias with the Virginia Consort Choir and Orchestra, and debuting as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice with Bel Cantanti Opera. Her association with the Merola Opera Program in 2019 added another dimension to her journey. Here she took part in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s If I Were You as Woman at the Bar, while also presenting scenes as the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor and as Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda.
Under the tutelage of mentors soprano Carmen Balthrop, Doug Han, and Hausofshmizzay, Lehnea’s musical journey continues to evolve. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, she imparts her passion and expertise by teaching voice and piano lessons online. Sign up below to secure your spot in the Lehnea studio. Beyond the stage, she finds solace in nature, experiments with vegan culinary arts, and finds joy in the cuddles of her cat, Shiley.
A pale orange, toga-like dress and sparkling wrist jewelry added visual excitement to Chelsea Lehnea’s performance and was equal to the radiance of her singing. The soprano is a no-holds-barred singing actress, whose dramatic involvement is evident in every note that she offers and every movement she makes.