Soprano Molly Fillmore made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Helmwige in the Met’s production of Der Ring der Nibelungen, conducted by James Levine. She returned to the Met to sing a principal role in Satyagraha by Philip Glass. Both Satyagraha and Die Walküre were shown live in movie theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series as well as on PBS stations nationwide as part of their Great Performances series. She can be heard and seen on the Grammy-winning Deutsche Grammophon CD and DVD/Blu-Ray of Die Walküre from The Metropolitan Opera under the musical direction of James Levine and Fabio Luisi.
Her soprano debut was in the title role of Salome at San Francisco Opera with music director Nicola Luisotti conducting. She covered the role of Brünnhilde and sang the role of Ortlinde in Francesca Zambello’s San Francisco Opera production of Die Walküre, conducted by Donald Runnicles. Other American opera appearances include Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera, Spoleto Festival, and Washington National Opera. In the 2013-2014 season she made her role debut as Marietta/Marie in Die tote Stadt with Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland in a production directed by Jan Schmidt-Garré and conducted by Otto Tausk.
Before her switch to dramatic soprano repertoire, Molly Fillmore had an international career as a mezzo-soprano, including five seasons as a principal soloist in the ensemble of Oper der Stadt Köln (Cologne Opera), where she appeared in numerous roles, including Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Romeo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Don Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, Smeraldine in L’amour des trois oranges, Mercedes in Carmen, Wellgunde in Das Rheingold, and Waltraute in Die Walküre. She worked with, among others, conductors Sir Jeffrey Tate, Robert Carsen, Daniele Callegari, Graeme Jenkins, and Philippe Auguin as well as stage directors Christof Loy, Günter Krämer, and Torsten Fischer. Other mezzo-soprano appearances included the roles of Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Margret in Wozzeck.
An active recitalist, she studied German art song at the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, where her teachers included Walter Berry, Elly Ameling, Jörg Demus, Helmut Deutsch, and Rudolf Jansen. She gave a joint recital with tenor Ernst Haefliger at the International Beethoven Festival in Bonn and has been heard in recital in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, China and various cities in the United States.
On the concert stage, Molly has appeared as a soloist in an operatic concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Mozart Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Detroit Symphony, La damnation de Faust with Utah Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Magnificat and an opera gala with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Mozart Requiem at Carnegie Hall, a Gershwin celebration and Mozart Requiem at Lincoln Center, Isolde’s “Liebestod” at the Interlochen Arts Festival, Stravinsky’s Les Noces at the Great Lakes Chamber Festival, and in the Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, broadcast on DeustchlandFunk Radio. On the concert stage she has worked with Gerard Schwarz, Hans Graf, Lothar Koenigs, Keith Lockhart, John Rutter, Norman Scribner, and Nicholas Kraemer.
Molly Fillmore made her solo operatic debut with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center Opera House while a sophomore at American University. By the time she had completed her university studies, she had appeared in seven roles (including a leading role in the zarzuela El Gato Montes) with the Washington National Opera and as a soloist in numerous concerts at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
In October 2018, she and pianist Elvia Puccinelli premiered a new song cycle (Cameos) which was a collaboration with composer Juliana Hall, who set music to Molly Fillmore’s poetry about six female American visual artists: Sarah Albritton, Alice Dalton Brown, Corita Kent, Agnes Pelton, Nellie Mae Rowe, and Kay Walkingstick. A new recording of that song cycle as well as additional song cycles by Juliana Hall is set for release in 2019.
A native of northeast Ohio, she graduated magna cum laude from American University in Washington, D.C., and is the recipient of that university’s Evelyn Swarthout Hayes award, given to the student who has contributed most to the Washington, D.C. performing arts scene while maintaining a high grade point average. She holds a master of music degree from The University of Maryland. She taught voice at Michigan State University for ten years and, in 2014, joined the faculty at the University of North Texas, where she holds the position of Professor of Voice. Molly Fillmore was named Chair of the Division of Vocal Studies at UNT in February 2018.
Forthcoming projects in the spring of 2019 include the world premiere performance of songs by composer Reinhard Oppel, directing a production of Die Zauberflöte with Central Florida Lyric Opera, the world premiere of a song cycle with her trio, Cécliane, with music by Samuel K. Sweet, and Elijah (as soprano soloist) with the UNT Symphony.
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