A Michigan native, soprano Chelsea Helm is completing the final year of her master’s degree on full scholarship at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas. This fall at the Shepherd School, Ms. Helm appears as Nella in Gianni Schicchi, and in the spring she will perform the role of Nireno in Giulio Cesare. In her first year at Rice, Ms. Helm was seen as Lucia in a scene from Lucia di Lammermoor, Nannetta in a scene from Falstaff, and Cobweb in Rice’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In 2014-2015, she was a featured soloist on numerous occasions with the Grand Rapids Symphony, including the performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with Grand Rapids’ collaborative LiveArts concert event in VanAndel Arena, and on the premiere of new works with the MusicNOW series and the annual Symphony with Soul. That same season she was also heard with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra as a soloist for Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Schubert’s Salve Regina.
Named “West Michigan’s leading young soprano” by Opera Grand Rapids after winning their 2013 Collegiate Vocal Competition, Ms. Helm has performed with the company as Mrs. Sem in Britten’s Noah’s Flood, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and in the choruses of Carmen and Samson and Delilah.
Ms. Helm studied in the opera studio at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and received her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. While at WMU, she performed the role of Laurie in Copland’s Tender Land. During that time she also performed as a soloist for Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and for two consecutive years was awarded the Jessye Norman Scholarship of Promise by the Great Lakes Regional Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.