Lauded by The Washington Times as “sprightly and charming” with "a voice as clear and acrobatic as one could wish,” soprano Abigail Paschke is quickly establishing herself as a stand out artist with "uncommon spark" on both the operatic and musical theater stage.
This season, Ms. Paschke will be seen as Ellie Mae Chipley in Francesca Zambello and E. Loren Meeker's production of Show Boat as well as Gossip 2/Ensemble in
The Ghosts of Versailles at The Glimmerglass Festival. Additional engagements include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Salt Marsh Opera, Noémie in Massenet's Cendrillon in her company debut with Opera Company of Middlebury, and the soprano soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah with Capella Cantorum. She will also reprise the role of Gossip 2/Ensemble in The Ghosts of Versailles with The Opéra Royal/Château de Versailles Spectacles in Versailles, France.
During the 2018 season, Ms. Paschke made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra as Rosalia in West Side Story, conducted by NSO Principal Pops conductor Steven Reineke and directed by Francesca Zambello as part of the Centennial Celebration of Leonard Bernstein at The Kennedy Center. She also returned to Des Moines Metro Opera to reprise the role of Sally in Die Fledermaus for which she was hailed by critics as "comedy gold," and described by Opera News as "hysterical". Ms. Paschke additionally made her company debut with Madison Lyric Stage later that season to play the role of The Governess in Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw.
Previously, Ms. Paschke was seen as Valencienne in The Merry Widow (Kentucky Opera), Abigail Williams in The Crucible (Hartford Opera Theater), Juliette (cover) in Roméo et Juliette (Des Moines Metro Opera) Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Virginia Opera Outbound Tour), Maria in West Side Story (The Carnegie), Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Kentucky Opera), Alice in Le Comte Ory (Des Moines Metro Opera), Sally in Die Fledermaus (Opera Saratoga), Frasquita in Carmen (Kentucky Opera, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra), and Maria in The Sound of Music (The Carnegie). She covered the roles of Leïla in Les pêcheurs des perles (Virginia Opera), Adele in Die Fledermaus (Virginia Opera), Johanna in Sweeney Todd (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), Niece 1 and Niece 2 in Peter Grimes (Des Moines Metro Opera), and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (Opera Saratoga). Additional roles include Blanche de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Ilia in Idomeneo, Petra in A Little Night Music, Claudia in Nine, Cosette in Les Misérables, and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.
Ms. Paschke was trained in ballet/pointe by Russian Prima Ballerina Valentina Kozlova, and spent numerous summers studying flamenco in Granada, Spain. Her extensive dance training has given her the opportunity to lead or choreograph dance components in operatic and musical theater productions. She subsequently served as Dance Captain at Des Moines Metro Opera for two festival seasons and was featured as a flamenco dancer in Stephen Barlow’s production of Carmen with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Ms. Paschke completed her Master of Music degree at the prestigious University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and held coveted Resident Young Artist positions at Opera Saratoga, Kentucky Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Virginia Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cincinnati Opera. She was the Grand Prize winner of the National Orpheus Vocal Competition, a Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition Semi-Finalist, a Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition John Alexander Memorial Award winner, and received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
*Ms. Paschke is an active member of Actors' Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).