Born and raised in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Michelle Riley displayed musical promise from an early age. Her parents enrolled her in piano lessons at age 6, and as she matured, she became increasingly interested in vocal performance. Michelle began formal voice training at age 16 in 2011. She represented the South Shore region in the Nova Scotia Provincial Music Festival and presented her first half-recital just two years later in 2013, and began her studies in voice with Monette Gould at Mount Allison University that September. In 2014 she had the opportunity to perform another recital under the Nautilis series, presented by the Osprey Arts Centre in her hometown, and presented two more recitals at Mount Allison in 2016 and 2017. Michelle interpreted the role of Hope Harcourt in the Garnet and Gold Musical Theatre Society’s production of Anything Goes in 2015, and participated in the Mount Allison Opera Workshop productions. In 2016 she began her studies with Vicki St. Pierre, and appeared as Vivienne Kensington in the Garnet and Gold Musical Theatre Society’s production of Legally Blonde in January 2017. In July 2017, she performed with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) singing the role of “Lay Sister” in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. She joined the Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s 2017 season performing the roles of L’Aurora, Semele and Ora 1 in Cavalli’s L’Egisto. Michelle is continuing her studies in voice at the Master’s degree level with Torin Chiles at the University of Western Ontario. Most recently, she appeared as Frasquita in Carmen presented by Western Opera and has just presented her first of two recitals in partial fulfillment of the degree. She is ecstatic to be returning to HSOF for their 2018 season to sing her dream role: Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni!

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