December 28, 2023, 7:30 pm
Ashley Townsley, soprano
Mi Sun Cheong, piano
Ashley Townsley, soprano, is widely applauded by audiences for her sparkling high notes and equally effervescent stage presence. Currently based in Texas and a Houston native, Ashley has already made a significant debut with the Houston Grand Opera, giving the world the premiere of Jake Heggie’s Pieces of 9/11 Memories from Houston in 2012. Other stage credits include: Stella (A Streetcar Named Desire), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Amor (Orfeo ed Euridice), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), and Madame Goldentrill (The Impresario).
Ashley has distinguished herself in concert repertoire as a consistent and reliable soloist, appearing in works including Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with various orchestras and ensembles including the UNT Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Choral Foundation, and the Lake Charles Messiah Chorus.
Ashley holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas where she is currently pursuing a Graduate Artist Certificate in Opera. Ashley is a current recipient of the Bill and Margot Winspear Opera Scholarship, studying under the tutelage of international soprano, Carol Wilson. Last Fall, Ashley was selected to compete in the University of North Texas Concerto Competition. Ashley will make her company debut this summer with Opera Arlington as Despina (Così fan tutte).
Mi Sun Cheong was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea where she started playing the piano at age 6. Ms. Cheong received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with honors in Seoul National University, the most prestigious music education institution in South Korea. She has received many honors throughout Korea, including First Prize in the Seoul Arts Competition. Ms. Cheong’s concert activities have encompassed a wide range of activities, from solo to collaborative. In Korea she has appeared as soloist in Seoul and in Jeju. She has also concertized in Germany, the Czech Republic and the United States. Her collaborative work spans a wide range of instruments, with a specialty in vocal literature and opera.
A participant in numerous master classes and festivals, she has worked with such artists as Jeno Jando, Ivan Moravec, Alfred Brendel and Andrei Gavrilov. She is currently pursuing her DMA degree under the direction of Dr. Pamela Mia Paul at the University of North Texas where she is also a Teaching Fellow.