Winner of first prize in the Viotti International ‘Vokal Genial’ Competition in Munich and the Opera Birmingham competition, Melissa Shippen made her debut on the 2008 RCA recording Belle Nuit with Vesselina Kasarova. In the 2012 season, Melissa sings the title role in Thais with Opera Company of Middlebury in Vermont, and performs Micaela in Carmen with the Atlanta Opera Company. The soprano was named a 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions District Winner and Regional Finalist, and was awarded a grant from the prestigious Giulio Gari Foundation in 2007.

Melissa made her Asian debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 2008 singing Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 Sorrowful Songs. Recipient of the American Berlin Opera Foundation Scholarship in 2005, Melissa appeared on the stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin the following season as the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Nella in Gianni Schicchi (premiere), and Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica. As a member of The Juilliard Opera Center, she was heard as Marenka in their 2005 production of The Bartered Bride as Lia in the New York stage premiere of Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue conducted by Yves Abel.

She made her professional operatic debut with the Palm Beach Opera Company as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann in 2003, and returned in 2004 as Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmelites. At the Aspen Opera Theater, she performed the role of Mimi in La Boheme, conducted by Julius Rudel. She presented the same role with the National Symphony Orchestra under maestro Stephen Lord with Wolf Trap the next year. Melissa was awarded the Shouse Award at Wolf Trap following her apprenticeship with the company. She returns in concert at The Barns of Wolf Trap in 2012.

Melissa made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2001 as the soprano soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 conducted by Jahja Ling. She returned to Carnegie Hall in 2003 as soprano soloist in Britten’s War Requiem conducted by David Atherton, for which The New York Times favorably reviewed her as “a dramatic soprano with an attractive, powerful sound.”

The soprano has received the following honors: the 'Culture Award' from the American Scandinavian Society at the United Nations; being named a 2009 Metropolitan National Council Auditions- District Winner and Mid-South Regional Finalist; the 2002 Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition 2nd Prize Award winner (Junior Division); the Orpheus National Music Competition Grand Prize winner (Junior Division); and the Grand Prize at the 2000 'Di Panni- Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship' Competition. She sang in concert at the Kennedy Center for U.S. President Clinton after being named a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts at the age of 17.

Melissa enjoys song recitals and has performed 'Vocal Honors Recitals' and 'Wednesdays at One' series performances through the auspices of Juilliard at Alice Tully Hall. She performed a French song concert with New York Festival of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier at Wolf Trap. Melissa has also worked with master-teachers and artists Leontyne Price, Warren Jones, James Conlon, Evelyn Lear, Christine Brewer, and through the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Zankel Hall, Deborah Voigt and Renee Fleming. She performed Act I of Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine directed by Fabrizio Melano at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara in 2011. While there, she performed Previn’s Four Songs for Cello, Soprano and Piano in chamber concert. She was a full scholarship recipient of Ms. Jeanne Thayer.

Melissa holds both Master and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School. She continued her post-Masters studies with Soprano Professor Edith Wiens in Augsburg, Germany and with Amy Jarman of Vanderbilt University. She now resides in the United States and is managed by John Miller of Pinnacle Arts Management.

-"Soprano Melissa Shippen and tenor Matthew Garrett are the appealing and lyrical romantic leads, Marenka, the bride, and Jenik, the ostensible barterer. Shippen’s heroine is aptly feisty when crossed, but delighted to pull the wool over the eyes of silly Vasek (Jeremy Little). She has a strong enough instrument to carry off this spinto part, complete with dramatic, disillusioned aria, “How dark the day” (“Ten lásky sen”). The three soprano-tenor collaborations, Shippen’s early love duet and later angry, fiercely Slavic exchange with Garrett’s Jenik and the comic encounter with his half-brother and putative rival, Little’s Vasek, are among the performance’s highlights." ~ 2005, Bruce Michael-Gelbert