(June 3, 2015) — Soprano Mellissa Hughes will replace mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, who has withdrawn from her Ojai Music Festival appearances due to illness. This will mark Hughes’ Ojai debut. She will reprise her singing role on Wednesday June 10 for the West Coast Premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, which she performed in November with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hughes will also step in for the Thursday, June 11 evening concert Part II and the Saturday, June 13 morning concert.
The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick will focus on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a versatile, charismatic soprano endowed with brilliant technique and superlative stage instincts…indispensable to New York’s new-music ecosystem,” Mellissa Hughes enjoys a busy international career in contemporary and early music.
A dedicated interpreter of living composers, Hughes has worked closely with Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, and premiered works by David T. Little, Ted Hearne, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, and Frederic Rzewski, among others.
Recent highlights include Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score performances celebrating Pierre Boulez; Ted Hearne’s The Source at BAM; a solo American Songbook recital at Lincoln Center; an acclaimed recording of Jacob Cooper’s Silver Threads from Nonesuch Records; international tours with John Zorn; a Bang on a Can All-Stars performance of David Lang’s Death Speaks in Paris; and more.
In the classical concert hall she has performed Mozart’s Vespers and Requiem with Sir Neville Marriner, Bach cantatas with Julian Wachner and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Dido under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King. Equally at home in front of a rock band, Hughes has received widespread acclaim in her role as lead vocalist of Newspeak, an amplified alt-classical band, and for her work with Missy Mazzoli’s Victoire.
Based in Brooklyn, Mellissa Hughes holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Yale University.