American soprano Melissa Givens is a singer recognized for her rich, powerful tone, and crystalline clarity. She has been especially noted for her expressiveness and intelligent musical interpretations. An extremely versatile artist, she regularly performs music of eras from the Baroque to Contemporary, and includes music of underrepresented composers, with a special emphasis on women and African Americans.
Notable performances include the solo recitals Out of the Shadows: Art Songs by Black Composers and Love’s Joys, Life’s Shadows: Songs Among Friends, the premieres of Tom Flaherty’s Song of One Who Loves and Insurreflections, and the world premiere performance of Florence Price’s “Lullaby,” edited by John Michael Cooper. Recently, Givens released her second solo recording, The Artist at Fifty, a recital of art songs from the composers’ fiftieth year, on the Centaur record label.
A champion of collaborative musical endeavors, Givens performs with various chamber music groups, including Conspirare, the 2015 Grammy© winner for Best Choral Performance. Her solo appearances on their major label releases have received enthusiastic reviews.
Givens is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Head of Voice Studies at Pomona College. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, a Master of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Davidson College. She is a native of Buffalo, New York.