American soprano Melissa Givens moves and excites audiences and critics alike with a rich, powerful tone, crystalline clarity, and intelligent musical interpretations. Especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage, she’s been hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear,” [Houston Chronicle]. Givens is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century. An Early Music America review of her performance in the 2011 Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Concerts praised her voice as “beautiful and rich, [singing] Baroque music with conviction”
A writer for Classical.Net mused, “Melissa Givens has a voice you imagine coming from the goddess Erda” in a review of Sing Freedom!, Conspirare’s 2012 recording of spirituals on the Harmonia Mundi label. A featured artist in Conspirare’s ongoing tours of Craig Hella Johnson’s groundbreaking oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard, recent performances also include Haydn’s Creation with the Aiken (SC) Masterworks Chorale and a The Artist at Fifty, recital of art songs from the composers’ fiftieth year.
A champion of collaborative musical endeavors, Givens performs with various chamber music groups, including Grammy© nominated Ars Lyrica Houston and Conspirare: Craig Hella Johnson and Company of Voices, the 2015 Grammy© winner for Best Choral Performance. She also toured Europe and Africa singing with the Belgian dance collective Les Ballets C de la B in Pitié!, a jazz re-imagining of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and appears in the ZDF/Arté film about the tour, Passion: Last Stop Kinshasa.
Currently on the voice faculty of Pomona College in Claremont, California, Givens holds a DMA from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, an MM from the Rice University Shepherd School of Music, and a BA from Davidson College.