In the world-premiere of Josephine with UrbanArias, The Washington Post gushed, “... the afternoon belonged to Melissa Wimbish, who was creating the role of Josephine Baker in this world-premiere of ‘Josephine.’ Beautifully prepared, vocally stunning, and theatrically riveting, Wimbish effortlessly held the audience in her hand throughout this one-woman show.” Praised by The New York Times for her “stylish singing” and by The Boulder Daily Camera as “simply incredible … the highlight of the entire evening,” Melissa Wimbish is consistently recognized for her artistry, technical prowess, and captivating stage presence. As Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera Baltimore, the young soprano did not go unnoticed with Opera News noting her “promising soprano” while The Baltimore Sun echoed praise for her “bright voice” and “knack for animating phrases”. In the role of Juliette, she was described as “ … especially captivating at the onset performing the reveling Je veux vivre complete with impressive vocal runs and coquettish mannerisms” by DC Metro Theater Arts.
Melissa recently made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut with a program of works by Jake Heggie, Tom Cipullo, André Previn, and the world-premiere of Space in Chains by Jessica Meyer set to poetry by Laura Kasischke. She made her Baltimore Symphony debut as a featured soloist performing Ligeti’s technical feat, Mysteries of the Macabre. Another notable debut was at Kennedy Center's Opera House as soprano soloist for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Washington Ballet featuring the Washington National Opera orchestra conducted by Martin West. Other career highlights include Carmina Burana at the Kennedy Center with Washington Ballet and the late J. Reilly Lewis, Candide with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony, and Mozart’s Requiem with Richmond Symphony conducted by Erin Freeman. She has performed with American Opera Projects, Denver Philharmonic, National Philharmonic, American Modern Ensemble, Manchester Choral Society, The Spirituals Project, MSU Denver Symphony Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, The Occasional Symphony, and Young Artists of America at Strathmore.
With the original cast of Paul's Case and UrbanArias, Melissa made her Prototype Festival premiere as the History Teacher in Gregory Spears’ celebrated chamber opera. Her critically-acclaimed portrayal of Josephine Baker in the world-premiere of Josephine by Tom Cipullo, along with dozens of contemporary opera and art song premieres, have established her as an in-demand interpreter of living work and traditional opera. Other operatic roles include Cunegonde (Candide), Manon (Manon), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Lady with the Cakebox (Postcard from Morocco), Micaëla (Carmen), Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro; Marcos Portugal), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), Silly Baby Mouse (The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse), Miss Rose (Lakmé), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Blöndchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Christine (Lost Childhood; Hamer), Nancy Tuckerman (Camelot Requiem; Bornfield), Eve (Adam and Eve; Soluri), and Elle in Poulenc’s monodrama for soprano, La voix humaine. A budding fan of early music, Melissa regularly appears in recital with the Baltimore-based early music ensemble S’amusant.
In 2014, Melissa was awarded the top competition honor at the NATS National Conference in Boston. Her performance in four rounds of the competition at the district, regional, and national levels included works by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Grieg, Marx, Debussy, Massenet, Brahms, Tom Cipullo, and Jake Heggie. She received the Grand Prize Artist Award in addition to the Franco-American Award for Best Interpretation of French Repertoire. A finalist in the 2013 International Liszt-Garrison Competition, Melissa and her accompanist Ju Young Lee received special honors for Best Interpretation of American Song. As a winner of the Vocal Arts Society Discovery Series, Melissa made her Kennedy Center recital debut at the Millennium stage followed by the Terrace Theater the next year. Other awards include the Denver Philharmonic Concerto Competition, Kennett Square Symphony Competition, Dante Alighieri Award, Denver Lyric Opera Guild Award, the Hilda Perl and Douglas Goodwin Award for Opera, and the Peabody Voice Award.
Melissa fronts the Baroque indie pop duo Outcalls with Britt Olsen-Ecker. The duo has rapidly established themselves as a genre-defying powerhouse in the Baltimore music scene with the release of their latest album, No King, praised in The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Magazine. Outcalls were the recipients of a Baker Artist Award at 89.7 WTMD's 2016 Baltimore Band Block Party for Best Overall Set.
Melissa lives in the greatest city on earth AKA Baltimore with her cat, Billy.