Hailed by Opera News as “first rate,” Megan Cullen is a young, dramatic soprano whose powerful voice and compelling characterizations are capturing the devotion of audiences throughout the world.
In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Cullen had several role debuts, including Abigaille in Nabucco, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She also reprised the Mother in Hansel and Gretel. During the pandemic (2021), Megan learned and performed the role of Anna Maurrant (Street Scene) in an innovative on-line production with Young Artists of America. Megan returned to OperaMaya as her first in-person engagement post-pandemic; she was delighted to be promoted to the Young Artist position and presented arias from La Gioconda and Don Carlo with the touring company. Coming up in 2022, Megan will sing the title role in Elektra with the Opera Programs Berlin.
In the summer of 2019, Megan revisited the role of Brünnhilde in Die Walküre with the Manhattan Opera Studio; Ms. Cullen received critical acclaim for her performance as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre in 2015 at the Norwegian National Theater in Oslo, as part of the workshop company, LidalNorth. She debuted this role with Verismo Opera in 2013. Earlier in 2019, she made her role debut as Dido (Dido and Aeneas) with Capitol Opera in Sacramento, CA. During the summer of 2018, Megan sang her second Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Utah Lyric Opera, having performed the rarely heard 1912 version in 2010 with Opera Riconosciuta in San Francisco. Megan also made her company debut with Capitol Opera in 2018, singing the title role in Zanetto and covering the role of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana. In the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Cullen sang the role of Elettra in Idomeneo, on the island of Crete, and she returned to Oslo to sing Gertrude in Hänsel und Gretel, a role she debuted in 2009 in an English translation. In 2013, Megan covered the fiendish title role, and sang Die Aufseherin, in Strauss’ Elektra with Des Moines Metro Opera. During the 2010-2011 season, Ms. Cullen sang the title role in Suor Angelica, Ortlinde in Die Walküre, and Venus in Tannhäuser. She also covered the title role in Turandot, and covered both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Megan would go on to perform Ortlinde and cover Donna Elvira again, both in 2012.
Megan is a popular recitalist, and has given concerts for the Wagner Society of Northern California and Musik in der Kirche, a series devoted to the perpetuation and development of German music, poetry, and culture in the US. A champion of new music, Ms. Cullen has premiered works of vocal chamber music in New York and Boston, and is a featured artist and producer with The Opus Project, as part of the Berkeley Arts’ Festival. In the realm of contemporary opera, Megan has sung The Faithful Seductress in Amy Beth Kirsten’s critically acclaimed opera Ophelia Forever with Goat Hall Chamber Opera, and she sang her first “pants” role as The Boss / Carlson in Mark Alburger’s Mice Suites, a contemporary look at Steinbeck’s epic play, with San Francisco Cabaret Opera.
In 2019, Megan was a finalist and prize-winner in the Brava! Opera Vocal Competition. As a prize winner in the Montecatini International Opera Competition, she would have reprised the title role of Turandot in Trieste, Italy, and on tour throughout Asia, in the 2019-2020 season, but this engagement was regrettably cancelled due to COVID-19. Megan was also honored with the Jury Prize for Best Interpretation at the Montecatini Competition, the first non-Italian to ever be awarded the prize, for her presentation of Abigaille from Nabucco. She was also an International Semi-Finalist in the Elizabeth Connell Prize for Young Dramatic Sopranos in 2017. Other accolades include the Raphael Bundage Young Artist Award from the National Orpheus Vocal Competition, 2nd place in the Rio Hondo Symphony Young Artists’ Competition, and 2nd place in the East Bay Opera League Scholarship Competition. Ms. Cullen has also been recognized by the International Liszt Competition (3rd place, 2010), the Bell T. Ritchie Awards, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauch Dienst. Ms. Cullen studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and The Juilliard School.