American soprano Naomi Merer is excited to perform two new roles this season, Miss Phoebe in the North American premiere of Lehar’s operetta, The Mock Marriage, at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, followed by Zerlina in Prague Summer Nights Young Artists Music Festival’s production of Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre in Prague, where the opera was premiered. She also looks forward to performing the role of Sarah Good in Opera Santa Barbara’s production of The Crucible. In her role debut as Susanna in UCSB’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, Ms. Merer “brought a masterful sense of comedic verisimilitude…and championed a voice that grew in warmth and consonance…” (BravoCalifornia!). Other operatic roles include Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Estates Theatre in Prague (Prague Summer Nights Young Artists Music Festival), Youth in Thomas Cipullo’s After Life (UCSB & National Opera Association), Célie in Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso (UCSB), Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival), and Madame Herz in The Impresario (Northwestern University). Ms. Merer has also performed several chorus roles with Opera Santa Barbara, including Lolette in La rondine, a Hen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Suor Osmina in Suor Angelica, as well as ensemble in Manon, Carmen, and Don Giovanni. She also sang the title role of Manon, Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Mercédès in Carmen, and Alto Chorus in The Diary of One Who Disappeared by Janáček in Opera Santa Barbara’s outreach concerts.
Ms. Merer’s accolades include winning second place in the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competition (2018, 2017) and singing on a master class with Renée Fleming in the Lobero Theatre (2016). A versatile artist, Ms. Merer also starred in several of Northwestern’s musical theatre productions, portraying Lucy and the Street Singer in The Threepenny Opera and Linda in The Wedding Singer. She has performed with several ensembles in the Santa Barbara area, including as the soprano soloist in A Christmas Garland with the Santa Barbara Choral Society and Orchestra, and the chorus of Mozart’s Requiem with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Merer has also attended several young artist programs, including AIMS in Graz, Austria, where she sang in a variety of concerts, such as operetta concerts with the AIMS Festival Orchestra. She is currently an MM/DMA candidate in voice performance at UCSB, where she studies with Dr. Linda Di Fiore on a full tuition scholarship with a teaching assistantship stipend. At UCSB, Ms. Merer maintains a voice studio where she teaches individual voice lessons to non-majors, gives small master classes, and coaches diction.