Cynthia Wohlschlager

Cynthia Skelley-Wohlschlager, D.M.A.               

Assistant Professor of Music, Limited Term

Director of Opera and Voice Faculty Member

Associate Artistic Director and Director of Young Artist Programs, Nightingale OperaTheatre


Dr. Cynthia Skelley-Wohlschlager, mezzo-soprano, performs recitals, oratorio, and opera with international work in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and across the United States.  Research interests include the study of shared dramatic pacing and motifs in the operas of Jake Heggie. A recipient of the O.D. Taliaferro Opera Award, CSW won the Max Berman Award for Outstanding Vocal Performance and the Dewey and the Mary Gilley Memorial Award for Distinguished Opera, Tuesday Musical Voice Competition, and received induction into the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. 2022-2023 marks CSW's twentieth year teaching within higher education. 

Highlights of operatic roles performed include Mrs. DeRocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Madeline Mitchell in Heggie’s Three Decembers, Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul, Ludmilla in Smetana's Bartered Bride, Madame De Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites, Marthe in Gounod’s Faust, Alma March in Adamo’s Little Women, Dritte Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and the Witch and Mother in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

As a director of over 30 operas and musicals, CSW is passionate about producing modern opera and making traditional opera accessible and relatable to the contemporary audience. Recent directing credits include Little Women by Adamo, A Certain Madness by Bridger-Heruth, Pinocchio by Dove, and If I Were You by Heggie. Her production of Beneath Suspicion by composer Jesse Ayers was a named semi-finalist for the American Prize.

Students from CSW’s studio have gone on to study at Yale, Indiana, Rice, San Francisco Conservatory, UMKC, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Royal Central School of London, and Vanderbilt, among others.

Studio members have won top prizes in national and international competitions, including Osaka International, London International Virtuoso, Schloss-Mirabell, Classical Singer, Orpheus, New York Lyric Opera, and Irma Cooper Competitions. Students also have won 1st and 2nd place for NATS Competitions and have advanced to National NATS.

Students have performed in concert and recital at Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and attend Aspen, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Emerald City, CoOperative, Ice Factory, Anywhere Festival, NISHMI, and the New York Theater Institute at Juilliard.

Students have gone on to work professionally with numerous companies, including The Cleveland Opera, Opera Cleveland, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Opera Circle, Sarasota Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Ohio Light Opera, Opera Colorado, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Canton Comic Opera, Cain Park, Dobama Theater, and Cleveland Public Theater.

Past faculty appointments include The Cleveland Institute of Music, Northern Arizona University, Case Western Reserve University, Malone University, and The University of Akron.

​Professional Affiliations include the American Liszt Society, National Opera Association, NATS, Pan American Vocology Association, National Society of Scholars, Opera America, and The Voice Foundation.

More information can be found @