Boston-based soprano Mara Riley strives to perform musically and authentically within every genre, though she feels especially drawn to Baroque and art song repertoire. She is currently pursuing a double MM in Flute and Vocal Performance at the New England Conservatory, in the studios of Paula Robison and Lisa Saffer. In 2020, she completed a double BM at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Particularly intrigued by concert work and oratorio, she is grateful for every opportunity to sing within the genre. In 2023, she appeared as soprano soloist in Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Back Bay Chorale under the baton of Anthony Trecek-King. The same year, she was named first prize winner in the Colorado Bach Ensemble Young Artist Competition. She was the soprano fellow with Emmanuel Music’s 2023 Bach Institute. In December 2021, she appeared as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Boulder Bach Festival. The previous year, she was featured in the Boulder Bach Festival’s virtual concert series. In 2018, she sang with the Colorado Saints Chorale and Orchestra as a soloist (Martha) in Rob Gardner’s oratorio, The Lamb of God, and was invited back the following year to sing the same role. Ms. Riley also finds great fulfillment in ensemble singing, having sung with various choirs in churches across Boston. Upcoming professional engagements include Handel’s Samson with the Cambridge Chamber Ensemble, and BWV 10 with the Colorado Bach Ensemble.
Interested in operatic singing as well, she has been fortunate to sing some amazing roles over the course of her educational career. Favorites have included: Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Mary Bailey in Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Héro in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict.
When not practicing, Ms. Riley loves to be outside (bonus points if the sun is out) and can often be found hiking in her home state of Colorado. Her goal in life is to meet as many dogs as possible.