Emlynn Shoemaker is an operatic mezzo soprano based in Chicago, IL. Emlynn has often been praised for her earnest character choices which are reflected in her musical expression on stage. She sings regularly with Lyric Opera Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Choral Artists. She recently made her company debut as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! with Evanston Chamber Opera in February 2023. Emlynn will be returning to Cedar Rapids Opera as a Smith Young Artist in June 2023 to sing the role of Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and cover the role of Hattie in American Gothical. Following her time with Cedar Rapids Opera, Emlynn will also be returning to GLOW Lyric Theatre as a Resident Artist to perform in their production of Poul Ruder's The Handmaid's Tale as THE DOUBLE.
Emlynn started 2022 as a Smith Young Artist with Cedar Rapids Opera for their winter season, and sang the role of Mama Bear for their virtual production of John Davie’s Goldie B. Locks And The Three Singing Bears. Emlynn performed the role of Judy in Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shephard with Chicago Choral Artists. She then returned to Cedar Rapids Opera for their summer season production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance as the role of Edith, directed by Gregory Keller. Following this, Emlynn joined GLOW Lyric Theatre for the south-eastern premier of STINNEY: An American Execution as Barbara Thames, as well as a featured soloist for their broadway medley production titled A Classic Broadway Review. Emlynn finished off the summer starring as Angelina in Lawrence Opera Theatre’s production of La Cenerentola.
She obtained her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Kansas in 2021, where she studied with renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle and graduated with honors. Emlynn was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, and was nominated and selected twice for the Graduate Honors Recital at KU. In the fall of 2019 Emlynn joined Washburn University as a guest artist for their production of Pirates of Penzance, singing the role of Ruth. The summer of 2020, Emlynn was a Russian Opera Workshop artist, where she spent the summer coaching the roles of Tamara's nurse in The Demon and Olga in Eugene Onegin with Ghenady Meirson. In the spring of 2021 Emlynn was a featured soloist in the socially-distanced workshop of Kathleen Belcher’s A Musical Love Letter. She finished her final semester at KU in 2021 starring as Hannah After in As One with KU Chamber Orchestra.
Emlynn’s other 2021 performance credits include the virtual production of Operatizers! with Peach State Opera singing the roles of Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus and Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and her role debut of Stephano in Roméo et Juliette with Lawrence Opera Theatre.
Emlynn holds a BA in Music from Presbyterian College where she studied privately with Dr. Christian Elser. She won the musical theater division of South Carolina NATS her sophomore year, was a national qualifier for NATS in both the Classical and Musical Theatre divisions her Sophomore and Junior years, and won the Presbyterian College Orville Olsen Competition her Junior year. Her credits during undergrad include Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Mercy Lewis in The Crucible (GLOW Lyric Theatre, 2017), Vittoria in The Gondoliers (GLOW Lyric Theatre, 2017), Toad in A Year With Frog and Toad, and Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes. She was a Young Artist with GLOW Lyric Theatre her junior and senior year, and the summer of 2018 after graduation, she made her role debut and company debut as Buttercup in Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore.