Opera Singer and USM Professor Ellen Chickering Dies at 77

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Opera Singer and USM Professor Ellen Chickering Dies at 77

Opera singer Ellen Chickering has died at age 77. According to Portland Press Herald, she was diagnosed with abdominal cancer at the time of her retirement in December 2019.

Ellen Chickering, soprano, sang extensively in the New England area as well as throughout the United States. She debuted in Carnegie Hall singing the Soprano I in Mahler's Eighth Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic. Soon after she debuted at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC singing the soprano solo in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Washington Chorus.

She sang numerous roles in opera including Amelia in Ballo in Maschera, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Tosca in Tosca, Vanessa in Vanessa, Arabella in Arabella, Leonora in Il Trovatore and Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Anna Bolena in Anna Bolena, and Elizabetta in Maria Stuarda. She sang with Boston Academy of Music, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Commonwealth Opera and the Connecticut Concert Opera.

Her orchestra repertory was extensive and varied. She sang numerous performances of Verdi's Requiem and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as the soprano soloist as well as Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder, Britten's War Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Vaughn Williams' Sea Symphony and Dona Nobis Pacem. She recorded Vanessa with the National Philharmonic of the Ukraine for Naxos records. She sang with the Portland (ME) Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Springs Symphony, the Civic Symphony of Boston and the Boston Philharmonic.

Ms. Chickering made four concert tours to Japan where she sang with the Shinsei Nihon Symphony and the Telemann Chamber Orchestra among others. She was the program director of PORTopera's Maine's Emerging Artists for the most several seasons and directed the Opera Workshop at USM.

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