Carmen Pelton

Professor Emerita of Music


Soprano Carmen Pelton has appeared in a wide range of works with orchestras, opera houses, chamber music groups, Equity drama theaters, and off-Broadway productions.  Conductors have included Robert Shaw, Jeffrey Tate, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Gerard Schwarz, and Nicholas McGegan with such diverse groups as the San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tulsa Opera, West German Radio Orchestra, Goodman Theater, the Smithsonian’s 21st-Century Consort, the New York Festival of Song, and the Library of Congress. Ms. Pelton’s solo performances are on two recordings that won GRAMMY Awards for Best Classical Album of the Year: Barber, Bartok and Vaughan-Williams with the Atlanta Symphony in one of Robert Shaw’s last recordings, and William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience recorded by Naxos at the University of Michigan.

Pelton’s first success in New York City was in the unlikely role of Susan B. Anthony in Mother of Us All; she was subsequently invited to perform the final scene from the opera at the televised Kennedy Honors program for the President and honoree Virgil Thomson.  Her European operatic debut was more conventionally suited to Pelton’s dramatic coloratura: Sir Peter Peers cast her as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Aldeburgh Festival. The outstanding reviews led immediately to her engagement by Scottish Opera as Constanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Other leading Mozart roles include Königin der Nacht, Donna Anna and the title role of Lucia Silla. Pelton has taught on the faculties of the University of Washington, The Eastman School of Music, Brevard Music Center, and the Aspen Music Center and School.

Pelton has studied with Lois Fisher, Robert Fountain, Jan DeGaetani, and Murray Perahia.


BM, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Performer’s Certificate, The Eastman School
Advanced Training, The Britten-Pears School (Aldeburgh, England)