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Saundra DeAthos-Meers

Assistant Professor, Voice / Opera

Address: Cato Center, Room 209
Phone: 843.953.5440
E-mail: deathosmeerssl@cofc.edu


Lyric soprano Saundra DeAthos has been heralded for the remarkable quality of both her vocal and dramatic presentations. Most recently, Saundra has received rave reviews at Utah Festival Opera for her portrayals of Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica.  The HERALD JOURNAL states that, Defying typecasting, soprano Saundra DeAthos plays an unfaithful wife in Il Tabarro and a doomed nun minutes later in Suor Angelica.  Ms. DeAthos captures the emotional torment in both roles and her singing is breathtaking, especially in her tragic aria “Senza Mamma.”

Excelling in a varied and broad repertoire, she began her career as an Adler Fellow and in the Merola Opera Program with San Francisco Opera. Flourishing in the spotlight, Saundra claimed numerous principal assignments with San Francisco Opera and on tour with Western Opera Theater.

Of her San Francisco Opera performances, OPERA Magazine admired, "Saundra DeAthos imparted vulnerability and an elegant soprano.” Accordingly, the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE noted, "Saundra DeAthos delivered a virtuosic performance... a real charmer of a soprano, [she] made one love the character." SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE confirmed, “Saundra DeAthos nailed all of [her] coloratura flights and showed perfect timing." Ms. DeAthos has graced the stages of many outstanding opera companies across the United States, such as San Francisco Opera, Western Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Eugene Opera, Amarillo Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera North, Opera Illinois and West Bay Opera among others.

While her entry into opera focused largely on the operas of Mozart, highlights of her recent repertoire includes her acclaimed portrayal of the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Marguerite in Faust, Gilda in Rigoletto, Micaëla in Carmen, and Mimì in La Bohème. Ms DeAthos made a stunning role debut as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the Helena Symphony Orchestra and reprised the role with Amarillo Opera where she was described in the North Texas Performing Arts News as “vocally…stunning. She meets the extravagant demands that Puccini makes on his hero without any strain whatsoever. She has a full-throated lyric-verging-on-verismo soprano and can still float a gorgeous pianissimo note at the top of her range. In the final scene, she ate the scenery and left the audience in tears.”  Other recent engagements Nedda in I Pagliacci with Amarillo Opera, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica in Utah Festival Opera’s presentation of Puccini’s Il Trittico.  Ms. DeAthos received rave reviews for her portrayal of Micaëla in Carmen with Denyce Graves for Opera Charleston. Of her heart-rending performance as Micaëla, Charleston’s POST AND COURRIER exclaimed, “Soprano Saundra DeAthos, who played Micaela, possessed a beautiful, sweet tone and made you want to shake some sense into José, who might have married her if he hadn't fallen for the wild gypsy temptress.” The CITY PAPER added, “Soprano Saundra DeAthos melted hearts with her portrayal of Micaëla; her silvery, emotionally naked singing made me cry in her lovely act III aria.”

In addition to her operatic activities, Ms. DeAthos performs regularly with symphony orchestras throughout the United States including the San Francisco Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Helena Symphony Orchestra, Fresno Symphony Orchestra, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra among others. Saundra offers a remarkably broad concert repertoire that encompasses Handel’s Messiah and Jeptha, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Dvořák's Te Deum, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and Fauré’s Requiem. She was featured in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for a performance telecast on PBS.

Ms. DeAthos holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Central Michigan University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois, is a graduate of the Opera Institute at Boston University and she has received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature with a minor in Vocology, also at the University of Illinois. Saundra has recently accepted a position at the College of Charleston as Head of Opera in South Carolina after spending 10 years as the Music Coordinator in the Theatre Department at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.


Courses Taught

MUSC 131 - Music Appreciation
MUSC 292
- Repertory Class: Voice
MUSC 367
- Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop
MUSP 215
- Applied Music: Voice
MUSP 415
- Applied Music: Voice