Saundra DeAthos-Meers

Assistant Professor, Voice / Opera

Address: Cato Center, Room 209
Phone: 843.953.5440
Personal Website:

Saundra DeAthos has been heralded for the remarkable quality of both her vocal and dramatic presentations. 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. 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.” She 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.”

Ms. DeAthos has graced the stages of many outstanding opera companies across the United States, such as Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Western Opera Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Eugene Opera, Amarillo Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera North, Opera Illinois, and West Bay Opera among others. Ms. DeAthos made a stunning role debut as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the Helena Symphony. With Amarillo Opera, Saundra reprised the title role once again, 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.” Ms. DeAthos also 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 Micaëla, 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 which includes the Helena Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Illinois 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, Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria and Fauré’s Requiem. She was featured in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for a performance telecast on PBS. This past spring, Saundra sang Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony also with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Saundra is currently the Director of Opera and Assistant Professor of Voice at the College of Charleston. At the College, she has recently produced and directed Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and La voix humaine, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. This past season, she produced Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for the College in collaboration with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and C of C Department of Theatre and Dance. This Fall, she will be debuting Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Charleston Opera Theater is also looking forward to collaborating with Grammy-nominated pianist and his wife, Paul and Kayleen Sánchez this holiday season for a "Holidays Around the World" concert on Kiawah Island.

Previously, she spent ten years as the Music Coordinator in the Theatre Department at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Harold, and two children, Maggie and Gray.

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