Vocalist Aryssa Leigh Burrs is hailed for her “rich sound and thoughtful musical ideas” while “transcending vocal styles and genres with flexibility and ease.” Ms. Burrs spent the Summer '21 season as an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera. While with CCO, she performed a solo Al Fresco Concert, covered the role of Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, and was a feature ensemble member in a paired down production of Carousel. Aryssa will return as a Resident Artist with Opera Columbus-Capital University, where she was be seen singing the role of Zerlina in their spring 2021 production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Other recent engagements include Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters with UrbanArias and Mame Dennis in Mame at The Seagle Festival. Ms. Burrs is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she obtained a Masters of Music in Voice and Opera Performance. At Northwestern, she performed in numerous opera productions (Orlofsky, Die Fledermaus; Captain, Dog Days; Baba the Turk, The Rake’s Progress), while also appearing as soloist with various choral and orchestral ensembles (Am I born, David T. Little; Terra Nostra, Stacy Garrop; The Branch Will Not Break, Christopher Cerrone). As she is committed to using music for cultural and social justice causes, one of Ms. Burrs’ most cherished performances include her orchestral debut with the Charlotte Symphony as a featured soloist with the acclaimed drag queen production of Thorgy and the Thorchestra. Ms. Burrs also had the honor to perform a set of musical theater and operatic hits for the incomparable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a “thank you” dinner.
During the pandemic, Aryssa Leigh got to continue to hone her passion for progressive concert work and a lifelong interest in exploring musical styles through story and song. In January '21, Aryssa created, produced, and performed in the virtual debut performance of her concert entitled Identify, which raised funds for the non-profit organization “Phenomenal Womxn” to launch their summer camp to teach empowerment through the arts to young girls. This concert looks at Aryssa's personal pillars of identity and the music and visual arts that help her to feel challenged, curious, and ultimately empowered in those bits of herself; all with the intent, of inviting audience and collaborators alike to join her in the use of art in their own explorations. Identify, to be performed again for many seasons to come, encompasses styles ranging from english baroque, french mélodie, german romanic opera, to contemporary feminist pop.
Ms. Burrs holds both a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree in Choral/General Music from the University of Maryland in College Park. Ms. Burrs has taught K-12 General and Choral Music in Montgomery County, MD, Public Schools, while maintaining a private voice and piano studio. Continuing to use her commitment and passion for educational programming, Ms. Burrs is currently teaching music and music theatre courses, leading dramatic coachings, and teaching solo voice at Capital University in the virtual format. DC Metro Theater Arts states, “From the moment she burst onstage, Aryssa [Leigh] Burrs charmed and dazzled the audience with her rich, full voice…she has the knack for singing pop and jazz music exceptionally well without compromising her vocal technique.”