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"My mission as an artist is to make connections: Connections to an audience, connections with my colleagues, and most importantly connections to characters and ways of life other than my own." 

About

Known for her floating high notes and rich middle range, Hillary Esqueda is a versatile lyric soprano praised as a “powerful” performer. Hillary’s  passion for modern and 21st-century opera led her to create three roles for composer Francis Lynch in the world premiers of Voices at Domrémy (Yvonne), For Those in Peril (Gwendolyn) and Joseph’s Gift (Mary). Aaron Hunt of Chicago Theatre Review described her performance of Mary as "appropriately serene...with a flowing and pitch-perfect voice that sets the bar high for any soprano undertaking this role in the future." Hillary also appeared in the Midwest premiers of With Blood, With Ink as legendary poet, scholar and nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and Darkling (Soprano Anna) by Stefan Weisman and Anna Rabinowitz. She has also sung the roles of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Mimi (La Bohème), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), Drusilla (L'incoronazione di Poppea), Popelka (Comedy on the Bridge), Marie (La Fille du Régiment), Sophie (Werther), Marzelline (Fidelio), First Lady (Magic Flute), and Frasquita (Carmen).

Esqueda was a Young Artist and Apprentice with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Pacific Encore Performances, and Underworld Productions. In summer 2016, she attended OperaWorks’ Advanced Artist Program, where she explored her artistry in four weeks of intensive work culminating in an improvisational opera performance. In summer 2022, she traveled to Cancun, Mexico, to perform around the Yucatan Peninsula with OperaMaya as a Young Artist during their summer festival. In 2023 she joined Mozart in the Knobs in their inaugural festival and made her role debut as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). 


Hillary was took first place in The Da Capo International Vocal Competition (2023). She was a prizewinner in the 2022 Vienna New Year’s Competition, and was runner-up in The American Prize (2020). She received her bachelor’s degree in music from NYU’s Steinhardt School and her master’s from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Hillary currently lives in Chicago and studies with countertenor Mark Crayton.

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About
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Ernani, Ernani involami (from Ernani by Verdi)

Ernani, Ernani involami (from Ernani by Verdi)
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Ernani, Ernani involami (from Ernani by Verdi)

Ernani, Ernani involami (from Ernani by Verdi)

05:53
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Steal me, sweet thief from Menotti's Old Maid and the Thief (Laetitia's Aria)

Steal me, sweet thief from Menotti's Old Maid and the Thief (Laetitia's Aria)

04:27
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"Back to Before" from Ragtime

"Back to Before" from Ragtime

04:00
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Curriculum Vitae

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"[Ms. Esqueda] was appropriately serene...with a flowing and pitch-perfect voice that sets the bar high for any soprano undertaking this role in the future."

-Aaron Hunt

Chicago Theater Review

Joseph's Gift (Mary)

World Premiere

events

Performances

Upcoming Performances

Opera Nova:
1st Annual Gala (Virtual Concert)
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Hillary is proud to be joining Opera Nova for their first ever Opera Gala! This brand new company headed by Mitchell Gage has a mission to increase the inclusivity and accessibility of Opera for the disabled/differently-abled community. Hillary will be joining Soprano Melissa McCann for a duet from Norma as Adalgisa!

April 2024
​Check back for more details!

Wilmington Concert Opera: 
Virtual Recital
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In another (virtual) company debut, Hillary will be joining Wilmington Concert Opera as part of The Dr. Will and Mrs. Dawn Schlotterer Virtual Recital Series. Being given the free choice of repertoire, she has chosen to present a spooky-themed recital in time for her favorite holiday, Halloween. 
 

Fall 2024
Check back for more details! 

Recent Performances

Third Eye Theater Ensemble:
The Consul (Foreign Woman) 
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A staple of the storefront opera scene in Chicago for 10 years, Third Eye Theater Ensemble is presenting its final production, Menotti's The Consul. Hillary is honored to join the company a third, and final, time, this time as Foreign Woman. 

The Edge Theater
5451 North Broadway,Chicago, 60640
Hillary Performs: 9/23, 9/30, 10/5 & 10/7 at 7:30 PM

Recent Performance: Mozart in the Knobs
Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira-role debut)
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Hillary is thrilled to be joining Mozart in the Knobs in their inaugural season, presenting Mozart's works for two weeks in the Louisville, KY and New Albany, IN area, culminating in a performance of Don Giovanni, where she will be singing her first ever Donna Elvira on July 29th. 
In addition, she'll be participating in a Benefit Gala (7/22) and the Mozart Requiem (7/26). Get your tickets below! 

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