"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." 


Known for her floating high notes and rich middle range, soprano Hillary  Esqueda is a versatile lyric soprano emerging in the opera scene. Described as a “powerful” and “solid” performer,  Ms. Esqueda strives to incorporate her skills from dance, movement and musical theater to present realistic opera characterizations.


Hillary has performed primarily in the Chicago and NY/NJ areas. Roles performed include: Drusilla (L'incoronazione di Poppea), Popelka (Comedy on the Bridge), Marie (La Fille du Régiment), Sophie (Werther), Marzelline (Fidelio), First Lady (Magic Flute), Musetta (La Bohème) and Frasquita (Carmen). She also had the fortune to perform as a young artist and apprentice with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Opera Oggi, and Underworld Productions. In summer 2016 she traveled to Los Angeles for OperaWorks’ Advanced Artist Program where she explored her artistry in a four-week intensive training program culminating in two performances of an improv opera, Trump'd: Making Opera Great Again. In addition, she has sung as a chorus member with the Chicago Sinfonietta in their MLK tribute concert, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, and with the Roosevelt Alumni Chorus performing Daphnis et Chloe.


Her passion for modern and contemporary opera led her to  create two roles for composer Francis Lynch in the world premieres of 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 premiere of With Blood, With Ink as legendary poet, scholar and nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in Third Eye Theater Ensemble’s intimate store-front production. Hillary joined the company again in 2019 for their production of Darkling (Soprano Anna) by Stefan Weisman and Anna Rabinowitz. Ms. Esqueda closed the year with her role debut of Mimi in a concert reduction of La Bohème with Evanston Chamber Opera. 


Hillary was a Semi-Finalist in the Orpheus Competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and was recently awarded Second Place in The American Prize (Women in Opera Division). ​


Hillary 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.






Current Resume

Curriculum Vitae


"[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




EChO Benefit Concert

November 15, 2020 @ 4PM

Mark your calendars! Evanston Chamber Opera (EChO) presents its 2020 benefit event via Zoom. Eleven of our beloved singers from past productions perform their favorites by Puccini, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Finzi, Lehrer, and many more! The program also includes Q&A time with our artists and company leadership. While registration/admission is free, this is our one fundraising event for 2020, so please consider making a donation as generous as you are able. More information about registering for the event and how to support EChO’s exciting future to come soon!

A Statement during the current COVID-19 Pandemic

The current situation in the world has drastically changed many things, and artists have suffered greatly during this time; not only financially ,but spiritually. What has not changed, in my opinion, is the need for art, entertainment, and music. Despite these unprecedented times, I believe that perseverance is at the core of  the art world, and we will adapt, push on and continue to create. 

I am hoping in the months and years to come to find new ways to create and collaborate. I believe people need art fundamentally, and I will not stop creating it. 

I will feature any virtual projects here and on my social media. Any distanced performances will also be listed here. If any fellow artists are looking to collaborate, please drop my a line below. I am proud to be part of such a strong, resilient creative community, and I look forward to the art that will arise from this time of challenge. 

#keepmakingart #keepsinging #keepmakingmusic

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Joseph's Gift