American "velvety-voiced mezzo-soprano" (San Antonio Express-News) Dawn Padula is a versatile performer of opera, oratorio, musical theatre, jazz, and classical concert repertoire.
Opera roles include Carmen in Carmen, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Lady Jane in Patience (2018 Gregory Awards People’s Choice Nominee), Lady Blanche in Princess Ida, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Third Lady in The Magic Flute, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Erika in Vanessa, and the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas.
During the pandemic, she recorded the roles of Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Olga Olsen in Street Scene with the Social Distance Opera (part of BARN Opera).
Recent operatic engagements included the roles of Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society (2019 Broadway World Seattle Best Performer in a Musical Nominee), Dame Quickly in Falstaff and Maguelone/Armelinde in Cendrillon with Puget Sound Concert Opera, and Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos and Maddalena in Rigoletto with Vashon Opera. Upcoming engagements include portraying the title role in Carmen with Bellevue Opera and Fidalma in Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto with Puget Sound Concert Opera.
In the Pacific Northwest, she has performed as a principal artist with Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Tacoma Opera, Vashon Opera, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Olympia Opera Theater, Kitsap Opera, Concert Opera of Seattle, Bellevue Opera, and Opera Pacifica. She is also a member of the Seattle Opera Chorus. A former resident of Texas, Padula has also performed with Houston Grand Opera, Opera in the Heights (Houston), The Living Opera (Garland), and Amarillo Opera.
Notable concert and oratorio work includes performing as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D with Seattle Pro Musica, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem with Northwest Repertory Singers, the concert version of West Side Story with Symphony Tacoma, Penderecki's Credo with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jahja Ling, and touring to Varna and Sofia, Bulgaria in Mozart’s Requiem with members of the Adelphian Concert Choir, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, the West Liberty University Singers, the West Liberty College Community Chorus, and the Pazardzhik Symphony. She has also performed as a soloist with the Tacoma Concert Band, the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Seattle Bach Choir, the Second City Chamber series, the Tacoma Bach Festival, the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma Concert Series, and the Puget Sound School of Music’s Organ at Noon, Faculty Artist, and Jacobsen series’. Internationally, she has performed on the Interharmony International Music Festival’s Italian summer concert series, and at the Song in the City London recital series. Her classical solo album, Gracious Moonlight, is available on streaming platforms.
Her musical theatre roles include paying tribute to Broadway celebrities in Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, Jack’s Mother in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Domina in Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Woman 3 in the Kander and Ebb revue, And the World Goes ’Round. She has also performed as a jazz vocalist in venues such as Pacific Lutheran University’s Jazz Under the Stars Series and the Puget Sound School of Music Jacobsen Series.
Dr. Padula’s original research on training the tenor and baritone singing voice from the mezzo-soprano voice teacher perspective has been presented at the International Voice Foundation Symposium, at the National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, and at the Art and Science of the Performing Voice Symposium. Dr. Padula is Professor of Voice and Director of Vocal Studies at the University of Puget Sound School of Music, where she is the Chair of the Vocal Studies Area, directs the Opera Theater, and co-directs the newly-established Songwriting major. In 2020, Dr. Padula was honored to receive Puget Sound’s Tom A. Davis Teaching Award. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Houston Moores School of Music with a minor concentration in vocal pedagogy and voice science, a Masters of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and both a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in media communications from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
“The performance is an excellent one. Padula makes some dark, lovely sounds as the castrato Bellino.”
- Charles Parsons, American Record Guide
“Leading the secondary roles were Brian Shircliffe (Lorenzo, a priest and friend of Casanova), Dawn M. Padula (Bellino) and Jason R. Ogan (the Marquis de L’Isle). Each performed with fine vocal tone and the broad dramatic gestures needed for the opera’s outlandish comedy.”
- Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
“Dawn Padula and Matthew Burns made strong contributions in the smaller roles of Ragonde and Le Gouverneur.”
- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"One of the standout supporting characters is Dawn Padula as Lady Jane... Padula has a rich and delicious chest voice and navigates through her registers with ease. In addition, her comedic timing is perfection and her Act II aria 'Silvered is the raven hair' is a tour de force."
- Molly Cassidy, Drama in the Hood
"Nathanael Fleming as the newly freed Frederic, Anna Galavis as the beloved Mabel and Dawn Padula as Ruth the Pirate Maid are sensational and will be an inspiration to any of your musically inclined students.”
- Cheryl Murfin, Seattle’s Child
"Padula does an equally impressive impersonation of Barbra Streisand. The way she brushes her hair away from her face is worth the price of a ticket."
- Alec Clayton, Weekly Volcano
"Dawn Padula's Back to Broadway-esque Barbra Streisand is a cross-eyed and full-voiced wonder."
- David Edward Hughes, Talkin Broadway
"Guest artist was velvety-voiced mezzo-soprano Dawn Padula. The centerpiece of the concert, following Padula’s solo set of Brahms, Strauss and Schubert lieder, was Brahms’ magnificent ‘Alto Rhapsody.’ Padula brought heartfelt clarity to its soaring lines. Her reading was emotional and effective. Padula revealed a delightful flair for cabaret style – and a gift for acting – in novelty songs by William Bolcom and Mary Rodgers."
- Diane Windeler, San Antonio Express-News
Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix
Saint-Saëns's Samson and Delilah
Olympia Opera Theatre and Olympic Chamber Orchestra
Nel silenzio di quei raccoglimenti
Puccini's Suor Angelica
Jeff Caldwell, piano
Ethel Smyth's Mass in D
Seattle Pro Musica
Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri
Jeff Caldwell, piano
When Frederic was a little lad
Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance
Jeff Caldwell, piano
A case of you
Rob Hutchinson, bass
with Tanya Stambuk, piano
and Catherine Case, harp