Soprano, Ashley Yvonne Wheat, is a busy and active crossover artist based out of Overland Park. Comfortable performing in a variety of disciplines, Ashley's broad skill set makes her a unique and dynamic artist resulting in professional work as an actress, singer, educator, emcee and puppeteer. Originally from Bellevue, Washington Ashley graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.
Last year alone, you may have seen Ashley adding a musical element to the classic Dickens tale 'A Christmas Carol' at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre; taking a knife with Heartland Opera Theatre in her premiere of the role Nedda from Puccini's fatal 'I Pagliacci;' bringing cabaret marionettes to life at the Iowa City Summer of the Arts Festival in 'Toy Box' with StoneLion Puppet Theatre; putting on her Sunday Clothes in 'Hello Dolly' with Musical Theatre Heritage; instructing the future of the arts in 'Into the Woods' at Blue Valley Northwest High School; analyzing the Masons in The Magic Flute at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City; and educating young people about opera by singing Cio-Cio San from Madama Butterfly and trying to silence Snow White as the Wicked Queen with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City Express. And that was only 2013!
In 2012, Ashley made her debut of the role Musetta in La Bohéme with Winter Opera St. Louis and subsequently reprised the role at the Southern Illinois Music Festival a few months later. At the festival she also made her debut performing with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. Summer 2012, Ashley also traveled with StoneLion Puppet Theatre manipulating marionettes in The Toy Box at the Dubai Summer Surprises International Puppet Festival. Locally, with StoneLion, Ashley handles rod puppets for Bubba and Trixie and more marionettes, performing It's A Jungle Out There!, Boneyard Jamboree and Snow. Ashley is also a regular performer with the Kansas City Fine Arts Institute performing works of musical theater and jazz standards. In 2012, Ashley made her debut with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre as the Soprano in A Christmas Carol, a role she reprised Christmas 2013, and also in 2013, Ashley completed her third year as an outreach performer with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, performing the role of Queen and Figaro the Dog in, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' Spelling Bee, Mother/Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Beauty in Beauty and the Beast. Ashley is a regular performer with Musical Theater Heritage in Kansas City, as part of the ensemble of Sweeney Todd (2012) and Hello Dolly (2013). She performs in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City chorus, Madama Butterfly (2012) and The Magic Flute (2013). In March 2014 Ashley will make her debut at the Chestnut Fine Arts Center as the Ingénue in Climb Every Mountain, a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical review.
Prior to 2012, Ashley received supplemental operatic training at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she was a New Horizons Fellow. Ashley has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as well as the Sammamish Symphony. Past roles include: Rosie (Bye Bye Birdie), Anne Trulove (The Rake's Progress), Elettra (Idomeneo), Fly (The Cunning Little Vixen), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), The Narrator (Joseph…) Cinderella (Cinderella), Marian Paroo (The Music Man) and much more. Ashley has also provided musical direction, formerly with USC Chamber Opera and locally at The Barn Players (Sweet Charity) and Blue Valley Northwest High School (Into the Woods). Ashley has performed in master class with Los Angeles Opera conductor James Conlon, accompanist Martin Katz, opera director Ken Cazan, Seattle Opera conductor Asher Fisch and many others.
Ashley has extensive experience outside of Gig Masters, performing at weddings, funerals, charity events, galas, et cetera and is an asset to any event. Local clients include: Shawnee Heartland Assisted Living, Musical Theatre Heritage, Kansas City Fine Arts Institute, Buca di Beppo, Canterbury Academy, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Blue Valley Northwest High School and many more.
Ashley Wheat (Voice)