Soprano, Ashley Yvonne Wheat, is a 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 and is presently the apprentice artist at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
This year Ashley made her debut with the Chestnut Fine Arts Center in Olathe, singing the ingenue in their Rodgers and Hammerstein musical review, 'Climb Every Mountain.' Ashley also made her mainstage soloist debut with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City with their season-opener, 'La Traviata,' performing the role of Annina. And finally, Ashley made her debut at the UMKC Conservatory singing her first Fiordiligi in Mozart's 'Cosi fan tutte.'
Ashley made her debut of the role Musetta in La Bohéme with Winter Opera St. Louis in 2012 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 traveled with StoneLion Puppet Theatre manipulating marionettes in The Toy Box at the Summer Surprises International Puppet Festival in Dubai. 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. 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 also performs in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City chorus, Madama Butterfly (2012) and The Magic Flute (2013).
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 (Cinderella, Curtains, 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, University of Missouri - Kansas City, The Forum, Ventura Village, World War I Museum, The American Royal, genKC, Generation Relevant, Kansas City Fine Arts Institute, Buca di Beppo, Canterbury Academy, Barry Christian Church, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, and more.