Mathilda Edge Named to Oberlin Conservatory Voice Faculty

Soprano performer and educator arrives from the stage of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

January 28, 2022

Erich Burnett

Mathilda Edge.
Photo credit: Keely Smith Lewis

Mathilda Edge, a dramatic soprano with Lyric Opera of Chicago and a highly regarded teacher in undergraduate and festival settings, has been named Assistant Professor of Voice at Oberlin Conservatory, an appointment that begins in fall 2022.

A member of Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center Ensemble since 2019, Edge sang the role of Berta in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia that year—a performance The Chicago Tribune hailed as a “vocal tour de force,” praising Edge for “yielding an enormous sound with remarkable point.” She resumed performances in 2021 with turns as First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberfl√∂te and Lady in Waiting in Verdi’s Macbeth. In the previous season, she was cast in numerous Lyric productions that were canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edge’s 2019-20 performance season began with an aria from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly presented at the Grant Park Music Festival, about which The Tribune noted her “palpable charisma and bell-like vocal clarity.”

Prior to joining Lyric Opera, Edge was a professor of voice at the University of Northern Colorado and a voice instructor at Indiana State University. She taught and performed at the 2019 Manchester Music Festival in Vermont and served as a Santa Fe Opera Young Artist in 2018.

A veteran of the vocal competition circuit, Edge was a top finisher in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition, the Washington International Competition for Voice, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Competition, among many other honors.

A native of rural Chandlerville, Illinois, she completed a master’s degree in vocal performance and is in the process of completing her doctoral degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois College with studies in music and business management.

Although she has taken voice lessons since age 7, Edge began her undergraduate studies as many Oberlin students do: with wide-ranging interests and career plans within and away from the realm of music. Upon earning her bachelor’s degree, she was prepared to begin a career in marketing until graduate school at Indiana offered an alternative too appealing to refuse. It set in motion a range of experiences and achievements that culminated in a vibrant career on stage and in the faculty studio.

At Oberlin, Edge intends to emphasize a comprehensive approach to forging careers in music—one that draws upon her own interest in marketing and that dovetails with Oberlin’s mission to fully equip its musicians for vibrant careers in the industry.

“We are very excited to welcome Mathilda Edge to Oberlin,” says Timothy LeFebvre, an associate professor of voice and chair of the Voice Department within the Division of Vocal Studies. “The combination of her beautiful singing, her passion for teaching, and her desire to engage in interdisciplinary instruction make her an ideal addition to the voice faculty.”

Though she has sung alongside numerous accomplished Oberlin alumni performers, Edge made her first visit to campus in fall 2021.

“When I had the opportunity to visit Oberlin, it was electric—it was so fun!” she says. “I met students who were enthusiastic and ready to learn and to grow, and that makes me very excited for the future of our art.”

Edge credits her past teachers, including Brian Horne at Indiana, for inspiring her own approach with students.

“There is something very special about the conservatory setting that innately leads to a strong sense of community, and I think it’s important to find that sense of community in macro and micro ways,” she says. “Things aren’t always equitable in our art form, but I want my students to be cheerleaders for each other, even if that sometimes means you didn’t get the role or the summer program you wanted.

“If we can raise musicians who are good colleagues and support each other, then our art form will continue to be successful. I want to build good singers, but I also want to help each of them be good humans.”

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