Ashley McKinstry, Soprano
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SC
Current City: Chicago, IL
Ashley McKinstry is a Chicago based soprano whose opera roles include: Lady Liberty/The Proposal, First Lady/Die Zauberflöte, Arminda/La finta Giardiniera, Ruth Putnam/The Crucible, La Fortuna/L'incoronazione di Poppea, Jeannie/The Reformed Drunkard, & Mrs. Gobineau/The Medium. She has also performed in several children's operas including "Jody Juggler/Signora" in Malcolm Fox's Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing & "Race Car" in Albert T. Viola's The Velveteen Rabbit. As an opera chorus member, Ashley has sung Respighi/La bella dormente nel bosco, Stravinsky/The Nightingale, & Vaughan Williams/Riders to the Sea with the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, Strauss/Die Fledermaus & Mozart/Die Zauberflöte (staring distinguished American bass Samuel Ramey as "Sarastro") with The Sounds of South Dakota, & Purcell/Dido & Aeneas with the University of South Dakota Opera. Ashley attended Opera Steamboat in 2018 & Chicago Summer Opera in both 2017/18. McKinstry was a member of the OperaWorks 2016 Advanced Artist Program in Los Angeles, CA. She appeared as Ashley Phelps, a Westboro Baptist Church member attending a rally sponsored by then Presidential candidate Donald Trump, in their final show Get Trump'd: We're Making Opera Great Again.
Ashley has also sung several performances as a professional chorus member; including Verdi/Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin with the Chicago Philharmonic, Beethoven/Symphony No. 9 & Mendelssohn/Midsummer Night's Dream with the Chicago Civic Orchestra as well as Vaughan Williams/A Sea Symphony, Video Games Live, Mozart/Requiem, & Holst/The Planets with the Sioux City Symphony. McKinstry appeared as the soloist for Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb with the USD Concert Choir & has been asked to sing the United States National Anthem at several events including the Roosevelt University Commencement Ceremony at the historic Auditorium Theater in Chicago. As a recitalist, Ashley enjoys performing Libby Larsen's Try Me Good King & Eric Whitacre's Five Hebrew Love Songs.
Originally from Sioux Falls, SD, McKinstry holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University where she studied with Cynthia Clarey. While there she worked as the choral assistant under Cheryl Frazes-Hill & Mark Crayton. She was also president of the Mu Phi Epsilon, Alpha Omicron chapter, in 2015-16. McKinstry received her Bachelor of Music degree in K-12 Vocal Music Education from the University of South Dakota where she studied with Tracelyn Gesteland.
Ashley is currently a student of Allan Glassman & has worked with several celebrated musicians including Dana Brown, Scott Gilmore, Andrew Eggert, Richard Stilwell, & Judith Haddon. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband, Kevin, & their two cats: Dimple & Dakota.