Dr. Michele Patzakis is a performer, arts administrator, director, and educator. An award-winning lyric soprano, she made her European operatic debut with the Théatre de la Monnaie in Brussels where she was featured in their European telecast with Baritone José Van Dam in Puccini’s Il Trittico, as Venus in Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfer on DVD and for European telecast, and in performance as a soloist on their world premiere and recording of Pascal Dusapin’s Medéameterial. She made her New York operatic debut with the New York City Opera where she performed for several seasons as Kathy in The Student Prince, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Musetta in La Bohême. She has performed in recital, in concert, as a soloist and in over 30 leading operatic roles across North America and Europe with companies such as the Zurich Opera, Spoleto Festivals in both Italy and Charleston, N.C., the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Toulouse, Opera North, Caramoor, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Central City Opera, the Pacific Symphony, the Marina del Rey and San Bernardino Symphony Orchestras. In January of 2023 she created the roles of Maria and Church Lady in the world premiere performances of the Chamber Opera Polymnia by Theodosia Roussos.
She is currently an applied voice instructor with Azusa Pacific University and a Teaching Artist with LA Opera where where she is the voice faculty for the Russell Thomas Youth Artist Training Academy. Actively involved in research in vocal arts medicine, Dr. Patzakis co-created and teaches "Opera for Life and Wellness", a breathing and singing program in collaboration with UCLA Health which has been featured on CNN, Inside Edition, and the "Healing Breath" presentations for LA Opera's Arts and Health Summit.
Dr. Patzakis received her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) at the USC Thornton School of Music where she was honored with the Vocal Arts Departmental Award at Honors Convocation and was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society. Michele served as a Head Teaching Assistant for two years and was a student instructor and TA for 7 semesters, teaching both Voice Class and Individual Instruction. Her research in the areas of Vocal Arts Medicine and Music Teaching and Learning has been presented at the CASMEC (California All-State Music Education Conference) and ASHA’s (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Fall Voice conferences.
She received a B.M. from the University Of Southern California School of Music and an M.M. with Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory. Her training included fellowships with the Tanglewood Music Center, and apprenticeships with the Opera Pacific Overture Company and Central City Opera. She was a National Winner of the Loren L. Zachary Awards, a Regional winner of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and winner of The Young Artist of Future Vocal Competition and the Victor Fuchs Memorial Awards.
Dr. Patzakis currently serves on the board of the NATS-LA (National Association of Teachers of Singing), is a member of the Voice Foundation, the College Music Society, the American Guild of Musical Artists and is Vice President-Secretary of the Loren L. Zachary Society for the Performing Arts.
In demand as a presenter and adjudicator, she has been a semi-final and finals judge of the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition since 2005 as well as serving as the Artistic Director for their annual fundraising Viennese Operetta Program. She served as a guest artist and Master Teacher for the Vermont International Opera Festival in addition to giving masterclasses and vocal health courses for choral programs in churches and high schools. Michele continues to concertize and direct programs throughout the region.