MELA DAILEY, SOPRANO
Mela Sarajane Dailey is a Grammy-winning international vocal performer with an expanding presence in film, television and radio; a major national arts event producer; radio host; and a philanthropic and community leader in Texas and beyond.
Widely recognized as one of the most dynamic and beloved performers commanding the stage today, Dailey is a classically trained Soprano. As a 2014 Grammy winner and eight-time nominee with choral ensemble Conspirare, Dailey has inspired audiences worldwide with her vocal mastery and ability to connect with fans and critics alike.
A true artist and master of interpretation, Dailey is known for seamlessly moving across musical genres including opera, oratorio, art song, musical theater, vocal, jazz, gospel, country, and popular music. She has won competitions sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, Metropolitan Opera, New York University, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Downbeat Magazine, and Connecticut Opera Guild.
In recent seasons, she has garnered rave reviews debuting with the Florida and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and as a returning soloist with Austin Opera; Austin, Brazos Valley, Chattanooga, Corinthian, Edmonton, Grand Rapids, Rochester Philharmonic, Spokane, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras.
Dailey’s professional debut was in 2003 at Carnegie Hall with Conspirare, A Company of Voices, directed by renowned choral composer, conductor, and arranger Craig Hella Johnson. Since then, her voice has graced some of the nation’s most iconic venues including Boston Symphony Hall, David Geffen Hall, the Washington National Cathedral, and Ravinia.
Performing with many of the world's best orchestras, highlights of Dailey’s career include starring in both roles of Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme, as well as performing as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem, and Poulenc Gloria. She has traveled the globe performing throughout Europe, North and South America and Australia.
In addition to vocal performance, Dailey’s career includes film, television, and radio, as well as recording two major motion picture soundtracks at Skywalker Ranch Studios. She worked with composer Hanan Townshend on the soundtrack of the major motion picture Heaven Sent and can be heard as a featured soloist on Hanan Townshend’s score to the feature film The Vessel released in Fall 2014. Her discography includes solo CD Shelter with cellist Scott Kluksdahl and pianist Rick Rowley on the Pierian label (internationally distributed by Naxos) and available through Amazon.com and iTunes, as well as CD Steal Away: The African American Concert Spiritual with Miami-based choral ensemble Seraphic Fire. She has performed extensively and recorded Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare, and in Canada for the music of Stephen Paulus.
Dailey hosts the popular radio show ICONS of Broadway with Gregory Durham and is Co-Founder and CEO of Merick Strategies, www.merickstrategies.com, a consulting and production agency. In 2018 Merick Strategies produced an epic and unprecedented staging of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers. The production was the largest major performing arts collaboration in Austin’s history. Merick’s box office success made it possible for the producers to give grants from the proceeds to 31 nonprofit collaborators. Merick Strategies will be producing large scale performances in 2020 at Carnegie Hall and The Lincoln Center.
Dailey devotes her spare time to coaching and mentoring the underserved, promoting the arts through fundraising and public speaking, and advocating for human rights and the LGBTQ community. She is a brand ambassador for Alex Soldier Jewelry and CBoss Coats. She has one son and is married to Peter Bay, Music Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.