Winner of first prize in the Viotti International Vocal Competition in Munich, Melissa Shippen Burrows made her debut on the 2008 RCA recording 'Belle Nuit' with Vesselina Kasarova. The soprano was named a 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions District Winner and Regional Finalist, and was awarded a grant from the prestigious Giulio Gari Foundation in 2007. Recipient of the American Berlin Opera Foundation Scholarship in 2005, Melissa appeared on the stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin the following season as the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Nella in Gianni Schicchi (premiere), and Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica. As a member of The Juilliard Opera Center, she was heard as Marenka in their 2005 production of The Bartered Bride as Lia in the New York stage premiere of Debussy's L'enfant prodigue conducted by Yves Abel.
She has appeared with the Palm Beach Opera Company as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann in 2003, and as Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmelites. At the Aspen Opera Theater, she performed Mimi in La Boheme conducted by Julius Rudel. She presented the same role with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Lord at Wolf-Trap. Melissa was awarded the Shouse Award at Wolf-Trap following her apprenticeship with the company. She has also sung the title role in Massenet's Thais for Opera Middlebury and Micaela in Carmen for The Atlanta Opera. The current season includes appearances with Connecticut Concert Opera as Nedda in I Pagliacci, Cedar Rapids Opera as Micaela, and Lyric Opera of Virginia as Mimi.
Ms. Shippen made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2001 as the soprano soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 conducted by Jahja Ling. She returned to Carnegie Hall in 2003 as soprano soloist in Britten's War Requiem conducted by David Atherton, for which The New York Times favorably reviewed her as “a dramatic soprano with an attractive, powerful sound.”
She has received the following honors: the 'Culture Award' from the American Scandinavian Society at the United Nations; being named a 2009 Metropolitan National Council Auditions- District Winner and Mid-South Regional Finalist; the 2002 Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition 2nd Prize Award winner (Junior Division); the Orpheus National Music Competition Grand Prize winner (Junior Division); and the Grand Prize at the 2000 'Di Panni- Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship' Competition. She sang in concert at the Kennedy Center for U.S. President Clinton after being named a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts at the age of 17.
She holds both Master and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School. She continued her post-Masters studies with Soprano Professor Edith Wiens in Augsburg, Germany.