Gary Stanford Jr. Photography
Melissa Rivera is a California born Latina performer. Her career has given her the opportunity to travel and perform all over the country and has even been featured in events in Mexico. Although she is best known for her work in musical theatre, she is also experienced in opera, straight plays, recitals, and concert style shows. Her classical and contemporary training allows her to effortlessly maneuver through an assortment of vocal styles and stage repertoire. She proved her vocal flexibility when she won 1st place in the Mid-Atlantic Region National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Young Artist competition in 2010. She went on to play roles from Mimi in Rent to Belinda in Dido and Aeneas. While performing is her primary passion, she is also a fervent voice teacher and theatre educator. She has taught private voice lessons off and on for over 10 years and enjoys running theatre workshops and masterclasses in audition techniques, theatre fundamentals, and performance coaching. Education has always been important to her, therefore she actively works on honing her craft. She participated in the LAByrinth Theater Company’s intensive ensemble in New York where she studied with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Stephen Adly Guirgis (among others), and participated a two month in-depth teacher training course with Sheri Sanders, the creator of Rock the Audition. She holds a Master of Music in Opera & Music Theater Performance from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a Bachelor of Music in voice and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from San Diego State University. She became active in the casting world in 2016 while working as the assistant casting director to Dena Martinez in San Francisco and is currently the Producing Director of Education and Mainstage at Berkeley Playhouse in Berkeley, CA. Her background as a performer, educator, and producer gives her a unique well-rounded perspective of of the industry.