Charissa is a strong advocate for building community among singers and the venues that play host to their talents. From sharing performance videos and upcoming event dates on her social media channels to posting her own informal collaborations with fellow singers, Charissa believes the spotlight should cast a wide glow.
The approach is born of the Austin native’s own positive experiences as a singer. A coloratura soprano capable of seamlessly transitioning to musical theater, Charissa has taken the stage at the Texas State Opera, recognized by the National Opera Association. In Turn of the Screw, Charissa played the role of the Governess and in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Charissa took on the role of Queen of the Night.
Charissa’s skills as a coloratura soprano have also earned her the role of Amy in Anthony Green’s Alex in Transition with One Ounce Opera (OOO) where she additionally served as social media director, working alongside OOO Founder & Artistic Director Julie Fiore.
Charissa’s talent as an opera singer has also put her on the playbills of the Texas Hill Country Opera and the Texas Concert Opera Collective. But her ability to deliver pop icon-style vocals and the enchanting notes of a Disney Princess have also earned her musical theater roles. The Board of Directors for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Austin invited Charissa to join the cast of The Daughter of D’Oyly Carte as the comic opera’s central character Marie.
Grateful to have had the lead role with a theater company that’s acclaimed by the Austin Critics Table and the Central Texas Excellence in Theater Awards, Charissa continued to push herself. She traded in the Gilbert & Sullivan arias for the doo-wop and Motown sounds of Crystal in Wimberley Players’ production of Little Shop of Horrors.
Charissa has a flexible range of about 3.5 octaves. She can belt out the Blues, too.
Growing up, Charissa attended a Texas Hill Country church where Gospel music informed many services. She also began working with a vocal teacher while in middle school where she got her start in musical theater and continued on that path throughout high school. Her passion for musical theater led her to a summer program in Tuscany, Italy; “Canta in Italia” improved Charissa’s Italian diction and also exposed her to the marketing practices of professional singers.
She then went on to earn a degree in Vocal Performance from Wichita State University. Her undergrad career bolstered her professional resume with supporting roles such as Ida in Die Fledermaus and Prima Cercatrice in Suor Angelica.
A Gilbert & Sullivan scholarship recipient, Charissa further honed her craft at Texas State University’s graduate program for Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. Working under the guidance of internationally renowned soprano Cheryl Parrish, Charissa took center stage as Cunegonde in Candide and demonstrated her mastery of the complex coloratura aria “Glitter and Be Gay.”
While at Texas State, she also auditioned for and was accepted into the Spotlight on Opera program, completing her degree with a deeper understanding of the business of performing arts and taking the marketing skills that she acquired in the “Canta in Italia” program to the next level.
Charissa has been sharing this business acumen with other singers through her Creative Career Coaching services. Working one-on-one with fellow singers, Charissa accelerates professional development and champions confidence building that will propel them forward in their careers. …Or as one Austin singer explained “Charissa gives clear directions on how to build stepping stones for your success.”
Charissa has also put her Pedagogy degree to work in order to foster the talents of young singers through private vocal instruction.
These students as well as the performing arts community tap on Charissa for her versatile talents. Check them out for yourself and join the tens of thousands of viewers who have watcher her viral YouTube video “Mother Mary Responds to Mother Did You Know?” as well as her Weekly Live Streams on Twitch and her Post Modern Jukebox-style rendition of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.