After winning first prize in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1973, internationally renowned soprano Ashley Putnam went on to a career which encompassed an extraordinary repertoire ranging from bel canto to the leading soprano roles of Mozart and Strauss that later became her signature. She performed to great acclaim in major opera houses all over the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Statsoper, Berlin Statsoper, Teatro Colon; the opera companies of Geneva, Zurich, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Glyndebourne, Nice, Lyon, Cologne, and the Netherlands; San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, and all of the important regional companies in the United States. Her performances with major symphony orchestras included the New York Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Early in her career she was a celebrated interpreter of Italianate repertoire, performing La Traviata, Lucia di Lamermoor, La fille du régiment, Maria Stuarda, I Puritani, and La bohème worldwide. Later she was a sought after performer of the leading Mozart and Strauss soprano roles, heralded as her generation’s premier Arabella and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She also gave memorable performances in contemporary operas, including the American premieres of Musgrave’s Mary Queen of Scots and Henze’s Das Verratene Meer, and specialized in Czech repertoire, performing Jenufa, Katya, Kabanova, and Rusalka around the world. She was invited to sing at the White House for Presidents Carter and Reagan. Her recordings include La bohème (Philips), Mary Queen of Scots(Moss), Arabella, Così fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito (all BBC videos), and Street Scene (German Television).
Currently on the voice faculty of Manhattan School of Music, Ashley Putnam also maintains a private studio in New York City. She previously served on the faculties of Eastman School of Music and DePaul University, as well as on the teaching staff of the Santa Fe Opera, the Lindemann Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and the Young Artist programs of Opera Colorado, Intermezzo, Seagle Music Colony, and Centro Studi Lirica. Her students perform in opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Berlin Deutsche Oper, Santa Fe Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera, and have distinguished themselves as winners of prizes in the George London Foundation Awards Competition, the Liederkrantz Competition, the Manhattan School of Music Ades and Voice Concerto Competitions, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competitions.