Melina Schein, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, grew up in New York City and received her undergraduate training at The Juilliard School in voice and piano accompaniment, beginning at age 16. Prior to that, her vocal and performance study began at the age of 9 at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division with Donald Read, and she was a member of the New York City Opera Children’s Chorus and the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorale, debuting in Boito’s Mefistofele with Samuel Ramey. A vocal performance major at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art, Melina made her operatic debut as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro with LaGuardia’s Bel Aria Opera Company in 1995, under the tutelage of her first vocal instructor, Anna Ext. Among the honors she has received are a full academic scholarship to Columbia University, a tuition scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music and the Lucrezia Bori Grant for operatic and interpretive study and performance at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A versatile high-lyric coloratura, Melina participated in a four-year Bachelor Degree program at the Juilliard School where she trained under Beverley
Peck-Johnson and Cynthia Hoffmann, and appeared as a soloist in the Alice Tully Hall opera concert series, the Juilliard Opera Center and the Maxwell von Gluck Fellowship, studying and performing the roles of Belinda in Dido and Aeneus, Celidora in L’Oca del Cairo, Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera and Nanetta in Falstaff. With the Mannes College of Music, she performed the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Papagena in The Magic Flute with the Teatro Colon Y.A. Program in Argentina. She has been an active recitalist in and around the New York area, and since her move west, has continued to appear in concert in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
With a love of musical theatre, Broadway and off-Broadway productions in which she has appeared as a principal artist include Good News, Showboat, The Apple Tree, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys & Dolls, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun, Beauty and the Beast, Carousel, Candide and The Sound of Music. Concert/oratorio work in Canada has included The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Gretel in Hansel & Gretel, and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, all with the Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival, The Faure Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Schubert Mass in B Minor, John Rutter’s Requiem and Carmina Burana, with the Prince George, Kamloops and Kelowna Symphonies, and a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber with the OSO. She has performed with the Burnaby Symphony, Kelowna Canada Day Symphony Orchestra, Prince George Symphony, Symphony of the Kootenays, Kamloops Symphony and Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, and has been a featured artist on CBC Radio Two.
Schein’s annual touring productions include The Phantom Returns with musical theatre legend Peter Karrie (London’s famed Phantom of the Opera) across British Columbia for the past four years, and The Dharma Dolls, an eclectic trio of jazz, musical theatre and original compositions, making regular appearances Valley-wide. Prior to this, she produced and starred in Opera with a Twist, an original production bringing opera to the masses, completing two tours of Western Canada to great acclaim. Current touring projects include SIRENS with contralto and Metropolitan Opera soloist Jennifer Dawn Hines, bringing a modern, sexy twist to opera.
Raised in the Jewish faith, Schein has been a cantorial soloist for Temple Beth Shalom in Manhattan, and The Okanagan Jewish Community Centre in Kelowna, BC. Since 2010, Melina has been the headline performer at Swarovski’s famed Sparkling Hill Wellness Resort, performing as soloist in her original concert series, Soprano on the Hill, to Canadian, American and European audiences. Ongoing projects include Schein’s original Soprano on the Loose production, featuring the beloved standards of the Golden Era of Hollywood, accompanied by the SOTL jazz quartet (keyboard, clarinet, saxophone and bass). Channeling her Golden Era icons, Judy Garland, Deanna Durbin, Ann Miller and more, the show is a tribute to the Great American Songwriters, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Schein is passionate about this music and works to ensure that it is remembered and kept alive.
Since 1996, Schein has been the founder and director of the Valley Vocal Arts Studio in Vernon, British Columbia. Acting as producer and musical director for aspiring singers of all ages, Valley Vocal Arts has enjoyed acclaimed full-scale productions of Les Miserables (2010), Mel Brooks’ The Producers (2011) Pirates of Penzance (2012), The Sound of Music (2012), and HONK! (2013). She is committed to bringing the best of live theatre and showcasing local talent to Okanagan audiences. Her newest endeavor, Big Apple Productions, over which she presides as founder and artistic director, will be taking on mainstage classics like The Rocky Horror Show, Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar and Chicago in years to come.