Melanie Kohn Day has served as director of award-winning VCU Opera since 1984, instructor for History of the Art Song, instructor for voice masterclasses and as a private applied instructor in vocal coaching. Day received two Master of Music degrees from Boston University, one in piano and one in vocal coaching and accompanying. She also holds a diploma from the Franz-Schubert Institute in Austria, where she was the recipient of a full scholarship. While serving as a member of the faculty of Boston University’s opera and voice departments from 1980-82, she served as coach and chorus master for the Boston Concert Opera Company and coach for the Tanglewood Music Festival. Coupled with extensive performing experience in the Boston area and in Austria, she was invited to perform at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall under the auspices of the Armenian Prelacy of New York, at the Athenaeum and for NBC-TV and CBS-TV in Boston under the auspices of the U.S. Consulate General of Spain.
Day was the founder, pianist and coordinator of the Lyric Arts Ensemble, a professional vocal quartet that performed for two seasons in residence at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, as well as at such locations as the National Cathedral and the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. She served as music director of the James River Opera Company for five years. In 1992, she was invited by the Costa Rican Cultural Center to perform concerts and teach master classes throughout Costa Rica, all of which was sponsored by Coca-Cola International. As a 1994 U.S. Artistic Ambassador, Day completed a five-week concert tour of South America with soprano Lisa Edwards-Burrs. Sponsored by Arts America of the U.S. Information Agency and various foreign embassies, she presented 16 concerts, two master classes and three television appearances throughout Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In the summer of 1997, Day was a staff coach-accompanist for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy. Since 1999, she has served as principal coach for Operafestival di Roma in Italy and from 2006 – 2011 was the artistic director. For the summers of 2002 and 2003, Day was invited by Plaza Resolana/Ghost Ranch-Santa Fe to teach mini-courses in conjunction with the Santa Fe Opera. She accompanied masterclasses for Sherill Milnes, Nico Castel, Joan Dornemann, Hans Hotter, Irmgaard Seefried, Walter Berry, Jörg Demus, Dalton Baldwin, Richard Harrell, Erik Werba, Mignon Dunn, Peter Mark, and Shirley Verrett.
Day has been invited to present master classes in Virginia, Indiana, New Hampshire and Rome. Many of her former students are now singing in opera houses throughout the world.