After winning first prize in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1973, soprano Ashley Putnam has enjoyed a successful international career. She has performed to great acclaim in major opera houses all over the world, including the Metropolitan Opera; Covent Garden; Wiener Staatsoper; Staatsoper Berlin; Teatro Colón; and the opera companies of San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe, San Diego, Seattle, Geneva, Zurich, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Glyndebourne, Nice, Lyon, Cologne, and the Netherlands. Her performances with major symphony orchestras include those with the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony.
Early career highlights include roles in La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, La fille du régiment, Maria Stuarda, I Puritani, Rigoletto and La bohème worldwide. Later she specialized in many of the leading Mozart, Strauss, and Janáček roles, and pioneered contemporary operatic and concert repertoire around the world. She was invited to sing in concert at the White House for Presidents Carter and Reagan, and was profiled in and featured on the cover of Opera News in 1979. Her recordings include La bohème for the Philips label; Mary Queen of Scots for Moss Records; Arabella, Così fan tutte, and La clemenza di Tito for the BBC; Mitridate for French television; and Street Scene for German television.
Ms. Putnam has served on the voice faculty at the Manhattan School of Music since 2001, and maintains a private studio in New York City. She was previously on the voice faculty at the Eastman School of Music and has served on the teaching staff of the Santa Fe Opera, the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, and the Merola Opera Program. Her students perform regularly in opera houses worldwide, and are participants in the young artist programs of the Santa Fe Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, the Merola Opera Program, and the Adler Fellowship Program, among many others.
Ms. Putnam joined the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2019.