School of Music

Ellen Chickering 1943-2020

Professor of Voice
Ellen Chickering

Office Location

School of Music


207 780-5265

Academic Degrees

  • info not available


ELLEN CHICKERING, Soprano, sang extensively in the New England area as well as throughout the United States. She debuted in Carnegie Hall singing the Soprano I in Mahler's Eighth Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic. Soon after she debuted at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC singing the soprano solo in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Washington Chorus.

She sang numerous roles in opera including Amelia in Ballo in Maschera, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Tosca in Tosca, Vanessa in Vanessa, Arabella in Arabella, Leonora in Il Trovatore and Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Anna Bolena in Anna Bolena, and Elizabetta in Maria Stuarda. She sang with Boston Academy of Music, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Commonwealth Opera and the  Connecticut Concert Opera.

Her orchestra repertory was extensive and varied. She sang numerous performances of Verdi's Requiem and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as the soprano soloist as well as Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder, Britten's War Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Vaughn Williams' Sea Symphony and Dona Nobis Pacem. She recorded Vanessa with the National Philharmonic of the Ukraine for Naxos records. She sang with the Portland (ME) Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Springs Symphony, the Civic Symphony of Boston and the Boston Philharmonic.

Ms. Chickering made four concert tours to Japan where she sang with the Shinsei Nihon Symphony and the Telemann Chamber Orchestra among others..  She was the program director of PORTopera's Maine's Emerging Artists for the most several seasons and directed the Opera Workshop at USM.


"Ellen Chickering did nothing that could be considered anything less than sensational.  It is an enormous voice, but perfectly placed so that it has surprising flexibility and never seems out of control."

The Boston

"Ellen Chickering, a soprano with an unlimited arsenal of bull's-eye high C's (with a shimmering quiet one in reserve for the last)."
The Wall Street Journal

"Ellen Chickering's  full-bodied Leonora had passion, dignity and an excellent sense of line and dynamics; by her last aria she had convinced many a listener she was a real Verdi soprano."                 
Opera News

"one artist, Ellen Chickering, captured the essence of what made Callas' singing so special. And she did that in delivering the most famous of Bellini's arias, Casta Diva from Norma, as if no one had ever sung it before.        
The Boston Globe

"Chickering was in utterly glorious voice. She sang the heroic, high note-dotted role with fearless freedom and uncanny accuracy."        
The Boston Herald

"Soprano Ellen Chickering was sensational. Hers is a huge voice of pinpoint precision."
The Denver Post

"As Amelia, Chickering responded with power, conviction, breadth of phrasing technical sophistication, and more than a hint of Prima Donna grandeur. Chickering nailed all the tricky passages, attacking soft high notes with purity and poise, and navigating the cadenzas with skill.   
The Boston Globe.