POLLY BUTLER CORNELIUS, soprano, is an international performer of opera, oratorio, chamber music, music theatre, and song recitals. In 2008 and 2010, she was invited to perform recitals of American music at the Universita per Stranieri and San Dominica Auditorium in Umbria, Italy with Victoria Fischer Faw, piano. She has created an niche for herself by performing American Art songs written by living composers. Dr. Cornelius performed a recital of songs by Libby Larsen at the Duffy Composers Institute in June, 2010, and music by Paul Bowles with the Norfolk Chamber Consort in 2011. She has premiered several works by Steve Heitzeg. In June, 2011 she was invited to perform at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. with the Imaginary Friends Ensemble, and most recently performed as a guest artist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and with Zeitgeist in Minneapolis, MN (2013). She has previously received awards and recognition from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Artist Award), the Orpheus Vocal Artist Competition, the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Fort Worth Opera Company, and Shreveport Opera. Leading roles have been performed with The Opera Company of North Carolina, Greensboro Opera Company, the Piedmont Opera Theatre, Brevard Music Festival, and Opera Carolina. She has been a featured soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, American Institute of Musical Studies Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival, and in the Duke Chapel. She has sung under the baton of distinguished conductors Robert Moody, Ted Taylor, Evan Rogister, Valery Ryvkin, Benton Hess, Ricardo Muti, and Rodney Wynkoop. Her solo cd, WILD SONGS, was released on the Innova label in April, 2012, and has received many accolades from Gramophone and other prestigious classical music journals.
A dedicated voice teacher, Polly is a Senior Lecturer of music and Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Elon University. Her students are performing leading roles on Broadway, off-Broadway, on the hit-television series Glee, in regional theatres and opera houses, and with National equity and non-equity touring companies. Her pupils also continuously win national, state, and regional vocal competitions, and are chosen to participate in masterclasses throughout the United States. Other former voice students are performing in professional choirs, singing leading roles with professional opera companies, performing as soloists with regional symphonies, and teaching music in public and private schools throughout the United States.