Michelle Papenfuss
United States

Dr. Saúl and Ursula Balagura/ Sharon Ley Lietzow and Robert Lietzow/ Dr. Laura E. Sulak and Dr. Richard W. Brown Fellow



Second-year Butler Studio artist Michelle Papenfuss, originally from Fairfax, Virginia, served as coach for La traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, and Tosca during HGO’s 2022-23 season. During HGO’s 2023-24 season she serves as coach for Intelligence, Madame Butterfly, and The Sound of Music and appears with Butler Studio singers in recital and other performances. She is an alumnus of the Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera (WNO) and was recently a Young Artist at the 2022 Glimmerglass Festival. During her time at WNO, Papenfuss served as assistant conductor for Così fan tutte and played for several new operas commissioned by the American Opera Initiative, including the workshop for Jeanine Tesori’s Grounded. At Glimmerglass, Papenfuss served as a coach for CarmenTaking Up Serpents, and Holy Ground. In 2020, Papenfuss graduated from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in collaborative piano, where she studied with Martin Katz. She also holds a bachelor’s degree (2016) and master’s degree (2018) in piano performance from Brigham Young University, where she studied with Jeffrey Shumway and Scott Holden. Last summer, she joined Wolf Trap Opera as a coaching fellow, where she served on the music staff for Faust