Celena Shafer: Mormon Singer
Celena Shafer is a coloratura soprano. She was born in 1975 in Centerville, Utah. She won a vocal competition at the Utah State Fair when she was seventeen years old. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Utah and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. She was an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera then launched her career as Ismene in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto.
She has performed numerous times in her home state of Utah with the Utah Symphony, the Utah Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Utah Opera, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She is Artist-in-Residence with the Utah Symphony. She has performed with the orchestras on the concert stages in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
She debuted with the New York Philharmonic in 2004 in a performance of Handel's Messiah. In April 2005, she sang the title role of Esclarmonde at the Washington Concert Opera.
Other recent roles include Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hero in Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict, Zerbinetta in a concert performance of Ariadne aug Naxos, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and the Broadway performance of Show Boat. She has sung the role of Gilda in Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera, Johanna in Sweeney Todd for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Nanetta in Falstaff with the Los Angeles Opera, and Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
In 1999, Shafer won the Metropolitan Opera National Council of Auditions, Utah district. She is also the recipient of a 2000 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.
She is the mother of four sons, including twins. Her husband, Brad, is a versatile musician who plays several instruments including oboe, clarinet, and saxophone. They live in Layton, Utah. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.