About Aaren

ARivardSelect credits: Gianni Schicchi (Rinuccio) with Social Distance Opera; Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio) with Wichita Grand Opera; Il trovatore (Ruiz, Messenger) with Pensacola Opera; Le nozze di Figaro (Basilio/Don Curzio), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), La Traviata (Gastone, Alfredo cover), and Hansel and Gretel (Witch) with Opera Colorado; Le nozze di Figaro (Basilio), L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino), La Clemenza di Tito (Tito), and Béatrice et Bénédict (Bénédict) with Wichita State University.
Awards: Moriarty Award winner (Central City Opera, 2019), Naftzger Young Artist Auditions (Wichita Symphony, 2018)—Vocal Prize winner, Wichita State University Concerto/Aria Competition (2017)—Winner, National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition (West Central Region, 2016)—Regional Winner.
Education: Wichita State University (Master of Music, 2018), University of Southern Maine (Bachelor of Music, 2015).

Visit Aaren's Website

To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 3

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour C

Week Four Master Class

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Opera Invasion 3: Miller Bell Tower Sing-a-long

Cocktails, Concerts, and Conversations, Week 7

”What Happens in These Silences?” (Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Seven Master Class

Opera Invasion 4: Grand Finale - A Musical Tour of the Institution Grounds

Young Artist Interview

AarenQ: What is your hometown?
A: I'm from South China, Maine, but when I tell people that I usually get confused looks. So, I've started saying Portland, Maine instead; I've lived there for years, and it's one of my favorite cities!

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: My first full opera was  La bohème on dvd, the San Francisco Production with Pavarotti and Freni, I was doing a project on Luciano in High School. 

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: My first opera was Freshman year of undergrad, H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: It's hard to pick one! So many characters in opera carry ideals that I can definitely relate to, but I think Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore is one of my favorites. Sure he's naive and not so smart, but he's incredibly honest, and has one of the biggest hearts in all of opera.

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: I have had the privilege of singing with some of the most awe-inspiring performers, even in just the few years I've been working professionally. That being said, Luciano Pavarotti will forever be a singer I will turn to for inspiration and motivation.

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: I've always been drawn to music, and to telling stories. Opera has always been, for me, the greatest way to mix those two mediums. And in a way that assimilates all other forms of art!

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: The hardest question of them all; Ben and Jerry's Vegan Cinnamon Roll ice cream.

Photo caption: Aaren Rivard singing in a "Jukebox Gala" with Pensacola Opera, Photo Credit: Meg Burke.

Spotify Playlist

Each week, two of our Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

For Week Six, Aaren drew inspiration from the interfaith theme Lessons in the School House

He says:

"I selected these songs with a few questions in mind: What kind of music would my child hear in their household growing up? How would faith, diversity, and ethics all be represented? What role does the child play in their learning of spirituality and ethics? These songs are a quick look into the varied world of faith, specifically with an activist's mentality of inclusion. Songs that may initially seem atheistic actually carry with them strong messages of hope, love, and kindness, staples in an ethical society. There are also moments within this playlist that pull back the curtain to see the pain of communities hurt for who they are, what they express, or what they believe, and the reality that our communal "ethics" may be lacking. Perhaps we all have learning to do, just as a student in a classroom. And perhaps we spend too much time trying to teach and not enough time trying to show through action. As David Bowie sings in Changes, the final song in this playlist: "And these children that you spit on, As they try to change their worlds, Are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through."