About Chasiti

Chasiti LashaySelect credits: Ariadne auf Naxos (Primadonna) and The Marriage of Figaro (Countess cover) with San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica) with Lamar University Opera Theater.
Awards: Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2020)—National Finalist.
Education: San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Postgraduate Diploma, 2020; Master of Music, 2019), Tuskegee University (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 2014).


To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 3

Week Two Master Class

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour B

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Week Six Master Class

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

Cocktails, Concerts & Conversations, Week 8

"I'm Back Home in Houston Now" (Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Eight Master Class

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

Young Artist Interview

chasiti lashayQ: What is your hometown?
A: I am proud to say that I was born and raised in Houston, TX

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: The first opera I saw live was Don Pasquale and it was a collegiate production that I had the opportunity to see during TEXOMA NATS. I was 23 years old. The first PROFESSIONAL opera that I saw was Rusalka at Houston Grand Opera and I was 23.

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: The very first opera I ever performed in was Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore where I was a chorus member who got to fawn over Belcore and Nemorino whilst fighting with the other chorus ladies of course.

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: Honestly, Liu in Turandot would have to be my favorite. She’s the most pure character! She remained faithful to Timur because he once smiled at her, WHAT!? She, a slave girl, stands up to Turandot and sacrifices herself, not only for the man she loves, but to prove her point and so that the princess can learn about the power of true love. Can one be anymore pure?

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: Well, first off let me say that there is a joke between my friends and I; I call Leontyne Price my grandmother, and Pavarotti is my Godfather! Besides those two, I also adore Jessye Norman, Montserrat Caballe, Renata Scotto AND Renata Tebaldi and I will only listen to Kathleen Battle’s rendition of Una voce poco fa, no one else! Just kidding...maybe :) There’s so many more great singers that I love and I wish I could list them all!

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: It's the most amazing thing that no matter what is going on outside the doors of the theater, one can enter a completely different reality once those doors close. The world around us disappears and we can enter a new world, if only for a few hours and a house full of people from many different backgrounds experience the music and story together. In opera we have the opportunity to go into the land of imagination and tell a story, just as when we were kids.

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: I can’t pick just one, so, my two favorite flavors are Cookies & Cream and Butter Pecan!

Photo caption: Chasiti Lashay as the Primadonna in the prologue of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Theater. Photo Credit: Matthew Washburn.

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 Eight, Chasiti drew inspiration from the theme Reframing the Constitution 

She says:

“The theme reframing the constitution forces one to examine our history as a young country and whether that constitution still works for us as a more developed society and mixture of peoples. Many of these songs I grew up listening to with my parents or older family members, some I discovered on my own. They all present a message, many times they present questions. Regardless, it requires us to think outside of the realm in which we’ve been dwelling. You’ll also find some poetry and spoken word on this playlist because I love them both. I’d suggest listening to the playlist in order. “