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Sheila Willey


Sheila Willey is familiar to Santa Cruz audiences as a soprano, appearing frequently with New Music Works, Santa Cruz Chamber Players, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival. In opera, she has sung diverse roles throughout the San Francisco Bay area with companies such as Cinnabar Theater, West Edge Opera, Opera Parallèle, and Cabrillo Stage. Sheila is a Lecturer in Voice and Opera at UC Santa Cruz. As Artistic Director of the UCSC Opera Program, she has directed two productions of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (2015, 2019), two recent works by Chris Pratorius Gómez (My Head is Full of Colors (2014) and Xochitl and the Flowers (2017)), Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld (2017), and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (2018), Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (2019), and an adaptation of Massenet’s Cendrillon (2020). Sheila provided musical direction for the UCSC Theater Arts Department productions of HAIR (2010), Orestes, Terrorist (2011), and RENT (2014) and has directed multiple choirs in and around Santa Cruz. Originally from Iowa, Sheila holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is mother to Kai, nearly 8, and Lia, 4-and-a-half.