International Opera Singer to Return to Hometown Stage

COLDWATER – Coldwater’s own Chelsea (Hart) Melcher, now internationally acclaimed opera singer, will return to the Tibbits stage with her award-winning pianist husband Paul Melcher for a special benefit concert on September 18, 2021 at 7:30pm.

The duo will be performing for the 20th Annual Smith Memorial Concert, with proceeds this year benefiting area high school choir programs, including Coldwater, Reading, Bronson, Pansophia Academy, and Union City.

Concert organizer Diane Pridgeon says, “I knew Chelsea as an elementary standout in the 5th grade Honors Choir. I wanted to benefit the chorale programs in the area and she was a good fit vocally because she came through the Coldwater program.” Pridgeon continued, “It’s generous of her to return and care about the music program in Coldwater and the surrounding areas.”

Chelsea also has deep connections to Tibbits having started with the Tibbits Young Audiences program, and then performing in Coldwater High School musical theatre performances. She also performed as a soloist for St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church choir.

Internationally acclaimed opera singer and Coldwater native Chelsea (Hart) Melcher will return to the Tibbits stage with her award-winning pianist husband Paul Melcher for the Smith Memorial Concert on September 18, 2021 at 7:30pm. Proceeds will benefit area school choir programs.

Chelsea Melcher has been described as “coolly captivating” and “a woman to be reckoned with” onstage. Chelsea has performed Verdi’s Requiem and Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder, the Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Mahler’s Second Symphony. Melcher’s performing includes collaboration with Opera Columbus, Opera Seabrook, Opera Project Columbus, Bay View Music Festival, New Albany Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Ohio Light Opera, Midland Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Amherst Symphony, Central Michigan Orchestra, and The Ohio State University Orchestra.

Internationally acclaimed composer and pianist Paul Melcher has performed in concert halls around the world. Featured on CBS “Christmas in Norway,” Paul has toured with the St. Olaf Choir where he performed for Queen Sonja Haraldsen of Norway and worked closely with the renowned Anton Armstrong. Paul’s award winning compositions have world premiered in the Midwest and featured in RED Chapel Concert series programs. Paul has served as music director for various opera company programs and accompanied professional singers and choirs including Opera Columbus, Opera Project Columbus, Bay View Music Festival, Encore Theater, Refectory Dinner Music Series, Grand Rapids Ballet, BalletMet of Columbus, and more.

Chelsea is the founder of Vocal Career Academy and Nerves Be Gone Academy. Together, Chelsea and Paul have co-founded RED School of Music with professional teachers and unlimited performance opportunities.

The Ruth, Robert, Douglas, and Dean Smith Memorial Concert was originally organized by Diane Smith Pridgeon and her sister Susanne Smith Wise to celebrate the lives of their father and two brothers, Robert, Douglas and Dean Smith. Pridgeon explains, “At the 25th year after their passing, my mother and I thought we would like to do something to give back to our community.” After Ruth’s passing, the sisters continued the tradition, adding their mother to the list of the lives they celebrate.

Tickets for this performance are $25 including fees with student rate of $10. For tickets or more information, go online to, to the Tibbits offices on 93 W. Chicago St. in Coldwater 9-5 Mon. through Fri., or by phone at 517.278.6029. All events are at the historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, Coldwater, MI.

Purchase tickets HERE