Melissa Treinkman

Adjunct Instructor

Melissa Treinkman is an adjunct instructor in musical theatre at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles and enjoys a versatile career as a singer, voice researcher and vocal pedagogue. She earned a doctorate degree in musical arts from the University of Southern California, where she received the Thornton Vocal Arts Outstanding Graduate Award. She also holds a master of music degree from DePaul University and a bachelor of music degree from Northwestern University. 

Treinkman has conducted original research in the areas of vocal fatigue and focus of attention in voice training. Her scholarly articles have been published in the Journal of Singing and the Journal of Voice. She has presented her research to the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Pan American Vocology Association and the Voice Foundation. She was the 2020 recipient of the Voice Foundation’s Sataloff Award for Young Investigators and was the first researcher to win the award in the category of vocal pedagogy.

As a mezzo-soprano, her opera career has taken her to opera companies throughout the country, including Chicago Opera Theater, Utah Opera, Sarasota Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera North and Los Angeles Opera. At LA Opera, she sang in the featured ensemble for the GRAMMY-award winning production of The Ghosts of Versailles, performed the role of the Vendor in Carmen and performed the role of a page in Tannhäuser. She is also a member of the LA Opera Chorus and a teaching artist with LA Opera Connects, which brings opera to the Los Angeles community. A champion of new music, Treinkman performed the role of Dulcinea in the world premiere of Juan Colomer’s opera Dulcinea XL and was a featured singer in the world premiere of the dance opera Beyond the Waterfront, produced by the Heidi Duckler Dance Theater and LA Opera.

Professional experience

Career Highlights:

Vendor, Carmen, Los Angeles Opera, 2017

Dulcinea, Dulcinea XL, LA Grand Ensemble, 2019

“If These Walls Could Sing: Baroque Music and Romanelli’s Art” LA Opera Outreach at Norton Simon Museum, April 27, 2019

“Songs in the Key of LA” LA Opera Outreach at the Bowers Museum, August 28, 2016

“Women and the law” LA Opera Presents: Figaro Unbound Seminar at the Huntington Library, February 4, 2015

Conference Presentations:

Focus of Attention in Voice Training, Pan American Vocology Association Virtually PAVA Symposium, August 2021.

The Manifestation of Vocal Fatigue: A Survey of Professional, Female Opera Singers and a Single-Subject Study of One Professional Opera Singer, Melissa Treinkman, DMA and Michael Johns, III, MD, Voice Foundation Annual Voice Symposium, (virtual), June 5, 2021.

Lifting the Curse of Knowledge in Voice Pedagogy. National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, Virtual Conference, June 2020.

Focus of Attention in Voice Training. Voice Foundation Annual Voice Symposium (virtual), May 2020.


Featured singer, The Ghosts of Versailles, Los Angeles Opera
2017 Grammy winner: “Best Opera Recording” and “Best Engineered Album, Classical”


“Focus of Attention in Voice Training,” Journal of Voice (Advance online publication Sept. 2020).

“Focus of Attention: A Review and Update for Singers and Teachers,” Journal of Singing 77, no. 3 (Jan/Feb 2021): 407-718.

“Lifting the Curse of Knowledge in Voice Pedagogy,” Journal of Singing 75, no. 3 (Jan/Feb 2019): 337-344.

“The Yelp Effect: Harnessing the Power of Online Reviews to Grow your Voice Studio,” Journal of Singing 75, no. 2 (Nov/Dec 2018): 191-196.

Academic degrees