Melissa Treinkman

Assistant professor of practice

Melissa Treinkman is an assistant professor of practice in musical theatre at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles and enjoys a versatile career as a singer, voice teacher, and voice researcher. 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:

Noble Page, Tannhäuser, LA Opera, 2022

El Ángel, Las tres mujeres de Jerusalén (Lucero), LA Opera (workshop performance), 2021

Vendor, Carmen, LA 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

Conference Presentations:

Don’t Follow Your Instincts: Ten Ways Musical Theatre Singing Can Be Counterintuitive, National Association of Teachers of Singing Cal-Western Regional Conference, Virtual Conference, January 15, 2022

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”


Melissa Treinkman and Michael Johns, III, “Does Vocal Fatigue Negatively Affect Low Vocal Range in Professional, Female Opera Singers? A Survey Study and a Single-Subject Pilot Study,” Journal of Voice, (Advance online publication Jan, 2022).

Amelia Rollings Bigler, Katherine Osborne, Chadley Ballantyne, Brian Horne, Kimberly James, Brian Manternach, Yvonne Redman, Melissa Treinkman, “Voice Pedagogy for the 21st Century: The Summation of Two Summits,” Journal of Singing 78, no. 1 (September/October): 11-28.

“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