Soprano Gwen Coleman Detwiler has been praised by music critics for possessing a voice of “divine beauty” with “sparkling coloratura” and “impressive high-flying top notes.” Her solo concert work includes appearances with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Central City Opera Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Detwiler made her European debut as the soprano soloist for the Klassiche Musikfest’s performances of Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten and Beethoven’s Mass in C at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria. Recent performances of note include appearances with SongFest in Los Angeles, CA to premiere the new work, The Birth Project written for Dr. Detwiler and soprano Audrey Luna by esteemed American composer Libby Larsen, chamber music with Summerfest Chamber Series, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Detwiler has enjoyed singing a variety of principal opera roles. Her opera role repertoire includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Blonde in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, the Governess in Turn of the Screw, Monica in The Medium, and the title role in Cendrillon. Dr. Detwiler can be heard on the Newport Classic’s CD recording of Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe and as the lead role, Suleika, on Centaur Record’s world-premiere recording of Schubert’s Der Graf von Gleichen.
In recital, Dr. Detwiler’s repertoire includes literature spanning Baroque chamber music, German Lieder, and the modern American art song, including the premiere of the song cycle Christina’s World, written for her by esteemed American composer Juliana Hall. Audiences have enjoyed her recitals at From the Garden LIVE for St. Louis Classical 99 Radio, the Chautauqua Institute (NY), the Grandin Chamber Music Festival (OH), Wesleyan College (GA), the Fitton Center for Creative Arts (OH), the Fredonia Opera House (NY), the Château de Vianden in Luxembourg, and in Central City, CO among many others.
A 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council regional winner, Dr. Detwiler has won numerous national awards for her artistry, including a MacAllister Award, the Italo Opera Award, a Presser Award, and the Naftzger Young Artists Auditions first prize. She received her vocal and opera training at Northwestern University (BA and BM), the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM and DMA) and the San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola Young Artist Program.
Dr. Detwiler is currently an associate professor of voice at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She was a member of the SongFest Voice Faculty from 2012–2015, and she joined the faculty of the CCM Spoleto Music Festival in Italy in 2011. Dr. Detwiler taught at the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg in 2010, and she previously served as a professor of voice at the State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music. Dr. Detwiler was the recipient of the SUNY Fredonia Revolutionary Woman on Campus Award as well as the Outstanding Professor Award. Dr. Detwiler provides vocal master classes throughout the United States. She currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area with her husband and two children.