Chicago native, Thereza Lituma, is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with research focuses in Quechua and Andean operatic/art song repertoire. She studies voice under the tutelage of Professor Sylvia Stone.. Most recently she won third place at the 2021 American Prize Competition in Vocal Performance.
During the 2020/21 season, Ms. Lituma performed the roles of Mrs. Grose/The Turn of the Screw, Agent Dee Dee Reyes/The Last American Hammer, and covered the role of Erika/Vanessa. with Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. She was a Young Artist with the Ad Astra Music Festival as a part of their alternative virtual summer festival. She also won third place at the 2020 Classical Singer Music Vocal Competition, where she adjudicated by some of the biggest names in the industry including Denyce Graves, Frederica von Stade, Nathan Gunn, and Robert Ainsley. At the final awards ceremony, she was praised by Frederica von Stade for singing with "beautiful colors and a clear lovely sound."
During the 2019/20 season, she performed the role of the hilarious and "scandalized" Owl in Janaček's The Cunning Little Vixen and premiered the role of Mary in the Act 1 workshop of Michael McAndrew's [i am a city]. She covered the role of Vera Boronelin Menotti's The Consul as a part of Transgressive Theatre-Opera's Benefit Concert for Immigration Relief. Ms. Lituma was also the alto soloist in Dvorak’s Stabat Mater under the direction of Andrew Megill (UIUC Oratorio Society) and was the contralto soloist in Ustvolskaya’s Symphony No. 4 with the Illinois Modern Ensemble.
In the 2018/19 season, Ms. Lituma performed the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (Lyric Theatre at Illinois), where she was praised by The News Gazette for singing with a “sweeping emotive power.” She also performed the roles of Ježibaba/Third Wood Sprite in Dvorak’s Rusalka under the direction of vocal coach/pianist, Luke A. Housner. (LAH-SOW Portland). An active concert soloist, she was seen as the alto soloist in J. M. Haydn's Missa Sancti Hieronymi (UIUC Oratorio Society) and as the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah (First United Methodist Church in Urbana). She also presented her Undergraduate Voice Recital alongside pianist and long time collaborator, Simon Raphael Tiffin, featuring the works of Handel, Brahms, Viardot, de Falla, and Heggie. Ms. Lituma is a Professional Member of the prestigious Grant Park Chorus. She made her Grant Park debut as a Grant Park Music Festival Project Inclusion Voice Fellow, where she had the opportunity to perform as a soloist in multiple Chicago summer concert series including the Night Out in the Parks recitals and a Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert at the Chicago Cultural Center. She also played the role of The Witch for an interactive outreach performance of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel (GPMF Classical Campers). Ms. Lituma returned to the festival as a soloist at the Advocate for the Arts Awards 2019 Gala.
Ms. Lituma is also a member of the University of Illinois Chamber Singers. In 2018, they traveled to and performed at the Chicago Symphony Hall and Alice Tully Hall for the historic 150th anniversary of the University of Illinois. She has also had the immense honor of sharing the stage with the The King Singers during their encore performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Lituma made her European debut in 2017 participating in the Scuola Italia Summer Program for Young Opera Singers where she performed scenes as Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff and Cornelia in Handel's Giulio Cesare. Prior to that, she made her operatic stage debut in 2016 as Albanact in Purcell's King Arthur (La Nuova Aurora Opera Company). Ms. Lituma has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Elizabeth Meier Frauenhoffer Memorial Award in Music, the Edmund Plaszczykowski Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Music, Aspire Graduate Fellowship, the Theodore Presser Foundation Scholarship in Music, the T. J. Smith Scholarship Competition, the Mary Mottl Memorial Scholarship, the Division Achievement Award in Music Education, the Sigma Alpha Iota Summer Music Scholarship, the Judy Riemenschneider Marderosian Memorial Music Scholarship, and the Mary Payne Performance Award.
Ms. Lituma is the proud daughter of South American immigrants. In her spare time, she enjoys twirling her baton, drinking bubble tea and writing/composing her first chamber opera.