Hailing from eastern Iowa, Emily Dirks is currently an opera graduate assistant pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She also holds a Master of Music from Louisiana State University in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
First inspired by musical theatre and Disney soundtracks, Emily grew up onstage, performing roles in plays and musicals such as Annie, I Remember Mama, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and Les Misérables. She began piano lessons in first grade and seriously pursued a dual vocal/piano performance degree until her sophomore year in college, after which she decided becoming a well-rounded singer-actor was her passion. While Emily certainly enjoys contemporary music, she began taking voice lessons in middle school and quickly found a passion for opera. Most recently, she performed Pamina in The Magic Flute with Opera in the Ozarks and The Governess in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with UNLV Opera Theater. Other selected performance credits include La bohème (Musetta) with Opera in the Ozarks; The Stronger (Estelle) with UNLV Opera Theater; Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Tirésias) and Manon (Poussette) with LSU Opera; The Gondoliers (Gianetta), Così fan tutte (Fiordiligi), and The Merry Widow (Hanna Glawari) with Luther College Opera Theatre.
Emily loves teaching musicians of all ages just as much as performing. From 2020-22, Emily returned to her alma mater as the Alumni Guest Lecturer in Voice, where she taught private voice lessons, opera scenes, and class voice to music majors and non- majors. In March of 2021, Emily was recognized for her teaching as a recipient of the H. George Anderson and Jutta F. Anderson Faculty Development award. To continue honing her skills, Emily was an auditor of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices (IYDV) program in the summer of 2022 and will audit again in 2023. She also completed the online Vaccai Bel Canto Bootcamp in the summer of 2020.
Aside from singing and music, Emily loves spending time with her beloved miniature schnauzer named Albus and miniature dachshund named Tucker.