Paulina Villarreal

Assistant Professor of Voice

(901) 678-2541
MU 205
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  • D.M.A., Doctor of Musical Arts, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2018
  • M.M., Master of Music, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, 2015
  • B.M., Bachelor of Music, Appalachian State University, 2013


A recipient of the Yamaha Corporation Excellence in Music Education Award, Dr. Paulina Villarreal has established an international reputation as a versatile performer, professor, and entrepreneur in the music industry. Dr. Villarreal currently serves as an assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Memphis, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, as the Founder and Artistic Director of Cantos para el Mundo (Mexico), and as a Voice Faculty Member at Hawaii Performing arts Festival. She previously held the position of chair of vocal studies at Centenary College of Louisiana, was a voice faculty member at Millikin University, and taught voice related courses at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

A graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Villarreal has been a soloist and invited artist in companies and orchestras around the United States like Opera Saratoga, Cincinnati opera, Opera Fusion: New Works, the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Pops, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Opera Memphis, Opera Western Reserve, Opera Steamboat, Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, and the Decatur Millikin Symphony Orchestra. 

Trained as a classical vocalist, Villarreal is also in demand for her singing versatility in musical theater and commercial music genres. An advocate of new music and crossover works, she has collaborated and performed the works of contemporary American composers like William Bolcom, Laura Kaminsky, Ricky Ian Gordon and Derek Bremel, and recognized by important foundations like the Lotte Lenya Competition and Comic Opera Guild in Michigan for performing a wide variety of vocal genres. 

A leading expert in the promotion of Latin American, Iberian repertoire, Dr. Villarreal is regularly engaged as a masterclass clinician and lecturer for organizations including the National Opera Association (NOA), National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), College Music Society (CMS), Classical Singer Convention (CSC), Universidad de las Artes de la Habana (Cuba), Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico, Appalachian State University, and Millikin University among others. In the entrepreneurship and administrative world, she is the founding artistic director of the annual concert series Cantos para el Mundo, devoted to the promotion of classical vocal genres hosted in Northern Mexico.

Dr. Villarreal’s current and former students regularly perform in reputable companies and Young Artist Programs like Opera Memphis, Teatro Nuevo, Ohio Light Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Spotlight on Opera, Chicago Summer Opera, among others. Students have won coveted spots and scholarships to top tier programs like the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, New York University, Indiana University, DePaul University, State University of New York, and University of Alabama. 

Career highlights include the title role of Carmen with Opera Western Reserve, the world premiere of Mango Suite with the Princeton Symphony, Simply Sondheim: Stephen Sondheim's 85th Birthday Celebration with the Boston POPS and Broadway veterans Jason Danieley and Kate Baldwin, Sondheim vs Webber with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Macy's ArtWave Sampler with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Song Inniciative, multiple performances with Music for all Seasons, the Wagner Society of Cincinnati, and multiple recitals promoting her extensive research on Latin American Song, Zarzuela, and Mexican composer Maria Grever.