Described as “warm and fluent soprano” (Toledo Blade), D. Giles Simmer is a native of Atlanta, Georgia who now calls Detroit her home. Simmer earned a B.A. in Music from Hillsdale College where she was a recipient of the Howard Music Scholarship and L.A. Weichselfelder Scholarship, in addition to maintaining an active membership in Sigma Alpha Iota. She completed her M.M. in Vocal Performance at Western Michigan University where she taught private lessons, university voice classes, and was a student of Dr. Karen Kness. During her time as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at WMU, Simmer was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Graduate Award for Excellence in Teaching. Simmer has been recognized as a semi-finalist or winner in several national competitions including the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition, the William C. Byrd Competition, the Orpheus National Music Competitions, the Opera Maya Papaya Playa Competition, and NATS competitions.
During the 2018 season, Simmer will be performing in the chorus of Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Tosca and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Turandot. As a 2015-2016 Resident Artist with the Toledo Opera, Simmer was seen performing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Rosina in The Barber of Seville as part of their Opera on Wheels school program. She has worked with Opera MODO for two seasons in Detroit performing the roles of The Prince in Cendrillon, Mrs. Nolan in The Medium, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Elizabeth in Sweets by Kate, and Julia Child in Hoiby’s Bon Appetit. She has also performed with Opera Grand Rapids, Arbor Opera Theatre, and the Comic Opera Guild. Simmer is a certified Music Together instructor and teaches private lessons in Canton. She currently serves as a staff singer at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Detroit and studies with Curt Peters. Simmer resides in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown, with her husband, son, and their dog, Bear.