University News

WIU Alumnus to Perform with Metropolitan Opera This Fall

September 21, 2022

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University alumna Margaret Gawrysiak has been named as the understudy for the role of "Auntie," in a fall production of "Peter Grimes," with the Metropolitan Opera.

Gawrysiak, of Seattle, WA, is a 2002 WIU graduate, with a degree in music therapy. While she was at Western, Gawrysiak was a member of the Concert Choir, University Singers, Madrigal Singers and the Opera Workshop. After graduation, she went on to get a master's degree from the Eastman School of Music, and she is also a graduate of the San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, Wolf Trap Opera and Seattle Opera's Young Artist Program.

Gawrysiak has performed with the Seattle Opera, at The Knights at Tanglewood Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival, Opera Colorado, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and many others. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Seattle Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, among others.

In 2009, Margaret was a winner of the Sullivan Foundation Award and received second place in the Lotte Lenya Competition. She has received awards from the Jensen Foundation, Portland Opera's Lieber Awards, the Gerda Lissner Foundation and Fort Worth Opera's McCammon Awards.

For more information about Gawrysiak and her work since her WIU graduation, visit

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