The American soprano, Cynthia Watters Shepherd, received her Bachelor of Music degree at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia and her Masters degree in Voice and Opera Performance at Indiana University. She also studied opera at the Aspen Music Festival (2002) and participated in the art song (2001) and vocal chamber music (2002) programs at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. She was a semi-finalist in the 2000 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the recipient of the 2000 Richard F. Gold Career Grant by the Shoshana Foundation, and the winner of the 1996 National Music Teacherís Association Vocal Competition.
Cynthia Watters moved to Atlanta from New York City. Her opera credits include: Countess (cover) in W.A. Mozartís Le Nozze di Figaro (New York City Opera, 2004), Tina in Jonathan Doveís Flight (Opera Theater of St. Louis, 2003), Elisa (cover) in W.A. Mozartís Il Re Pastore (Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, 2003), Donna Elvira in W.A. Mozartís Don Giovanni, Poppea in Monteverdiís Líincoronazione di Poppea, Pamina in W.A. Mozartís Die Zauberflöte, and Ilia in W.A. Mozartís Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera Company, 1999, 2000). She has performed as a soloist also with Boston Lyric Opera, and Opera Theater of Saint Louis. Equally in demand for concert engagements, Cynthia has appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. She made her Weill Recital Hall debut in 2002 with The New York Festival of Song and her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Gay Menís Chorus in 2003.
Cynthia Watters joined the Office of the President staff at Emory Univeresity in September 2004, and was promoted to Business Manager in the fall of 2008. She serves as the financial administrator of the departmental business unit, overseeing budget responsibilities and account management. She also is the human resources representative for the department, managing employee data and communication. One of her primary responsibilities is working with the President on specific commitments to a variety of strategic initiatives and projects.
Throughout her career, Cynthia Watters has taught private voice to students of all ages and levels of vocal ability. An active local recitalist and soloist, and active in the music and theater community of Atlanta. She is a board member of the Atlanta Opera Guild, and serves as Georgia District Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.