Shelton, J. Adam

At UW-Whitewater


A Wisconsin transplant from Tennessee, singer, teacher, director, Dr. J. Adam Shelton has a DMA in vocal performance from UW- Madison and a killer sweet tea recipe.  Reviewers and fans alike note his “fine tenor flamboyance” (John Barker, Isthmus Madison Magazine) and how he is "effortlessly hilarious… like Harvey Feirstein with pitch.”  At home in opera and musical theatre, Dr. Shelton has performed with Madison Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Madison Savoyards, Music Theatre of Madison, Four Seasons Theatre, Soo Symphony & Opera, MidColumbia Mastersingers & Orchestra, La Musica Lirica, Arizona Opera, Knoxville Opera, and Opera For the Young.  Career highlights include:  

“Howard Boucher” in Dead Man Walking, “Frederic” in The Pirates of Penzance, “The Magician” in The Consul, “Ferrando” in Così fan tutte, “Nemorino” in Donizetti’s
L’Elisir d’Amore, “Jacob” in La Cage Aux Folles, “Richard” in A New Brain, “Larry Sugarman/Buddy” Little Miss Sunshine:  The Musical, and “Chef Louis” in The Little Mermaid, among many others.  He has music directed MammaMia!Young Frankenstein, Falsettos, Singing in the Rain Jr., and Priscilla Queen of the Desert in addition to his stage directing credits.  

As a pedagogue, Dr. Shelton teaches at UW-Whitewater and maintains the Shelton Private Voice Studio in Madison.  His dissertation, “The Singing Dream:  A 21st Century Critical Edition of Tauberlieder, explored the compositions of the great Austrian tenor, Richard Tauber.In 2019, he received additional training from the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory in jazz, pop/rock, country, and gospel.  His students have gone on to noted national competitions and awards programs like the Jimmy Awards, NATS, Classical Singer, and The Schmidt Vocal Competition.  

Dr. Shelton returns to his roots in 2021 rebooting his papaw's country-western band, "Sonny Shelton & The Powell Valley Boys” working on his first album Family Traditions paying homage to the legends in his family and country music.


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