A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Yanzel Rivera studied at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico under the guidance of Justino Díaz. She received her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her doctoral degree at the UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music. She also pursued a minor in Arts Administration at the Wisconsin School of Business’ Bolz Center. Before joining WYSO, Yanzel worked as an administrative intern with the Madison Youth Choirs. In the summer of 2017 she was employed by the Wisconsin Union Theater in Madison to create, organize and manage the first open-air classical music series at the Union Terrace. As a professional opera singer, Yanzel has brought to life more than 20 roles and in the past few years has performed with the opera at the Spoleto Festival USA, Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador, the UW Opera in Madison and the Martina Arroyo Foundation in New York City.