Allyson McHardy, mezzo-soprano
A unique vocal colour and commanding stage presence are the hallmarks of performances by mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy. Hailed by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle as “a singer of enormous imagination and versatility,” she has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company, Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Théâtre capitole du Toulouse, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, and Warsaw Philharmonic.
Allyson’s career is a carefully curated balance of opera and concert repertoire that moves easily from Donizetti to Handel, from Heggie to Mahler. Of particular note were her performances as Julie Riel in Harry Somers’s Louis Riel, a Canadian Opera Company production also seen in Ottawa and Québec City as part of the nation’s Sesquicentennial Celebrations. She is also a Prix Opus Winner for Opéra de Montréal’s Dead Man Walking and Opéra de Québec’s Der fliegende Holländer. She has appeared with major orchestras across the globe for performances of such works as Ligeti’s Requiem with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah in St. Louis, Madrid, and Chicago, and a staged production of Mozart’s Mass in D Minor for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Allyson’s discography includes the JUNO-nominated recordings Healey Willan: Summer Night with the Canadian Art Song Project (Centrediscs), Handel’s Orlando with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (ATMA), and Caldara’s La conversione di Clodoveo, Re di Francia (ATMA), which is also ADISQ-nominated. Other recordings include Bellini’s Norma with the Warsaw Philharmonic (Philharmonia Narodowa), two works by Harry Somers—Serinette and A Midwinter Night’s Dream (Centrediscs), and Ukrainian art song by Mykola Lysenko in a six-disc collection (Musica Leopolis).