Allyson McHardy

Allyson McHardy, Mezzo soprano

Pacific Opera Victoria
Carmen in Carmen

February, 2012

Allyson McHardy made her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2001 in the role of Fenena in Nabucco. She returns for her role debut as Carmen in February 2012.

Allyson McHardy's voice has been described as radiant, dusky, incandescent, and sumptuous; her presence on stages in Canada, the United States and France have drawn comments such as noble, spellbinding, charming and seductive. Allyson's varied repertoire encompasses roles from Rossini's l'Italiana in Algeri, Cenerentola and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, to Handel's Alcina, Ariodante and Semele, Caldara's La Converzione di Clodoveo Rè di Francia, to Verdi's Nabucco and Falstaff, Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, to Bizet's Carmen. Her orchestral repertoire includes Das Lied von der Erde, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's Magnificat, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, among many other works.

Following a busy summer of recitals including a national tribute to Maureen Forrester at Stratford Summer Music, Allyson opens her 2011-12 season with two role and house debuts: in September she takes on the role of Annio in the Opéra national de Paris production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito followed by the role of Arcabonne in J.C. Bach's Amadis de Gaule at the Opéra Comique in Paris and at the Château de Versailles. In January she performs Dijanira in Handel's Hercules with Tafelmusik in Toronto and in February makes her debut in the title role of Carmen with Pacific Opera Victoria. The Spring sees Allyson in Québec City for Mozart's Requiem with l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec and back to Toronto for an appearance as Juno in Handel's Semele with the Canadian Opera Company.

The 2010-2011 season featured a return to the Grant Park Festival in Chicago for Mahler's Symphony No. 2, the lead role in Rossini's La Cenerentola at Glyndebourne, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony, Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri in Limoges and Aix en Provence, Flosshilde in a concert version of Das Rheingold with the Montreal Symphony led by Kent Nagano, Mozart's Requiem with the Seattle Symphony and Houston's Mercury Baroque Orchestra, La Damnation de Faust with the Vancouver Bach Choir and Messiah with Kitchener-Waterloo's Grand Philharmonic Choir. Recent highlights include appearances at the New York City Opera as Marchesa Melibea in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims conducted by George Manahan, Adalgisa in Norma in Warsaw, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly wth the Canadian Opera Company, Jo in Little Women in Calgary, and Phèdre in a rare staging of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm in Toulouse. Much in demand as a concert artist, Allyson has performed Dream of Gerontius at Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival, Messiah for the Toronto Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Elijah in Montreal, Les Nuits d'été in Bielefeld, Germany and Beethoven's Choral Fantasia with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy.

In March 2011, Allyson released Caldara's La Conversione di Clodoveo, Re di Francia (ATMA) in which she performed the title role, having previously performed it in Berlin, Montreal and Vancouver with Le Nouvel Opéra. She has also recorded Bellini's Norma (Philharmonia Narodowa) with the Warsaw Philharmonic, two works by Harry Somers – Serinette and A Mid-Winter Night's Dream – (Centrediscs) and is featured on the Musica Leopolis label in Ukrainian music by composer Mykola Lysenko.

Allyson currently lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.

One also finds the essential quality of the opera in the very beautiful voice of Allyson McHardy, who perfectly incarnates the role of the enchantress drunk with anger and demanding vengeance. The warmth of her timbre is magnificent. It vibrates and we want more.
-  La Tribune, 11 December 2011

January, 2012