Marion Newman made her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2003 as Margret in Alban Berg's Wozzeck. She returned as the goddess Juno in POV's 2004 production of Lee Hoiby's The Tempest. In September 2010 she will perform Tisbe in POV's production of Rossini's Cinderella.
First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman "has a distinctive, dusky voice that suggests drama with every note" (Toronto Star) and has been noted as "a show stealer" (BBC Music Magazine). In her debut with Cork's Opera 2005 in the title role of Carmen, she was widely praised for her “superbly sinuous sexuality” and as “a very exciting new talent” by the Irish Examiner. She returned to Cork to appear as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and has appeared as the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Vancouver Opera, Cherubino and Cinderella for Opera Lyra Ottawa and Hansel for Opera Hamilton.
Performances in the 2010 season include Tisbe in POV's La Cenerentola, the lead role of Noodin-Kwe in the world premiere run of Giiwedin, a first Nations opera by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan, and Thunderbird, an Aradia Ensemble concert in which traditional Kwagiulth dance and song meet the Baroque era, featuring a new work by talented young Canadian composer Dustin Peters.
Highlights of Marion's most recent seasons include the roles of Flora in La traviata and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro in Sulmona, Italy as part of the C.O.S.I. programme. International appearances include performances in the Czech Republic and Germany as Don Ramiro in Mozart's Die Gärtnerin Aus Liebe and Ericlea in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. Marion also sang the roles of Zita and La Zia Principessa in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica in Italy. As part of the Banff Centre new music programme, she toured France with Richard Dubelski's What's Goin' On and in 2004 she traveled to Lithuania with the ERGO ensemble to perform at the Is Arti New Music Festival.
On the concert stage, Marion has performed with the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Ballet of Canada, Portland Baroque Orchestra, CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Kingston Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Elora Festival Singers, Talisker Players, Bell'Arte Singers, Aradia Ensemble, Toronto Philharmonia, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, St Lawrence Choir, Fanshawe Chorus London and the Sooke Philharmonic. Her extensive repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, Coronation Mass and Davidde Penitente, Copland's In The Beginning, Bach's St. John Passion, Magnificat, and Cantata no. 4.
Marion has also demonstrated her "luscious mezzo soprano voice and captivating vivacity" on television, having been featured four times as a soloist on CBC's National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, and opening the 2002 Royal Golden Jubilee Gala at Roy Thomson Hall, where she performed the National Anthem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Marion's discography includes five discs with the Aradia Ensemble for Naxos: Polly by Samuel Arnold, Sacred Music by Vivaldi, and Griselda by Vivaldi, Handel's Rinaldo and Charpentier's Messe de Minuit pour Noel and Te Deum. As well, she recorded Sea Change featured in the contemporary work Brush Strokes by Linda C. Smith, with Continuum Contemporary Music and Handel's Dixit Dominus and Bach's Cantata no. 4 with the CapriCCio Ensemble for Virga Recordings.
Marion made her orchestral debut at the age of sixteen with the Victoria Symphony, not as a singer, but as a pianist, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto K. 488 in A Major. She holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Victoria and a Master of Music with Distinction in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is the recipient of a Career Development Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
...the most memorable performance of the evening belonged to mezzo Marion Newman (Carmen), gifted with an excellent voice and impressive stage presence. Newman, a comparative newcomer, is a real find. She imbued her Carmen with a charming seductiveness and beautifully warm legato line that marks her as a talent to watch.
Timothy McGee, Opera Canada
Marion's voice has always been a strikingly beautiful instrument – a Bordeaux rather than a Beaujolais – and her singing has always been enriched by her intelligence and musicianship.
Robert Holliston, Sooke News Mirror
Meet Marion Newman:
Enjoy more videos of Marion's performances, along with an interview.