Vocalist - Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson has sung with major orchestras throughout the United States, and under many of the world's greatest conductors, including the late Robert Shaw in her Carnegie Hall debut in Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She was recently elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements as an artist, joining a distinguished roster that includes several U.S. Presidents and more than two hundred and fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. In the summer of 2020, Ms. Simpson reprises the role of Martha in Lembit Beecher’s Sky on Swings with Opera Saratoga.

Among Ms. Simpson’s 2018-19 engagements was the world premiere of Sky on Swings with Opera Philadelphia. Her 2017-18 engagements included reprising the Old Lady in Candide with Washington National Opera. In the 2016-17 season, she sang Candide with Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and Opéra de Bordeaux, following performances with Glimmerglass Opera the previous summer.

Recent performances include Lucinda in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain with Opera Philadelphia; Queenie in Showboat with Houston Grand Opera; Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra under Carlos-Miguel Prieto; Messiah with the United States Naval Academy, at the Washington National Cathedral, and with Detroit and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras; Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder with Memphis Symphony Orchestra; a recital at the Kennedy Center; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Kurt Masur.

Ms. Simpson’s opera highlights include Maria in Porgy and Bess with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Royal Opera House, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and on tour with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel; Dominga de Adviento in the world premiere of Péter Eötvös’ Love and Other Demons with Glyndebourne Festival Opera; and Addie in Marc Blitzstein’s Regina with Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Kennedy Center. She made her New York Philharmonic debut under Kurt Masur in Elijah. She sang in Carnegie Hall’s commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Messiah, and performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, under Zdenek Macal, for the inauguration of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Among her concert highlights are Messiah with Philadelphia Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim; and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater with Berliner Philharmoniker and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, both conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Ms. Simpson can be seen on Video Artists International’s complete version of Handel’s Messiah with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, shown seasonally on PBS television. She can be heard on the EMI recording of Porgy and Bess, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle; and on the Grammy Award-winning recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, with Leonard Slatkin conducting, on the Naxos label.

Ms. Simpson graduated from Temple University and received her Master’s Degree in Music from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is currently Rudy Professor of Music at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University (Bloomington).


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