Vocalist - Mezzo-Soprano

Lauded for her "lustrous and expressive voice" by the Seattle Times after her performances as Adalgisa in Norma, mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella continues to receive critical acclaim for her artistic versatility, superlative musicianship, and powerful stage presence. A truly accomplished artist, she has appeared on many of the finest international opera, concert, and recital stages in repertoire ranging from the Baroque era to that of the present century.

Among Ms. Pancella’s 2018-19 engagements were Verdi’s Requiem with the Eugene Symphony, and the recording of Ingrid Stölzel’s Soul Journey – Three Whitman Songs on the album The Gorgeous Nothings (Navona Records). In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Pancella sang as Mrs. Patrick DeRocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with Kentucky Opera, and The Memphian in the premiere of Kamala Sankaram's Formidable with Opera Memphis. She also recorded the album Ladislav Kubík: Vocal Music (NEOS), representing much of the composer’s output for the mezzo-soprano voice, including three pieces the composer dedicated to her. In the 2016-17 season, Ms. Pancella sang Maddie in Heggie’s Three Decembers with Opera Memphis, and Mukhtar’s Mother in Sankaram’s Thumbprint with Beth Morrison Projects at REDCAT L.A. She appeared with Columbus Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder; Santa Fe Opera as Marquise in La fille du régiment; Eugene Symphony as soloist in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky; Virginia Opera as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd; and she returned to Alabama Symphony as Mother/Witch in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel.

Recent engagements include the New Music Showcase at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, featuring new works by Ladislav Kubík; returns to Boston Lyric Opera as Despina in Così fan tutte and Central City Opera as Mrs. Gibbs in Rorem’s Our Town; Messiah with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jane Glover; Bach cantatas curated by John Harbison with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Messiah with Philadelphia Orchestra, under Jane Glover; Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with Music of the Baroque; Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Mozart’s Requiem with Handel and Haydn Society (released on the Coro label); and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Alabama Symphony.

Ms. Pancella’s many opera successes include Mrs. Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Los Angeles Opera; Eduige in Handel’s Rodelinda with San Francisco Opera; Cornelia in Giulio Cesare with Houston Grand Opera; the title role of Carmen at the Teatro San Carlo, New Israeli Opera, English National Opera, and Houston Grand Opera; Fidalma in Il matrimonio segreto and the title role in Offenbach’s Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea and the title role of Lizzie Borden at Glimmerglass Opera; The Death of Klinghoffer with Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano; and Dolores in the world premiere of Anthony Davis’ Wakonda’s Dream with Opera Omaha.

Her concert repertoire includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (National Symphony Orchestra); Mozart’s Requiem (Cincinnati Symphony); Bach’s Magnificat (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra); Dejanira in Hercules, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and Mozart’s Requiem (Music of the Baroque); Messiah and Holofernes in Juditha Triumphans (Boston Baroque); and Verdi’s Messa per Rossini (Opéra de Lyon).


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