https://www.maggiemezzo.com/

Known for her powerful voice and galvanizing performances, mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak’s engagements this season include a return to Seattle Opera as Berta in The barber of Seville, and she appears in concert with the Seattle Symphony for Beethoven’s Ninth symphony. Future seasons hold her debut with Dallas Opera and a return to Opera Colorado.

Last season, the mezzo-soprano’s season included performances as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Zita and Frugola in Opera Company of Middlebury’s production of Il Trittico; and the Old Lady in Candide with Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

The mezzo-soprano’s 2015-2016 season featured a wide range of performances, including the world premiere of Lori Laitman’s Scarlet Letter with Opera Colorado as Mistress Hibbons; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera; Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Fresno Grand Opera; and Public Opinion in Orpheus in the Underworld with Virginia Opera.

Other notable recent engagements for Margaret Gawrysiak include:

Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore with Virginia Opera; the Marquise in La fille du régiment with Arizona Opera; Mrs. De Rocher in Dead Man Walking with Dayton Opera; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Vera Boronel in The Consul with Seattle Opera; Ježibaba in Rusalka with North Carolina Opera; Frugola in Il tabarro with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with Crested Butte Music Festival; Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Baba the Turk and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and La Mère d’Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Wolf Trap Opera; Zita in Gianni Schicchi at the Castleton Festival; Giovanna in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera; and a workshop of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys with the Metropolitan Opera.

On the concert stage, she has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Maestro Lorin Maazel; Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel with the Seattle Symphony; Dessau’s Haggadah shel Pesach with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; Mozart’s Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem with the Springfield Symphony, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Gawrysiak is a graduate of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program; as a member, she was featured as Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also graduated from San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, where she covered Beppe in L’amico Fritz, and performed Isabella in scenes from L’italiana in Algeri on the Schwabacher Concert Program. Margaret also participated for two summers at Glimmerglass Opera as a young artist, where she performed as Juno in Orpheus in the Underworld, and covered the roles of the Grandmother and Aunt in Jenůfa.

In 2009 Margaret was a winner of the Sullivan Foundation Award and received second place in the Lotte Lenya Competition. She has received awards from the Jensen Foundation, Portland Opera’s Lieber Awards, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Awards. She is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and Western Illinois University.

Seattle Opera – Il barbiere di Siviglia<h/3>

And mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak, as the servant Berta, shone in her powerhouse aria (“Il vecchiotto”) about the craziness of people in love.”

Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times

Orlando Philharmonic – Candide

Margaret Gawrysiak makes an especially fine bawdy older woman.”

Matthew Palm, Orlando Sentinel

“Margaret Gawrysiak, as both old lady and the baroness, infused her moments with charming humor.”

Louis Roney, Winter Park Observer

Fresno Grand Opera – Sweeney Todd

“The supporting cast own their respective roles as well, especially Margaret Gawrysiak as Mrs. Lovett, Todd’s landlady and partner-in-crime. Her mezzo-soprano vocals soar with her every emotion, whether she’s imagining a coastal life of wedded bliss with Sweeney or cooking up plans, literally, to incorporate Todd’s victims into her meat pies.”

Sarah Peterson, King’s River

Opera Colorado – Scarlet Letter

the unrestrained taunting of Dimmesdale by the town witch, Mistress Hibbons…served as a fine showpiece for Margaret Gawrysiak, whose angry tirade called up memories of Azucena and Ulrica. The mezzo’s powerful voice contrasted with the more muted singing of Laura Claycomb.”

Marcy Shulgold, Opera News

“Equally frightening is mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak as Mistress Hibbons, a witch-like figure whose very reality is in doubt.”

Kelly Dean Hansen, Daily Camera

Seattle Opera – Le nozze di Figaro

Margaret Gawrysiak was a ripely colorful Marcellina.”

Mark Mandel, Opera News

Arizona Opera – Daughter of the Regiment

The biggest laughs, though, were generated by Gawrysiak, who also is blessed with a strong, attention-grabbing voice. Gawrysiak was plain-out funny in every scene she performed, whether it was fainting at the arrival of French soldiers in Act I or coyly hitting on Sergeant Sulpice.”

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

“Donizetti did not often write major roles for lower women’s voices but the comedic Marquise of Berkenfeld is an exception. Mezzo Margret Gawrysiak played her part broadly and showed her true vocal ability in her aria, “Pour une Femme de mon Nom.”

Maria Nockin, Opera Today

Virginia Opera – HMS Pinafore

Margaret Gawrysiak, whose versatile mezzo-soprano and splendid acting as Little Buttercup captured the opera’s heart and soul.”

Grace Jean, The Washington Post

Opera Theater of St. Louis – Il Tabarro

Rich-voiced mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak was warm and funny.”

Sarah Bryan Miller, St Louis Post Dispatch

Wolf Trap Opera – The Rake’s Progress

Mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak, as Mother Goose and Baba the Turk, had a hilariously raucous tone and scenery-chewing antics that nearly stole the show.”

Charles T. Downey, The Washington Post

“In “The Rake’s Progress,” the opera ain’t over ’til the bearded lady sings. That’s Baba the Turk, the needy, demanding, facially hairy circus star Tom marries just to thumb his nose at the world…Margaret Gawrysiak brings a plummy mezzo and abundant comic exuberance to the role, and also taps into character’s warmer side in the last act.”

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

Virginia Opera – Hansel and Gretel

“At the top of the singers’ pyramid in this production, however, was mezzo Margaret Gawrysiak, cast in the dual roles of the not-so-wicked actual Mom as well as that wicked old witch in the second act. We’ve seen Ms. Gawrysiak in area productions before, including her performance as a convincing Mrs. Lovett in this summer’s Wolf Trap Opera performance of Sweeney Todd. She’s got a powerful voice, great acting chops, and is unafraid of physical comedy as well—all of which are significant assets in this opera. Her performance, particularly as the witch, galvanizes everyone into action in this production, which is an added plus—not to mention that she lends a virtual grand opera presence to the performance.”

The Washington Times

Wolf Trap Opera – Sweeney Todd

Margaret Gawrysiak’s Mrs. Lovett particularly shone in this regard. This role of the purveyor of meat pies made from the bodies of Todd’s victims is so often given to non-singing character actresses — Angela Lansbury, Helena Bonham Carter — that it’s a treat to hear it done by a real singer. Gawrysiak — backed by experienced conductor Larry Blank, who offered reasonably efficient leadership of the National Symphony Orchestra on Friday — took her music a bit slower than the ideal and flagged toward the end of the evening’s showpiece, “A Little Priest,” but offered compensation with an amusing performance and a hefty, easy and sweet sound.”

Anne Midgette, The Washington Post

Castleton Festival – Il Trittico

When three female relatives surround Schicchi, helping him to prepare to masquerade as the dead uncle so he can forge a new will, the trio was meltingly gorgeous. Margaret Gawrysiak, who was also Frugola in “Tabarro,” showed a powerful voice.”

Anne Midgette, The Washington Post

“The slightly larger role of the ubiquitous, obnoxious Zita was smartly sung by Margaret Gawrysiak.”

Terry Ponick, The Washington Times

San Francisco Opera – Merola Grand Finale

Mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak blew us away with her glorious rendition of “Da, chas nastal! … Prastitye vi” from Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc. Hers is a voice of substance and gravity, with considerable pathos. The fabulous, blazing ending had us all cheering as if our lives depended on it.”

Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

Aspen Opera Theatre – Cendrillon

The cast delivered a good performance all around, generally well sung and enthusiastically acted. Standouts included mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak as a domineering stepmother”

Harvey Steiman, The Aspen Times

Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program – Gianni Schicchi

Mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak created a gem of her role as Zita.”

Philippa Kiraly, Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Soprano Margaret Gawrysiak acted the scowling, matronly Zita to a tee.”

Lorin Wilkerson, Northwest Reverb

 

COMPOSER OPERA ROLE
Bernstein Candide The Old Lady
Bernstein Trouble in Tahiti Dinah
Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hippolyta
Donizetti La Fille du Regiment Marquise de Birkenfeld
Dvorak Rusalka Jezibaba
Heggie Dead Man Walking Mrs. De Rocher
Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel Witch / Mother
Laitman Scarlet Letter Mistress Hibbons
Massenet Cendrillon Madame de la Haltière
Menotti Consul Vera Boronel
Puccini Le nozze di Figaro Marcellina
Mozart The Magic Flute Third Lady
Muhly Dark Sisters Ruth
Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann Mère d’Antonia
Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld Public Opinion
Poulenc Dialogues of the Carmelites Mother Marie
Previn Streetcar Named Desire Eunice
Puccini Gianni Schicchi Zita
Puccini Suor Angelica Principessa
Puccini Il Tabarro Frugola
Ravel L’Enfant et les sortilèges Maman / tasse / libellule
Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia Berta
Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress Baba the Turk / Mother Goose
Sondheim Sweeney Todd Mrs. Lovett
Sullivan HMS Pinafore Little Buttercup
Sullivan Pirates of Penzance Ruth
Verdi Falstaff Dame Quickly
Verdi Rigoletto Giovanna
Weill Mahagonny Songspiel Bessie
Concert Work
Beethoven Mass in C Major Alto Solo
Beethoven Symphony No 9 Alto Solo
Handel Messiah Alto Solo
Mozart Requiem Alto Solo
Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky Alto Solo
Verdi Requiem Alto Solo