Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy planned to teach music until she discovered her voice while studying at university. She joined the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, and has not looked back. McHardy says that mezzos get to do everything from baroque opera to Wagner's Ring cycle, from Suzuki in Puccini's classic Madame Butterfly to Jo in Mark Adamo's recent opera Little Women.
Her portrayal of the enchantress Arcabonne in J.C. Bach's Amadis de Gaule at Versailles beguiled the Parisian music critics. And during Tafelmusik's 30th anniversary celebrations she brought Toronto audiences to their feet as Dejanira in Handel's Hercules. The Toronto Star described her voice as "pure, dark buckwheat honey."
This March, Allyson McHardy begins a busy month singing the role of Sister Helen in the Opéra de Montréal production of Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie. Mid-month she'll head west for Alberta Ballet's presentation of Mozart's Requiem. And at the end of March McHardy lands in Vancouver for J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor with the Vancouver Chamber Choir.
Listen Listen to Allyson McHardy sing an aria from La Conversione di Clodoveo by Caldara from the Juno-nominated complete recording of the opera on ATMA Classique.
Allyson McHardy hosts an encore presentation of This is My Music on Saturday, March 2 on CBC Radio 2, from 10:05 a.m. to 12 noon in most of the country, 11:05 to 1 p.m. in Atlantic Canada.
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