As one of only two winners of the Opera Foundation’s Curt Engelhorn Competition, lyric mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis joins the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the 2016/17 season, in such roles as Mercedes in Carmen, the title role in Hirsch and Purcell’s Dido, Bersi in Chenier and Tebaldo in Don Carlo. She returned to North America in December to sing Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Portland Baroque. As an alumna of the Utah Opera young artists program, where she debuted the role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Ms. Levis returned twice as a guest artist during the 2015/16 season in the title role of L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. She returns to Utah Opera in the 2018 season for Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. Other season highlights include debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Testo in Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Flora in La Traviata with Dallas Opera.
In the winter of 2016, she appeared at Lincoln Center with Blier’s New York Festival of Song series and summered at the Lakes Area Music Festival as Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the fall of 2015, Ms. Levis was awarded first prize in the San Diego District Met auditions and spent a full season with the Domingo-Colborn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera. She further appeared as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and sang the role of Sesto in a concert version of Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Symphonie Atlantique in The Netherlands. Named “Debut Artist of the Year” by the Joy in Singing Foundation, this exciting young artist was hailed by The New York Times for her “lithe-voiced” performance at the Morgan Library in “First Songs”, a showcase of world premieres with soprano Dawn Upshaw. The Boston Musical Intelligencer praised her “dramatic style” and “high level of technical ability” in Israel in Egypt with the Handel and Haydn Society at Symphony Hall.
On the concert stage, Ms. Levis has appeared as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra, Flint Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Utah Symphony, Ars Lyrica Houston, and the New York Opera Exchange. She has been awarded prizes in competitions, including the 2013 Classical Singer Competition, and the 2013 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition. In 2013 she was also awarded a Career Bridges Grant from the Schuyler Foundation.
Ms. Levis enjoys singing in a variety of musical styles from Baroque to contemporary music, from opera to musical theater. Passionate about new music, Ms. Levis has worked closely with composers such as John Harbison, John Musto, Elena Langer, Tamzin Elliot, and Brian Suits. Favorite roles in opera or musical theater have included Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Nancy in Albert Herring, Petra in A Little Night Music, Métella in La vie Parisienne, Romeo in I Capuleti ei Montecchi, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, La Conversation in Charpentier’s Les plaisirs de Versailles, and the fox in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.
Past competition prizes and awards include the 2016 Opera Foundation Competition, the 2015 Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the 2015/16 Gerda Lissner Competitions (Song and Opera), the 2014 Luis Mariano Song Competition, the 2014 Wilhelm Stenhammer Competition, the 2014 James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, the 2013 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition, the 2013 Classical Singer Competition, the 2012 Joy in Singing Competition, the 2010 University of Houston Concerto Competition, the 2010 National Orpheus Vocal Competition, the 2011 Five Towns Music Competition in Long Island, and the 2011 Young Texas Artist competition. She has also competed in the semi-final rounds of the Veronica Dunne Competition, the Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition and in Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition. She was also a finalist in the Cesti Innsbrunk Competition for Baroque Music.
|Bellini||Romeo||I CAPULETTI E I MONTECCHI|
|Handel||Sesto||GIULIO CESARE IN EGITTO|
|Janacek||The Fox||CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN|
|Monteverdi||Ottavia||L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA|
|COSÌ FAN TUTTE
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Offenbach||Metella||LA VIE PARISIENNE|
|Ravel||L’Enfant||L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILEGES|
|Rossini||Rosina||IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA|
|Sondheim||Petra||A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC|
|Handel||ISRAEL IN EGYPT
|Mahler||DAS KNABEN WUNDERHORN|
“I was really impressed with Abigail Levis and her low register. It was still bright and warm and just as agile and active as her upper register. I loved her “O thou, that tellest good tidings from Zion”. [Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Messiah] Schmopera, Jenna Douglas/Greg Finney
“Mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis, along with Okulitch, made her TSO debut with a strong personality and a voice to match.” [Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Messiah]
Musical Toronto, Michael Vincent
“American Mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis was magnificent in the pitiful air “He was despised an rejected of men…” She demonstrated why she is on the cusp of a great career. Next week, she heads off to Berlin for an extended engagement with Deutsche Oper Berlin.” [Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Messiah]
Toronto Concert Reviews, David Richards
“Mezzo Abigail Levis was a firecracker as Cherubino, delivering the lovestruck page’s arias with effervescent lightness.” [Utah Opera, Marriage of Figaro]
Salt Lake Tribune, Catherine Reese Newton
“Looking every bit like a teenage, impetuous boy, Abigail Levis sailed through the role of Cherubino, leaving an impressive vocal glow in her wake; she sculpted “Voi che sapete,” in particular, with terrific tonal and textual sensitivity.”
Opera News, Tim Smith
“Mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis, as the maid Despina, delivered scene-stealing comedic talent and descriptive vocal flexibility that impressed throughout the evening. Her fearless performance was a highlight.” [Utah Opera, Così fan tutte]
Opera News, Robert Coleman
“Abigail Levis’ clear and flexible mezzo was perfect for the boy Sesto. She delivered “L’angue offeso” with dazzling ornamentation and my biggest regret was that one of her arias in Act II was cut.” [Symphonie Atlantique, Giulio Cesare] Bachtrack.com
“The young Abigail Levis and her warm and resonant mezzo voice was breathtaking as Rosina. She has the rare interpretive gift of using coloratura to highlight emotional truth rather than simply show off.” [As Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia] www.berkshirefinearts.com
“Grooms, McNally and Levis all performed astonishing vocal gymnastics…” There is of course the prima donna soubrette …Levis’ bright and light Rosina…” [as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia] www.berkshireonstage.com
“lithe-voiced” [As a soloist in First Songs with Dawn Upshaw] New York Times
“In this case, the quirky and fickle Dorabella was sung by lyric mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis. I know it’s cliché to say – especially for someone reviewing a show – but, there are no other words to use: Levis stole the show. Her singing was consistently sumptuous and brilliant…while her portrayal of the character displayed comedic timing that was spot-on, giving us a Dorabella that was comically lovable. I can’t wait to see more from her.” [As Dorabella in Cosi fan tutti] A Liberal’s Libretto
“Mezzo Abigail Levis gave a standout performance as Dorabella, with focused, agile, and emotionally rich singing. Her lyric timbre was matched with a vivid portrayal, charting Dorabella’s journey from faintly guilty sympathy to joyously sensual flirtation.” [As Dorabella in Cosi fan tutti] Opera Obsession
“Abigail Levis used her lovely voice and personality to enliven Mr. von Platen-Hallermuende’s two sad songs of disappointed love, and went on to Mr. Schlechta’s sad “Auf einen Kirchhof” with its many mood shifts.” [As soloist in a Liederabend with Schubert and Co.] Voce di Meche
Parto, Parto, ma tu ben mio from Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito performed at the 2014 Wilhelm Stenhammer international Competition.
Enfin, il est ma puissance from Lully’s Armide performed at the Cesti Innsbruck Competition, 2014
Cara speme from Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto
Dass sie hier gewesen by Franz Schubert
Abigail Levis was one of only two winners of the Opera Foundation’s Curt Engelhorn Competition and is currently a member of the ensemble studio at Deutsche Oper Berlin, following a young artist residency with Los Angeles Opera.