Allyson McHardy



Allyson McHardy



The singing was magnificent tonight. Sister Prejean (McHardy) had an immense amount of singing throughout the night, and her expressive and demonstrative voice never showed signs of wear. She acted marvellously as well – not an easy task when portraying an Elvis-loving nun with a sharp, dry wit.” (Bachtrack)

“The other great performance was Allyson McHardy, as Phèdre, the mother who wants to sleep with her stepson: McHardy has a sumptuous mezzo tone, perfect French and noble bearing.” (Opera News)

“As Sara, Duchess of Nottingham, mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy sang her aria “All’afflitto è dolce il pianto” so beautifully that the applause nearly brought the opera to a halt as soon as it began. McHardy never lost the golden creaminess of her tone: even the most rapid passages and the depth of her characterization lent variety to a figure who is in a perpetual state of anxiety throughout the action.” (Opera News)

Allyson McHardy’s mezzo voice has been described as radiant, dusky, incandescent, and sumptuous; her presence on stages around the world as noble, spellbinding, and seductive. Her varied opera repertoire encompasses roles from Handel to Verdi and from Saint-Saëns to Heggie. Allyson embraces a range of orchestral and recital repertoire from early to contemporary music, including Mozart’s and Ligeti’s Requiems, from Bach to Berlioz and Mahler, and new works such as the song cycle Enchantments of Gwendolyn written for her by Marjan Mozetich.


In the 2017-2018 season Allyson will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Smeton in Anna Bolena for the COC, Ryan’s Requiem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Messiah with the Kansas City Symphony. Her 2016-2017 season included a debut with the Beijing Music Festival in the Aix-en-Provence production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The spring sees Allyson take on the role of Julie Riel in the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Harry Somer’s Louis Riel at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto, in Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and in Quebec for l’Opéra de Québec, presented as part of the celebrations surrounding Canada’s 150th Anniversary. She also appears with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem, and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with the Seattle Symphony, as well as later in their season for Ligeti’s Requiem.

Recent highlights include appearances as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with both the Opéra de Montréal and Vancouver Opera, in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in the Canadian Opera Company’s Roberto Devereux, Handel’s Alcina with Opera Atelier, as Sister Helen Montréal’s Dead Man Walking, in l’Opéra de Paris’s La Clemenza di Tito, and Amadis de Gaule at the Opéra Comique, as Juno/Ino in Handel’s Semele with the Canadian Opera Company, as Dijanira in Handel’s Hercules with Tafelmusik, Marchesa Melibea in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims at the New York City Opera , as Adalgisa in Norma in Warsaw, and as Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri with the Calgary Opera.

She has appeared with major orchestras across the globe including performances of Ligeti’s Requiem with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, among many other works. She also recently took on an innovative collaboration with the Alberta Ballet, performing Requiem, choreographed by Jean Grand-Maître and set to the music of Mozart’s masterpiece.


Allyson’s discography includes the 2014 JUNO-nominated Handel’s Orlando with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Alexander Weimann (ATMA). Other CDs include the JUNO- and ADISQ-nominated Caldara’s La Conversione di Clodoveo, Re di Francia (ATMA) in which she performed the title role, Bellini’s Norma with the Warsaw Philharmonic (Philharmonia Narodowa), two works by Harry Somers – Serinette and A Midwinter Night’s Dream (Centrediscs), and Ukrainian music by composer Mykola Lysenko in a six-disc collection by the Musica Leopolis label.

March 2017


Dean Artists Management

Alison Pybus President and CEO
Carrol Anne Curry –  Senior Artist Manager
Henry Ingram – Managing Director & Concerts Division
Tel: (+1) 416 969 7300


Moira Johnson Consulting

Tel: (+1) 613 565 0666



Bengston Solange THE MAIDS
Berg Margaret WOZZECK
Bizet Carmen CARMEN
Delibes Malika LAKMÉ
Cavalli Giunone/Natura LA CALISTO
De Falla Carmela LA VIDA BREVE
Delibes Mallika LAKMÉ
Handel Polinesso
Heggie Sister Helen DEAD MAN WALKING
Humperdinck Hänsel HÄNSEL UND GRETEL
Mozart Dorabella
Rossini Isabella
Marquise Melibea
Saint-Saëns Dalila SAMSON AND DALILA
Strauss, J. Orlovsky DIE FLEDERMAUS
Stravinsky Jocasta OEDIPUS REX
Tchaikovsky Olga EUGENE ONEGIN
Verdi Fenena
Meg Page
Wagner Rossweisse



Bach Magnificat
Johannes Passion
Matthäus Passion
Mass in B minor
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Missa Solemnis
Berlioz Les Nuit d’Été
Brahms Viola Songs (Op. 91)
Dream of Gerontius
Handel Messiah
Israel in Egypt
Haydn Nelsonmesse
Honegger Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher
Mahler Symphony No. 2
Das Lied von der Erde
Lieder eines fahren Gesellen
Mendelssohn Elijah
Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Alexander Nevsky


“Certainly the final visit by Riel’s mother in his jail cell stands as a remarkable example of how moving and beautiful a free harmonic language can be. Hats off to McHardy here for producing the warmest sounds of the afternoon.” [Canadian Opera Company, Louis Riel] Musical Toronto, Arthur Kaptainis

“As was Allyson McHardy as Riel’s mother, adding the lustre of her beautiful mezzo-soprano to the powerful maternalism of her character.” [Canadian Opera Company, Louis Riel]
The Globe and Mail, Robert Harris

“It is not Braun’s fault that, counter to traditional operatic expectation, Somers’ Louis Riel is devoid of romance. Riel’s relationship with his devoted mother (Allyson McHardy) and the undeveloped, almost incidental one with his wife (Simone Osborne) — both wonderfully sung — hardly count.” [Canadian Opera Company, Louis Riel]
The Star, Michael Crabb

“Allyson McHardy certainly deserves a mention for her very beautiful portrayal of Riel’s mother, particularly poignant in Act 3.” [Canadian Opera Company, Louis Riel]
Opera Ramblings, John Gilkes

“McHardy benefited from some of the conductor’s musical choices; she sang “But who may abide the day of his coming,” usually allotted to the bass, and displayed effortless coloratura technique and a rich mezzo timbre throughout.” [St. Louis Symphony, Messiah]
St. Louis Dispatch, Sara Bryan Miller

“Scott Conner and Allyson McHardy, in the bespangled throwaway roles of Theseus and Hippolyta, make their mark late on by injecting earthly dignity into the midnight mayhem.”
[Excerpts from Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence]

“Scott Conner (Theseus) et Allison McHardy (Hippolyta) ajoutent leur altière – et néanmoins piquante – présence à ce microcosme jubilatoire. Scott Conner (Theseus) and Allyson McHardy (Hippolyta) add their stately, but nonetheless spicy, presence to this exhilarating microcosm.” [Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence] L’Avant-Scène Opera

“D’Allyson McHardy (Hippolyta), au formidable Trinity Boys Choir de David Swinson, en passant par Scott Conner (Theseus), Rupert Charlesworth (Lysander), John Chest (Demetrius), Elizabeth DeShong (Hermia), Layla Claire (Helena) et une troupe d’artisans totalement désopilante, l’ensemble est un régal! “ // From Allyson McHardy (Hippolyta) to the Trinity Boys Choir of David Swinson, and including ….. and a troop of artisans that is totally hilarious, the ensemble is a treat! [Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence] Le Temps

“…even if they only appear in the final tableau, Scott Conner and Allyson McHardy do not satisfy any less as Thésée and Hippolyta with their very beautiful voices.” [Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence] ForumOpera

“…the beautiful mezzo of Allyson McHardy’s Hippolyta brings a noble touch to the final tableau.” [Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence] Resmusica

“…Allyson Michardy is a flirtatious, humorous Queen with a sonorous mezzo” [Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence] Opernmetz

“The mezzo-soprano voice and acting talent of Allyson McHardy leading this musical soundscape guaranteed an exciting evening. McHardy sang this rewarding role with great intensity.” [Theater St. Gallen, Lucrezia Borgia] Oper Aktuell

“Allyson McHardy gives an impressive performance: vocally flexible, changing moods effortlessly.” [Theater St. Gallen, Lucrezia Borgia] Südkurier

“…Allyson McHardy with a bold, fresh bright mezzo-soprano” [Theater St. Gallen, Lucrezia Borgia] Der Landbote

“…in the heartbreaking duet with Maffio [Allyson McHardy with warm, resolute mezzo] they perform beautifully.” [Theater St. Gallen, Lucrezia Borgia] Schwäbische Zeitung

“Allyson McHardy was superb in the trouser role of Ruggiero. In acting she convincingly adopted the walk and gesture of a male. In singing, her warm amber-colored contralto only grew in power and richness until a fantastically vital, swaggering account of “Sta nell’ircana pietrosa tana” filled with thrilling runs sealed her triumph in the role and won the longest ovation of the evening.” [Opera Atelier, Alcina] Opera News, Christopher Hoile

“The true sensation was in the singing of the women. Allyson McHardy (Ruggiero) received the biggest ovations of the evening for her fabulous coloratura and dramatic intensity in the bravura aria ‘Sta nell’ircana.”   [Opera Atelier, Alcina]

“…she was superb when she ended the first half of the opera, just before intermission, with 10 minutes of the most sublime performance I’ve heard from anyone in many years.” [Opera Atelier, Alcina] Globe and Mail, Robert Harris

“Her rendition of Sta nell’Ircana, complete with natural horns, got the biggest hand of the night.” [Opera Atelier, Alcina] National Post, Arthur Kaptainis

“As Sara, Duchess of Nottingham, mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy sang her aria “All’afflitto è dolce il pianto” so beautifully that the applause nearly brought the opera to a halt as soon as it began. McHardy never lost the golden creaminess of her tone: even the most rapid passages and the depth of her characterization lent variety to a figure who is in a perpetual state of anxiety throughout the action.”
Opera News, Christopher Hoile

“Allyson McHardy’s Sara completed this ill-fated quartet by playing Nottingham’s wife with a purity of tone and clarity of intent that held us every moment she was on stage.”
Toronto Star – Richard Ouzounian

 “Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy as Sister Helen Prejean had the stamina and vocal power to engage the listener throughout her demanding role. The length of her last drawn-out note in “We will walk together, you and I” could land her in the record books.”
Concerto Net,  Earl Arthur Love

 “L’interprétation la plus émouvante? Celle d’Allyson McHardy, totalement donnée dans D’amour, l’ardente flamme, un extrait de La damnation de Faust de Berlioz, et qui réussit, en toute simplicité, à dévoiler la profondeur viscérale de l’émoi qui habite Marguerite.”

“The most moving performance? Allyson McHardy’s total involvement in D’amour, l’ardente flamme, an excerpt from Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, that succeeded, in complete simplicity, to reveal the visceral depth of Marguerite’s emotion…The evening reached its peak of expression in the exerpt from Rosenkavalier offered by Lyne Fortin, Aline Kutan and Allyson McHardy.”
Le Soleil, Richard Boisvert

 “Although everyone involved contributed to a memorable performance, particular kudos go to Toronto mezzo Allyson McHardy, who dazzled as Dejanira. McHardy’s voice is pure, fragrant, dark buckwheat honey — just the ticket for a particularly demanding role. Paired with dramatically riveting and technically impeccable renditions of Handel’s bravura arias for a character walking the tightrope between sanity and madness, this mezzo captivated from the moment she sang her first note.” [Tafelmusik, Hercules] Toronto Star, John Terauds

“Allyson McHardy impressionne favorablement avec son mezzo robuste”
[Allyson McHardy makes a favorable impression with her robust mezzo] Anaclase [Paris Opera, La Clemenza di Tito]

 “le mezzo sombre d’Allyson McHardy qui campe un Annio très prenant est une sacré découverte”
Concert Classique, Jean-Charles Hoffelé (Paris Opera)

“Mezzo Allyson McHardy has a wider range of responsibilities, culminating in the great concluding benediction “The Farewell”. Her work had authority and depth; her tone is complex and slightly dark – perfect for Das Lied – and she negotiated her material with poise and subtlety.”
Vancouver Sun, David Gordon Duke    

 “The Dream of Gerontius, a deeply felt meditation on death and the afterlife is a big, demanding work for orchestra, chorus and three vocal soloists. At the Saturday night performance principal conductor Carlos Kalmar found just the right balance between Godly majesty and human emotion. McHardy was the evening’s vocal standout. As the Angel accompanying Gerontius to God’s throne, her dusky mezzo-soprano sounded rich and mellow, and she unfurled Elgar’s slow, lyrical melodies in long, satiny lines that seemed to float far above the Jay Pritzker Pavillion and Millennium Park.”
Chicago Sun-Times, Wynne Delacoma

“Allyson McHardy’s fiery Phaedra – trim mezzo muscle, steady line and mastery of French declamation – is a revelation that rivals Jessye Norman and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the same role.”
Financial Times

“La Phèdre incandescente de la mezzo amèricane Allyson McHardy (une révélation). ” 
Le Monde, Marie-Aude Roux

 “Saississante (de timbre corsé et capiteaux, de temperament et de projection) est la Phèdre de la mezzo américaine Allyson McHardy.”
Liberation, Éric Dahan

« La Phèdre d’Allison McHardy partage avec ses partenaires francophones a clarté d’élocution endispensable mais sa virulence, son ironie et ses douleurs sont bien celles du personnage. [Allyson McHardy’s Phedre shares the indispensable clarity clarity of pronunciation with her French colleagues and her ferocity, irony and wsorrows are in exact correspondence with the character of the role.], Maurice Salles

“Distribution de première force. Allyson McHardy rend justice d’abord à la Phèdre de Racine, donnant une noblesse supplémentaire à ses ires et se douleurs, au risque parfois de ne pas nous étreindre au cœur. Mais quelle incarnation !”, Éric Dahan

“The subtle vibrato and the huge amount of empathy of Allyson McHardy-who is at home on the concert and opera stages of the world-made the six songs an exquisite pleasure. Astonishing were the mezzo-voce moments in ‘Absence’, dark and eerie the sombre sentiment of a cemetery in Au Cimetière. McHardy’s voice soared effortlessly over the massive, romantic sound of the orchestra.”
Westfalen Blatt, Wilhelm Friedemann

“Allyson McHardy …a singer of enormous imagination and versatility, sang a lustrous and energetic Rossini; the inventive twists and turns in her highly ornamented account of the opening Una voce poco fa” were superb.”
San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman

“Canadian mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, gave a vivacious and delightful performance in the title role of Isabella…Her singing was warm and forthright, her command of coloratura fearless and her stage demeaner never less than charismatic. She is a singer to watch.”
San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman

“Allyson McHardy in der Titelpartie des Chlodwig gelang einebildhafte Darstellung ausschließlich durch die Färbung ihrer Stimme: Ob sie als Frankenköig den Feinden den Tod wünschte oder – in derselben Arie! – der Liebe zur Gemahlin Ausdruck verliehes wurde gleichermaßen zum akustischen Erlebnis mit einer Deutlichkeit, die die hervorragenden deutschen Übertitel fast entbehrich werden ließ.”
German Radio

“…hier ist vor allem Allyson Mchardy zu rühmen, deren tragfähige und mühelos koloraturgängige Altsimme in allen Registern ihr charakyervolles Timbre entfaltet. Außerdem phrasiert die Sängerin glasklar und verfügt uber eine weite Ausdrucksspanne.”
Berliner Zeitung, Peter Uehling

“She’s a real stage creature, dark and slender, physically expressive and loaded with smoldering personality.”
Pacific Sun (San Francisco), Stephanie von Buchau

“McHardy, in fact held much within the embrace of her vocal instrument, including both comedy and –in an Act II aria where Rossini seems to predate by several decades the somber grandeur of his countryman Verdi—some darker qualities which hint at the young singer’s probable success with tragedy. She’s also blessed with sparky, sexy allure, evoking a young Mary Tyler Moore and making it entirely credible that she’d be ardently pursued by three suitors.”
Commuter Times (San Francisco), Jeff Kallis

“McHardy gave a brilliant performance, improvising passionate Italianate-sounding gibberish in a strange operatic counterpoint to the instrumentalists’ cabaret music.” (Kagel’s TANGO ALLEMAN) produced by Queen of Puddings)”
Globe and Mail, Tamara Bernstein


“Urlicht” from Symphony No. 2 by Mahler



Allyson McHardy performs Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the LA Master Chorale on January 21 and 22.

Allyson sings the role of Julie Riel in the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Somer’s Louis Riel.

The story of Louis Riel, the Métis leader and founder of Manitoba, is told in this landmark work. Composed by Harry Somers for our nation’s centennial in 1967, this uniquely Canadian contribution to the opera world is returns on the work’s 50th anniversary, and will help mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The COC has joined with Canada’s National Arts Centre to proudly present this new production of Louis Riel.