Mezzo-soprano Lauren McNeese’s colorful, resonant voice and beautiful stage presence established her as a sought-out artist in the leading lyric mezzo-soprano repertoire. Opera News wrote of her portrayal of Dorabella at Lyric Opera of Chicago,
“She has one of those distinctive timbres recognizable six miles away in the dark… with a sparkling quality.”
Recent performances include Wellgunde and Rossweisse in San Francisco Opera’s reprisal of Francesca Zambello’s critically acclaimed, Der Ring des Nibelungen, conducted by Donald Runnicles; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Intermountain Opera; the title role in La Cenerentola with San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Omaha, and Intermountain Opera; The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen with Opera Santa Barbara; Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena with Minnesota Opera; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Ravinia Festival, conducted by James Conlon; Laura in Iolanta with Dallas Opera; Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Ravinia Festival, Dallas Opera, and San Francisco Opera; and her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Second Esquire in Wagner’s Parsifal.
Other engagements have included appearances with The Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto Italy as La Ciesca in the reprisal of Woody Allen’s critically acclaimed LA Opera production of Gianni Schicchi; the Opera Company of Philadelphia as L’enfant in L’enfant et les sortilèges and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi; Michigan Opera Theater as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro; PortOpera as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Bellino/Teresa in Casanova’s Homecoming by Dominick Argento with Minnesota Opera; and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Arizona Opera.
She has also appeared numerous times with the LA Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, Javotte in Manon, Karolka in Jenůfa, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi directed by Woody Allen, and Wellgunde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, conducted by James Conlon.
In concert Ms. McNeese has appeared with the Toronto Symphony as the mezzo soloist in Mozart’s C Minor Mass conducted by Helmuth Rilling; the Cincinnati May Festival as the mezzo soloist in Mozart’s Requiem conducted by James Conlon; the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the mezzo soloist in the dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette by Hector Berlioz, conducted by Charles Dutoit; as the mezzo soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Shreveport Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony, conducted by Manfred Honeck.
Ms. McNeese can be seen on DVD in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera production of Parsifal released by Sony and in the 2008 LA Opera production of Der Zwerg released by Arthaus Musik.
A graduate of the Patrick G. and Shirley Ryan Opera Center, Ms. McNeese has been seen on the Lyric Opera of Chicago stage as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Siebel in Faust, Wellgunde and Rossweisse in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Lapak the dog in The Cunning Little Vixen, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, Flora in La Traviata and Myrtale in Thaïs. As a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, Ms. McNeese was awarded a Shouse Education Career Grant, and appeared as Isolier in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
Lauren McNeese is a graduate of the University of North Texas with advanced degrees from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM) and the University of North Texas (DMA).