Mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella has appeared on opera, concert, and recital stages around the world in repertoire ranging from baroque to that of the present century. She last appeared with Music of the Baroque in September 2008 as Dejanira in Handel’s Hercules. Other highlights of 2008-09 include performances as soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Brooklyn Academy of Music under Paul Goodwin; in Ladia Kubik’s Sinfonietta No. 3, “Gong,” at Florida State University’s Festival of New Music; and her return to Central City Opera in the title role of Rinaldo.
Recent season highlights include the title role in The Rape of Lucretia with Central City Opera; Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito with Opera Boston; Mrs. Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Los Angeles Opera; and Dolores in the world premiere of Anthony Davis’ Wakonda’s Dream with Opera Omaha. Concert highlights include “Opera’s Greatest Hits and Biggest Voices,” a gala concert with Opera Omaha; Mozart’s Requiem with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; her return to Boston Baroque as Holofernes in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans; as soloist in Argento’s Casa Guidi with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra; and a New Year’s Eve concert with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.
Internationally, she has performed the title role of Carmen at the Teatro San Carlo, New Israeli Opera, and English National Opera. In concert she sang Britten’s Phaedra with the Orchestra della Toscana under Bruno Bartoletti; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris; and Verdi’s Messa per Rossini with Opéra de Lyon. Ms. Pancella has also sung with the opera companies of the Bastille and Toulouse.
Ms. Pancella made her San Francisco Opera debut as Eduige in Handel’s Rodelinda. Recent season highlights included her return to Houston Grand Opera in the title role of Carmen, performances of Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Florida Grand Opera, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri with Boston Lyric Opera and Connecticut Opera, Nerone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Central City Opera, Dorabella in Così fan tutte with San Diego Opera, the Secretary in The Consul with Arizona Opera, and her first performances of Dalila in Samson et Dalila in a staged version presented by the Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa.
Other highlights on the operatic stage include Cornelia in a new production of Giulio Cesare under the baton of Patrick Summers with Houston Grand Opera, Fidalma in Il Matrimonio segreto with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Opera Colorado, Boulotte in Offenbach’s Bluebeard with Glimmerglass Opera, Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena and Adalgisa in Norma with Pittsburgh Opera, the title role in Offenbach’s Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Florida Grand Opera, Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque, and the title role in La Cenerentola with Cincinnati Opera. Robert Spano conducted her performance in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and Jonathan Miller directed her as Ottavia in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at Glimmerglass Opera and Brooklyn Academy of Music. She appeared as Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Penelope in Ulisse, and in the title role of Lizzie Borden (broadcast on PBS Great Performances) at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera.
On the concert stage, Ms. Pancella has performed Mozart’s Requiem with the San Diego and Detroit Symphonies and the Berkshire Choral Festival under Jane Glover. She joined Boston Baroque for performances of Messiah, Alabama Symphony for Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’étè, and Utah Symphony for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. Other concert highlights include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin and the orchestras of Minnesota and Utah; Bach’s Magnificat with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra; Berio’s Folk Songs and Berlioz’s La Mort de Cléopâtre with the New World Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony (James Conlon conducting); Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater with the Milwaukee Symphony; and Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has also presented recitals at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Schubert Club in St. Paul.
Phyllis Pancella joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on a North American tour performing Brahms’ Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano, Op. 91, and has appeared at Lincoln Center offering the premiere of Argento’s Miss Manners on Music, a whimsical song cycle written for her by Judith Martin. She has also appeared with both the Vermeer and New World String Quartets and performed with Portland’s Chamber Music Northwest and the OK Mozart International Festival.