Tuesday, February 3, 2009
U of L Recital Hall, W570
Marcia Swanston, mezzo-soprano, has been critically acclaimed for her vocal beauty and technical ease as well as her wide-ranging acting ability and dramatic musical interpretation. She enjoys a varied career commanding an impressive array of vivid operatic roles as well as a vast array of oratorio and concert repertoire.
She appears frequently with opera companies and orchestras across Canada and the United States in roles ranging from Azucena in Il Trovatore (Pacific Opera) and Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw (Canadian Opera Company, L’Opera de Montreal and Pacific Opera) to Marcellina in Le Nozze de Figaro (Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera and Vancouver Opera). After receiving a B.Mus. from the University of Lethbridge, Ms. Swanston completed post-graduate studies in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, followed by extensive study with master teachers at the Britten Pears School for Advanced Musical Study in Suffolk, England.
In addition to her full-time teaching schedule, performance engagements during the 2003-2004 season includef Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Symphony Nova Scotia, Il Trovatore in concert with the London Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony #3 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with the Victoria Symphony, and as Mrs. Noah in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde at Toronto’s Britten Festival.
Ms. Swanston, a respected vocal pedagogue and clinician, taught voice at the University of Western Ontario prior to assuming a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Music at Dalhousie University in the fall of 2001.
“…Marcia Swanston as Azucena, arguably the plum mezzo-soprano role in Italian opera, swept all before her in ranging with unflagging vocal ease from maddened curses to maternal love while avoiding the caricature of a gypsy hag. It was truly a memorable performance…”
— Floyd St. Clair, The Vancouver Sun, April 29th, 2000
“…The simplicity of her performance, its lack of histrionics and its avoidance of cheap effects, as well as her superb command of vocal technique, revealed a depth of contact with art-song’s fusion of musical and verbal nuance that is the hallmark of an absolutely first-class art-song singer…”
— Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, January 28th, 2002