“The creamy-toned McNeese sustained the driving line so essential to Strauss in ‘Sein wir wieder gut’ from Ariadne auf Naxos. (If Covent Garden still needs a svelte Straussian, it should look no further.)” – Laura Emerick, Chicago Sun Times
Mezzo-soprano Lauren McNeese is rapidly gaining attention charming audiences and critics alike, having a voice described as “creamy” and “with bright shimmer like ripples in clear water.” Engagements for 2008 and beyond include performances with Los Angeles Opera as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi conducted by James Conlon and directed by Woody Allen, the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte and Wellgunde in Das Rheingold, both conducted by James Conlon. She will be making her Philadelphia Opera debut as L’enfant in L’enfant et les sortilèges and as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, conducted by Corrado Rovaris and directed by Robert B. Driver. In May 2009, Ms. McNeese appeared with James Conlon in the Cincinnati May Festival as the mezzo soloist in the Mozart Requiem.
During the summer of 2009, Ms. McNeese traveled to Spoleto Italy to be a part of the Festival dei Due Mondi and reprises her role of La Ciesca from the critically acclaimed Woody Allen production of Gianni Schicchi. In the 2009–2010 season, Ms. McNeese looks forward to making her Arizona Opera debut as Dorabella in Così fan tutte and being a part of Los Angeles Opera’s first Ring Cycle under the baton of James Conlon as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung.
Engagements for the 2007–2008 season included Ms. McNeese’s return to Los Angeles Opera for performances as Karolka in Jenufa, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Grethe in Der Zerbrochene Krug,and as the Zweite Zofe in Der Zwerg. She also made her company debut with San Francisco Opera as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold and returned to Maine as Stéphano in PORTopera’s production of Roméo et Juliette.
The 2006–2007 season held many exciting performances by Ms. McNeese as she made her Los Angeles Opera Debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlo conducted by James Conlon and appeared as Javotte in Manon conducted by Plácido Domingo. She made her Toronto Symphony Debut as the mezzo soloist in Mozart’s C Minor Mass conducted by Helmuth Rilling, and she returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dorabella in Così fan tutte under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis and directed by John Cox. Ms. McNeese also made her Michigan Opera Theatre debut as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette, returned to Minnesota Opera for Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and spent the summer performing in PORTopera’s production of Il barbiere di Siviglia as Rosina.
The 2005–2006 season opened with Ms. McNeese singing Mercédès along side Denyce Graves in Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago and also singing Angelina in the dress rehearsal of La Cenerentola, sharing the stage with Juan Diego Florez. Ms. McNeese also made her debut at Minnesota Opera singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. During the summer of 2006, she sang the role of Isolier in Le Comte Ory with Wolf Trap Opera, where she also was awarded a Shouse Education Career Grant.
Ms. McNeese is a graduate of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago. While at Lyric Opera of Chicago she performed in a variety of productions in such roles as Cherubino, Siebel, the Second Lady, Wellgunde, Rossweisse, Lapak the dog, Flora, Edith and Myrtale.