During an international career that has brought her to many of the world’s most important opera houses, Mary Dunleavy has affirmed her position as one of America’s leading singing actresses.
Recently, the soprano made her critically acclaimed UK debut as Christine in Intermezzo with Garsington Opera, which The Times of London praised as “a graceful and subtle performance that any Straussian should relish.” The 2016–2017 season sees Ms. Dunleavy return to the Metropolitan Opera for productions of La bohème and Don Giovanni, make her company debut with Opera Omaha as Musetta, and return to her alma matter for a recital with Kelly Kuo at the University of Texas at Austin. Future seasons include a return to Garsington Opera for a role debut.
Last season the soprano returned to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera as Musetta in its production of La bohème, and appeared in concert with the Oregon Mozart Players. The 2014–2015 season saw Ms. Dunleavy return to Portland Opera as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and to the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of La bohéme, Carmen, Don Giovanni, and The Rake’s Progress.
In the 2013–2014 season, Ms. Dunleavy’s engagements included appearances with the Dallas Opera as Micaëla in Carmen; Atlanta Opera for Marguerite in Faust; Nashville Opera for her role debut as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Pamina in The Magic Flute and for its production of L’elisir d’amore. She closed the season making her role and company debut with Chautauqua Opera as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly.
Past seasons include appearances with the Metropolitan Opera for a new production of Don Giovanni; her role debut as Donna Elvira in Christopher Alden’s production of Don Giovanni at Portland Opera; Violetta in La traviata for her company debut with Atlanta Opera; Mimì in La bohème with Fort Worth Opera; Marguerite in a new production of Faust with Opéra de Montréal, Christine, in New York City Opera’s revival of Strauss’ Intermezzo; and her first Marguerite in Faust with Opera Birmingham, followed by further performances of the role in North Carolina Opera’s inaugural season. Other engagements include Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at San Francisco Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto opposite Richard Paul Fink and David Pomeroy at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Violetta in La traviata under Lorin Maazel at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Additionally, Ms. Dunleavy appears in the 2012 Steven Spielberg film, Lincoln, singing music from Gounod’s Faust.
Her gallery of operatic heroines is led by her signature role, Violetta in La traviata, seen thus far in more than 60 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, among others. Additional career highlights include Gilda in Rigoletto at the Met, San Francisco Opera, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Opera Pacific; the Infanta in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg with Los Angeles Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and the Spoleto Festival USA; Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Cincinnati May Festival, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, NYCO, Opera Philadelphia, and Boston Lyric Opera; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Philadelphia; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Michigan Opera Theatre; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Met, Boston Lyric Opera, and Portland Opera; Giunia in Lucio Silla at De Nederlandse Opera.
Other appearances include Aspasia in Mitridate, re di Ponto at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie; Micaëla in Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, De Nederlandse Opera and Pittsburgh Opera; Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles with Seattle Opera, Opera Colorado, NYCO, Opera Philadelphia, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Ophélie in Hamlet at Gran Teatre del Liceu; the title role in Thaïs with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; all four heroines in Les contes d’Hoffmann at The Dallas Opera (where she won the 2006 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award); Olympia, Antonia, and Stella in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Met; Héro in Béatrice et Bénédict in Amsterdam; Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opéra National de Paris; Musetta in La bohème with the Met in the Parks; Adina in L’elisir d’amore at Naples’ Teatro di San Carlo and Portland Opera; Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi at NYCO; Amina in La sonnambula in Bilbao; and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with L’Opéra de Montréal and Connecticut Opera.
Her Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, a role which she retired in 2002 after 84 performances, was heard at the Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Houston Grand Opera, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Amsterdam, Aix-en-Provence, Montréal, and NYCO.
Mary Dunleavy’s orchestral appearances have included: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Atlanta Symphony, (available on Telarc, Donald Runnicles conducting), the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, the St. Louis Symphony, the Austin Symphony Orchestra and others; Mozart concert arias with the St. Louis Symphony under the late Hans Vonk and Handel’s Messiah under David Robertson; Britten’s Spring Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony under Robert Spano;Carmina burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the New York Choral Society, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta; at the Lanaudière Festival singing a selection of arias with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under Jacques Lacombe broadcast on the CBC, and then later a concert of duets with Jennifer Larmore and Les Violins du Roy; and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl singing Mozart arias in Amadeus Live, a performance of scenes from the Peter Shaffer play.
Ms. Dunleavy was born in Connecticut and raised in New Jersey. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Kathleen Kaun. She earned her Master of Music degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Mignon Dunn. In 2006, she was named one of four Outstanding Young Texas Exes by the University.
Mary Dunleavy works with a variety of leading teachers and coaches, including Nikki Li Hartleip, Rita Shane, Renata Scotto, Hank Hammett, Thomas Muraco, Dale Dietert, William Tracy, and Ron Raines, among others. She is also a frequent guest teacher at master classes at universities, conservatories, and young artist programs in the United States.