About Abigail Fischer
Equally expert at music from the Baroque era to contemporary work, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer has performed with American Bach Soloists, New York Collegium, Early Music New York, the Rebel Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Boston Pops, and has given world premieres of music by John Zorn, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Bernard Rands, Elliot Carter, and the Bang on a Can artists.
Ms. Fischer recently starred in the multi-media opera premiere at the Kitchen in Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar, written for her and the NOW Ensemble. Reviewers hailed her as "riveting" (New York Times), and "whose throbbing low register and open-hearted performing style reminded me of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson" (Wall Street Journal). Earlier in the fall Ms. Fischer performed the role of Cherubino in the American premiere of Mercadante's I Due Figaro with Amore Opera, in which reviewers described her as "delicious" (Opera News) and "nothing short of stunning" (Stage Magazine). That same month Ms. Fischer performed the Mozart Requiem with the American Classical Orchestra, and Mahler 3rd Symphony with Adelphi Symphony Orchestra.
This summer Ms. Fischer was touring Mongolia with the new music chamber ensemble Continuum, in between which she performed the roles of Stéphano in Bel Cantanti Opera's Roméo et Juliette, and Angelina in Union Avenue Opera's production of La Cenerentola (of which her performance was hailed as "pure brilliance" from KDHX). Ms. Fischer was featured in the VOX contemporary opera showcase and the Chandler Carter opera Strange Fruit with New York City Opera, and an outreach production of Hansel and Gretel with New Jersey State Opera. Other recent premieres of operas include roles in Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking with American Opera Projects and Peter Westergaard’s Alice in Wonderland, with Center for Contemporary Opera. In 2007, she was the principal guest artist with Continuum on a tour in Jakarta, performing in Probowo’s opera The King’s Witch, and has worked with the group on other chamber music endeavors. That same year, she was a member of a pioneer group of vocalists at the Lucerne Festival Academy, under the direction of Daniel Reuss and Pierre Boulez.
Highlights of Ms. Fischer’s work in early music include Bach's Magnificat, the North American premiere of Lotti's Mass for Three Choirs, and the role of Cleophas in Handel's La Resurrezione with American Bach Soloists, Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Bronx Opera, soloist with the Trinity Wall Street Choir and the renowned Rebel Baroque Orchestra, and the roles of Musica and Speranza from Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Steven Osgood at the Wintergreen Festival. She has also worked with well-known early music artists such as Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Ellen Hargis, George Steel, Craig Smith, Jeffrey Thomas, Fred Renz, and Andrew Parrott.
Ms. Fischer’s performances of contemporary music in concert include world premieres of Elliot Carter's Mad Regales (at the Tanglewood Music Festival), John Zorn’s Frammenti del Sappho, Elogues, and Shir Ha-Shirim (with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed), Bernard Rands’ Walcott Songs, Bang on a Can’s Lost Objects (performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music), Nico Muhly’s Mothertongue and Elements of Style (performed at Lincoln Center), which have been received with acclaim in features from The New York Times to NPR. Ms. Fischer has worked with conductors Bradley Lubman (both at Eastman’s Berio festival and at Miller Theatre’s Zorn Perspectives concerts), Gilbert Rose (Boston Modern Orchestra Project), and Daniel Reuss (Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival), and has performed works by Babbitt, Reich, Stravinsky, and Xenakis.
Ms. Fischer’s other opera roles have included Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Mother Marie in Poulenc’s The Dialogue of the Carmelites, Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Ma Moss in Copland’s The Tender Land, and Jean in Massenet’s one-act Le Portrait de Manon. In concert, she has performed as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Handel’s Messiah, William Albright’s Song to David, Bach’s Magnificat and B minor Mass, and Mozart's Mass in C. In 2006, Ms. Fischer was a soloist for a Sondheim tribute with the Boston Pops, under the baton of Keith Lockhart. Ms. Fischer is a featured performer in Katrina Ballads, a dramatic song cycle composed by Ted Hearne and set to entirely primary-source texts from the week following Hurricane Katrina. The work has been performed in several locations across the country, and was recently released as a full-length album on New Amsterdam Records and on the NAXOS label.
Persuing her interest in electronic music, Ms. Fischer has pioneered the project ABSYNTHa constantly evolving work for electronics and voice, which was premiered first in 2007 at John Zorn’s downtown New York space, the Stone. Nico Muhly’s piece written for this project, Mothertongue, was released on his album of the same title in May 2008, following features in the New Yorker and on NPR.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music (MM) and Vassar College (BA), Abigail Fischer has studied with Mary Ann Hart, Drew Minter, Carol Webber, Susanne Mentzer, Irene Gubrud, Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, and Trish McCaffrey. She has attended University of Cincinnati’s Lucca Opera Festival, Ferrandou Singing School under the direction of David Wilson-Johnson, Opera North, Madison Early Music Festival, Songfest, Aspen Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, and has been a resident artist at the Banff Centre.
Ms. Fischer is a trained classical and Baroque cellist, and received a Certificate in Italian Language and Literature from Lorenzo dei Medici in Florence.
Abigail Fischer's web site
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