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Roberto Devereux  Sara


Canadian Opera Company

"As Sara, Duchess of Nottingham, mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy sang her aria "All'afflitto è dolce il pianto" so beautifully that the applause nearly brought the opera to a halt as soon as it began. McHardy never lost the golden creaminess of her tone: even the most rapid passages and the depth of her characterization lent variety to a figure who is in a perpetual state of anxiety throughout the action."
- Opera News, 30 April 2014

"The singer who put it all together was mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy as Sara, the noblewoman who cannot disguise her love for Roberto but remains blameless of all physical transgression. She produced a vivid sound and acted the part to perfection."
- National Post, 28 April 2014

"Allyson McHardy [as] Sara...was the one performer who was completely in her role from first note to last, who combined drama and characterization with fine musicality throughout the opera, believable from first scene to last."
- Globe and Mail, 26 April 2014

"Mezzo-Soprano Allyson McHardy's voice has a dark resonance that was just right for the part of the tragic heroine. She is also blessed with an instrument that is both weighty and agile, a perfect combination for a dramatic role in this style of opera."
- Mooney-on-Theatre, 27 April 2014

"Allyson McHardy's Sara completed this ill-fated romantic quartet by playing Nottingham's wife with a purity of tone and clarity of intent that held us every moment she was on stage."
- Toronto Star, 26 April 2014

"McHardy has a rich, full mezzo and an instinctual dramatic grasp of Sara's situation."
- NOW Magazine, 29 April 2014

"Such smart design, together with the intense, highly watchable chemistry of mezzo-soprano McHardy and baritone Braun, whispers of divided loyalties and unspoken grudges within the union."
- Bachtrack, 26 April 2014

 

Hippolyte et Aricie  Phèdre


Opera In Concert

"As with so many figures from ancient mythology Phaedre is like a chapter from a psychology textbook, a study in pathology as she gives voice to her desire for her step-son and then -when he vanishes-is wracked with guilt. In other words her extreme passions-rage, desire, remorse-are ideal for an operatic treatment. While there may be lots to listen to in this opera, Phaedre is squarely at the centre of the work. OiC didn't disappoint in casting Allyson McHardy. I've missed that gorgeous voice, her unrelenting approach to performance. In addition to the villainous side of the performance, McHardy added a surprising vulnerability, an element that felt modern, and made the character three-dimensional. Her passions were larger than life in this portrayal."
- barczablog, 3 February 2014


L'Italiana in Algeri  Isabella


Calgary Opera

""The production has an Isabella (the title role) in mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy. McHardy has a wideranging voice of the lyric-mezzo type, and she had no difficulty with the constant florid writing, nor with the extreme top and bottom notes she needs for the role. She also commanded the stage beautifully in her mixture of hauteur and sentiment, and she was totally captivating as the lead figure. She was especially successful in the brilliant final aria."
- Calgary Herald, 18 November 2013

"McHardy has the perfect voice for a beautiful female character who is also supposed to be fearless and heroic, a woman tough enough to best a powerful man with her competency and her feminine wiles. McHardy's lower range was verifiably contralto when necessary, but her upper notes rang round and clear, rich but not covered. Her opening cavatina, "Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno!", gave the audience its first chance to break the mood with applause, and she impressed throughout the evening."
- Classical Voice North America, 24 November 2013


Dead Man Walking  Sister Helen


Opéra de Montréal

"The singing was magnificent tonight. Sister Prejean (McHardy) had an immense amount of singing throughout the night, and her expressive and demonstrative voice never showed signs of wear. She acted marvelously as well - not an easy task when portraying an Elvis-loving nun with a sharp, dry wit."
- Bachtrack, 11 March 2013

"Étienne Dupuis and Allyson McHardy, he as the condemned and she as the nun, dominate the opera with an extraordinary force, each bringing to his/her character a supple voice that faithfully reproduces the nuances of the text."
- La Presse, 11 March 2013

"Étienne Dupuis and Allyson McHardy were a phenomenal pair as death row De Rocher and Sister Helen, who starts out as his pen pal and ends up his spiritual lover. "
- (Montreal Gazette, 11 March 2013

"...a visceral performance"
- Le Devoir, 11 March 2013

"Allyson McHardy portrays a Sister Helen of infinite and equal compassion towards both the criminal and the parents of his victims. Her rich mezzo timbre well suits the role and she shows great endurance throughout the opera."
- L'Avant-Scène Opéra, 9 March 2013

 

Giulio Cesare  Cornelia


Michigan Opera Theater

""As Cornelia, the Roman widow of murdered Pompeo, Allyson McHardy has a major mezzo voice with great color and warmth."
- Encore Michigan, 11 November 2012

""As the mother-son pair Cornelia and Sesto, Allyson McHardy and Emily Fons both sang expressively."
- Detroit Free Press, 11 November 2012


Semele  Juno/Ino


Canadian Opera Company

"With her powerful, dark mezzo-soprano, Allyson McHardy clearly distinguished her two roles, the rash, girlish Ino and the imperious Juno, the latter unfortunately clad like an evil cartoon queen. She sang her rage aria, 'Hence, Iris, hence away,' to tremendous effect. "
- Opera News, August 2012

"...mezzo Allyson McHardy is all creamy, dark magic as Jupiter's jealous wife, Juno (and Ino, Semele's sister)."
- Toronto Star, 10 May 2012

"...mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy['s] gutsy singing took full measure of the goddess's wrath."
- Globe and Mail, 10 May 2012

"McHardy defines her imperious Juno and offended Ino, both driven by jealousy, with believable emotion and theatrical detail."
- Now Magazine, 17 May2012

"In the dual role of Ino/Juno, Allyson McHardy sings with conviction with creamy low notes and plenty of vigour."
- Charlebois Post, 10 May2012

 

Carmen  Carmen


Pacific Opera

"Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy is singing the title role for the first time here. Her Carmen is proud and defiant, languidly sensual but also quick to ignite, though fundamentally decent, and there is both smoke and fire in her voice."
- Times Colonist, 18 February 2012

"In her role debut as Carmen, mezzo Allyson McHardy displayed a gorgeous tone."
- Monday Magazine, 22 February 2012

"Allyson McHardy plays a lovely Carmen. She's quite petite but she's a real spitfire. And she really comes on and takes control."
- CBC On The Island, 22 February 2012

 

Hercules  Dejanira


Tafelmusik

"...particular kudos go to Toronto mezzo Allyson McHardy, who dazzled as Dejanira. McHardy's voice is pure, fragrant, dark buckwheat honey - just the ticket for a particularly demanding role. Paired with dramatically riveting and technically impeccable renditions of Handel's bravura arias for a character walking the tightrope between sanity and madness, this mezzo captivated from the moment she sang her first note."
- Toronto Star, 19 January 2012

"The Toronto mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy was clearly the prima donna as Dejanira: warm, intense and a subject of real interest despite the conventional outpouring of passions."
- National Post, 20 January 2012

"Top vocal honours went to mezzo Allyson McHardy as Dejanira. Hers is a genuine low mezzo bordering on a lyric contralto, with a timbre that brings to mind the excellent contralto Nathalie Stutzmann, but McHardy has a stronger, more solid upper extension, a rare attribute for a low voice. Dejanira has the most music to sing, and McHardy dispatched everything with technical ease, intensity and expression. Particularly memorable was her Act 3 Scene 3 aria with its bravura passages - McHardy's performance here was a tour de force."
- La Scena Musicale, 21 January 2012

"Hercules may be the title character, but the show really centres on Dejanira. McHardy's voice has only grown darker, stronger and more lustrous over time. ...she gave a gorgeous account of "Begone, my fears, fly hence, away" and made the mad scene "Where shall I fly? Where hide this guilty head?" so thrilling that the audience, trained not to applaud after every number, broke that rule thunderously to acclaim her."
- Stage Door, 21 January 2012

 

Amadis de Gaule  Arcabonne


Opéra Comique

"Also reason to celebrate, Allyson McHardy, who doubles as the wicked fairy Morgane, an impressive force in both sadness and in anger..."
- La Croix, 2 January 2012

"Allyson McHardy's fiery Arcabonne delivers the goods."
- Financial Times, 5 January 2012

"It is certainly a coup for mezzo Allyson McHardy who takes the honour among the cast members - generous, raging, tormented, regal as the Queen of the Underworld captive of her own passion."
- Webthéa, 4 January 2012

"Vocally young, the cast is dominated by the attractive mezzo Allyson McHardy."
- Le Monde, 6 January 2012

"Bravo certainly to Allyson McHardy, imperious Arcabonne, she carries the intrigue and the opera."
- Concert Classic, 3 January 2012

"The women are definitely at a higher level: ...and especially Allyson McHardy as the evil Arcabonne. "
- L'Oeil et l'Oreille, 2 January 2012

"Enchanted, the public at the first performances in Versailles gave an extremely enthusiastic, almost triumphal, response to the women soloists, Hélène Guilmette and Allyson McHardy..."
- Le Nouvel Observateur, 1 January 2012


Amadis de Gaule  Arcabonne


Château de Versailles

"...the excellent Allyson McHardy in the role of Arcabonne. From the liveliest fury to the very intense sentiments of love, Allyson McHardy perfectly incarnates this ambiguous character...she reveals with great accuracy the complexity of a character that the music of Johann Christian Bach has perfectly designed."
-  ConcertoNet, 12 December 2011

"One also finds the essential quality of the opera in the very beautiful voice of Allyson Mcardy, who perfectly incarnates the role of the enchantress drunk with anger and demanding vengeance. The warmth of her timbre is magnificent. It vibrates and we want more."
-  La Tribune, 11 December 2011


La Clemenza di Tito  Annio


Opéra national de Paris

"The dark mezzo Allyson McHardy who portrays a very enticing Annio is a fabulous discovery!"
-  ConcertClassic, September 12, 2011

"Allyson McHardy, young American (sic) mezzo-soprano revealed herself to be a 'pure' Annio."
-  Webthea, September 13, 2011

"Allyson McHardy impresses with her powerful mezzo."
-  Anaclase, September 10, 2011

"Beautiful Annio of Allyson McHardy."
-  ForumOpera, September 12, 2011

"Sober and tender, the Annio of Allyson McHardy is more than just attractive."
-  Altamusica, September 12, 2011


Das Lied von der Erde  


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

"The mezzo-soprano songs, ... describe a more sober, ethereal and idealized atmosphere, and McHardy, who is the embodiment of youth and beauty, captured this to perfection. Her voice is opaque and velvety smooth, almost other-worldly in its lack of edge, its unforced, self-contained, lullaby-dulcet beauty. There is not much sunshine in McHardy's sound. It seems comprised, instead, of reflected light, though it is still radiant and warm. McHardy projects incredible serenity on stage, and the final song, Der Abschied (the farewell) was, as it should be, the polar opposite of the opening drinking song that Mac Master sang with such earthy vitality."

"McHardy's farewell was sublime"
-  Elissa Poole, The Globe and Mail, June 7, 2011

"Her work had authority and depth; her tone is complex and slightly dark - perfect for Das Lied - and she negotiated her material with poise and subtlety."
-  David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun, June 6, 2011

"Allyson McHardy is exquisite with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra"
-  Lloyd Dykk, Georgia Straight, June 6, 2011


La Damnation de Faust  Marguerite


Vancouver Bach Choir

"As Marguerite, mezzo Allyson McHardy had a dark, complex sound that added pathos and a certain exoticism to her small but select sequence of numbers. "
-  David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun, April 18, 2011


"Tenor Paul Groves as Faust, bass-baritone John Relyea as Mephistopheles, and mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy as Marguerite were nothing less than sensational. "
-  Lloyd Dykk, straight.com, April 18, 2011

L'Italiana In Algeri  Isabella
Grand Théâtre de Provence

"[Allyson McHardy] dans le rôle titre, fait valoir son charme naturel et sa voix remarquable pour imposer son personnage. Un travail remarquable bien accueilli par le public qui lui a réservé, aux saluts, un beau triomphe"
-  Michel Egéa, La Provence, March 20, 2011

La Cenerentola  Angelina
Glyndebourne on Tour

"Her flexibility of voice, from the simplicity of her opening kitchen ballad to the stunning firework spectacular of her final aria in the last act demonstrated mastery of the full mezzo range."
-  Johnny Johnson, Musicohm, Nov 2010

"Allyson McHardy's Cenerentola successfully carried off her role's transformation, while turning in a virtuoso vocal performance crowned by her spectacular final aria."
-  Philip R Buttall, South West Shows, Nov 2010

"[McHardy's] is a flexible voice, encompassing the wide range of the mezzo tessitura the composer has provided from the simplicity of the fireside lament to the fireworks of her final rondo. She looks charming, as well."
-  Anne Morley-Preistman, What's on Stage, Nov 17, 2010

"Allyson McHardy's Angelina was shaped with warmth and grace"
-  Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, Oct 15, 2010

Read what the Glyndebourne audiences are saying.


Symphony No. 2  Mahler
Grant Park Music Festival

Allyson McHardy was a memorable Angel in last summer's performances of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius in Millennium Park, and, proved a stalwart soloist in the Urlicht movement, singing the text with radiant sensitvity.
-  Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, August 23, 2010

Of the soloists, the darker female voice has the most rapt music. Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy conveyed it with fine tone and interior expression.
-  Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune, August 22, 2010

Missa Solemnis  Beethoven
Winnipeg Symphony

Oshawa-born mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy was spellbinding with her gorgeous, heavy tone and effortless quality making each note float out into the hall.

Light and lovely flute passages accompanied the soloists and time stood still as McHardy sang with haunting beauty.

The soloists shone in the Agnus Dei; McHardy's almost otherworldly sound, buoyant and glowing ...
-  Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press, April 4, 2010

Little Women  Jo
Calgary Opera

Chief among the mezzos is Allyson McHardy, who sings the lead role of Jo. McHardy is well suited to the part, her voice rich and strong, comfortable both in the higher register and in the conversational lower notes. Dramatically, she is convincing as the difficult, but very human, Jo around which the story moves.
-  Kenneth Delong, Calgary Herald, Jan 2010

Calgary Opera Podcast: Allyson McHardy speaks about "Little Women"


Dream of Gerontius  Angel
Grant Park Music Festival

McHardy was the evening's vocal standout. As the Angel accompanying Gerontius to God's throne, her dusky mezzo-soprano sounded rich and mellow, and she unfurled Elgar's slow, lyrical melodies in long, satiny lines that seemed to float far above the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and Millennium Park.
-  Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun Times, August 3, 2009

... the velvety and radiant mezzo Allyson McHardy, projected the Angel's tender concern as successfully as the serene consolation she brought to the farewell.
-  John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, August 3 , 2009

Allyson McHardy effaces all memories of other distinguished exponents of the Angel. She has developed into something very special and moving.
-  Brian Dickie, Chicago Opera Theater, August 3 , 2009


Symphony No. 2  Mahler
ScotiaFest

McHardy's radiant singing of the short, fourth movement, Urlicht (Primeval Light), invoked the mysticism of understanding breaking through the torment of personal anguish that animated the first three movements of this monumental work.
-  Stephen Pedersen, Chronicle Herald, June 16, 2009

Listen to this perfomance on CBC Radio 2: Concerts on Demand.


Hippolyte et Aricie  Phèdre
Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse

The other great performance was Allyson McHardy, as Phedre, the mother who wants to sleep with her stepson: McHardy has sumptuous mezzo tone, perfect French and noble bearing.
-  Stephen J. Mudge, Opera News, June 2009

Allyson McHardy's fiery Phaedra, trim mezzo muscle, steady line and mastery of French declamation is a revelation that rivals Jessye Norman and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the same role .
-  Francis Carlin, London Financial Times, March 3, 2009

la Phèdre incandescente d'Allyson McHardy
-  Christian Merlin, Le Figaro, March 9, 2009

La Phèdre d'Allyson Mc Hardy partage avec ses partenaires francophones la clarté d'èlocution indispensable mais sa virulence, son ironie et ses douleurs sont bien celles du personnage.
-  Maurice Salles, www.forumopera.com, March 6, 2009

la Phèdre incandescente de la mezzo amèricaine Allyson McHardy (une rèvèlation)
-  Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde, March 9, 2009

Allyson McHardy, mezzo soprano nèe aux Etats-Unis est cette Phèdre de fureur et de douleur, magnifique découverte, actrice accomplie, diction impeccable et superbe phrasé.
-  Caroline Alexander, www.webthea.com, March 2009


L'Italiana in Algeri  Isabella
l'Opéra de Lille

À commencer par le couple impossible : Isabella, belle et authentique voix de contralto de l'Américaine Allyson McHardy, enjôleuse, vamp et séductrice , Mustafa, impérial et hilarant Jonathan Veira qui occupe le plateau comme s'il était chez lui.
-  Jean-Marie Duhamel, La Voix du Nord, Nov 10, 2007

au beau et très prometteur mezzo d'agilité d'Allyson McHardy
-  Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde, Nov 14, 2007


Samson et Dalila  Dalila
Opera Ontario

The standout performance was Dalila, with the lovely Allyson McHardy delivering an extraordinary rendition of the scheming seductress. With her superlative depth of tone, rich vibrato, and technical versatility, McHardy was ideal for the complexity required for the role...

...One of the most notable tunes in all of opera, the seduction scene in Act II, showcased the very best of this fetching mezzo.
-  Steven Preece, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Jan 27, 2007

With her buttery tone and clear diction, Canadian mezzo Allyson McHardy fit the bill of the temptress from Sorek...

... Allyson McHardy: This opera belongs to her Dalila.
-  Leornard Turnevicius, The Hamilton Spectator, Jan 26, 2007


Il Barbiere di Siviglia  Rosina
San Francisco Opera

Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, a former star of the Merola Opera Program and a singer of enormous imagination and versatility, sang a lustrous and energetic Rosina; the inventive twists and turns in her highly ornamented account of the opening "Una voce poco fa" were superb.
-  Joshua Kosma, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 2, 2006

Allyson McHardy [is] an accomplished comedienne. Her singing is relaxed with pin-point rhythmic accuracy. The coloratura sparkled.
-  Tiger Hashimoto, The Examiner, Nov 2, 2006

Mezzo Allyson McHardy dashed about with charming aplomb as Rosina, while pouring out gracefully shaped phrases punctuated by her fluent ornamentationn. Her evenly scaled tones, her onstage charm, and her disciplined vocalism all point to a major career.
-  John Bender, Opera Canada, Jan/Feb 2007