Expert at all music genres 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, and the Boston Pops and has given world premieres of music by John Zorn, Nico Muhly, Bernard Rands, Elliot Carter, and the Bang on a Can artists. Her recent performance in the multi-media opera premiere at The Kitchen in Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar, composed for her and the NOW Ensemble, prompted reviewers to hail her as “riveting” (New York Times), and to remark upon her “throbbing low register and open-hearted performing style” (Wall Street Journal). For her portrayal of Cherubino in the American premiere of Mercadante’s I Due Figaro with Amore Opera, critics described her as “delicious” (Opera News) and “nothing short of stunning” (Stage Magazine).
Abigail Fischer’s 2012-13 season engagements include mezzo-soprano soloist in Haydn’s D Minor Mass, “Missa in Angustiis”, with Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman. In season 2011-12 she performed Mozart’s Requiem with the American Classical Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Adelphi Symphony Orchestra, and in summer 2011 she toured Mongolia with the new music chamber ensemble Continuum, and performed the roles of Stéphano in Bel Cantanti Opera’s Roméo et Juliette and Angelina in Union Avenue Opera’s production of La Cenerentola.
Recent highlights include Chandler Carter’s opera Strange Fruit, presented by New York City Opera; also NYCO’s VOX contemporary opera showcase; an outreach production of Hansel and Gretel with New Jersey State Opera; 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. She toured Jakarta as principal guest artist with Continuum, performing in Probowo’s opera The King’s Witch, and has worked with the ensemble in other chamber music endeavors. She has been a member of a pioneer group of vocalists at the Lucerne Festival Academy, under the direction of Daniel Reuss and Pierre Boulez.
Highlights of her early music performances include Bach’s Magnificat, the North American premiere of Lotti’s Mass for Three Choirs, the role of Cleophas in Handel’s La Resurrezione with American Bach Soloists, Dido in Dido and Aeneas with Bronx Opera, soloist with Trinity Wall Street Choir and the renowned Rebel Baroque Orchestra, and the roles of Musica and Speranza in 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 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 at Brooklyn Academy of Music; and Nico Muhly’s Mothertongue and Elements of Style at Lincoln Center, which received praise in features from the New York Times to NPR. Ms. Fischer has worked with conductors Bradley Lubman (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.
Other operatic performances include Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Mother Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues 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 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. She has sung as soloist in a Sondheim tribute with the Boston Pops, under the baton of Keith Lockhart, and is a featured singer in Katrina Ballads, a dramatic song cycle composed by Ted Hearne, using primary-source texts from the week following Hurricane Katrina. The work has been performed across the country, and was recently released as a full-length album on New Amsterdam Records and on the NAXOS label.
Pursuing her interest in electronic music, Ms. Fischer has pioneered the project ABSYNTH, a constantly evolving work for electronics and voice, which was premiered 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 2008, and was featured 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 Istituto Lorenzo di Medici in Florence.