Tracy Watson, mezzo-soprano

Tracy Watson, mezzo-soprano, is a prolific performer known for the depth and beauty of her voice, as well as her superb interpretive skills. Reviewers regularly use the words lush, rich, velvety and creamy to describe her singing. Audiences have enjoyed her performances in the United States and Europe, from German opera houses to the stage at Carnegie Hall.

Last season, she performed the role of Juno in Handel's Semele with Handel Week 2012; was the alto soloist in Beethoven's Missa Somemnis with the Oak Park/River Forest Symphony and the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with Peninsula Music Festival, in addition so several recitals. 

Ms. Watson began her career as a member of Chicago's Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. At her first audition in Germany, she was immediately engaged to sing Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte at the Staedtische Buehnen Dortmund. Shortly thereafter, she was asked by the intendand to sing her first Nicklausse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. At Theater Oberhausen, Ms. Watson's leading rolls included Cherubino, Stefano, and Mrs. Cratchit in the German premiere of Thea Musgrave's A Christmas Carol, which was later featured at the opening night of the Nordrhein-Westfalen Festival of New German Theater-Stadttheater Aachen. Ms. Watson was the featured alto soloist in Rossini's Stabat Mater with the Theater Oberhausen Orchestra. While living in Europe, she also sang concerts with the Europera Festival in Cahor, France.

After returning to the United States, Ms. Watson sang leading roles with the Portland, Hawaii, Madison and Whitewater Opera companies, Chicago Opera Theater, Light Opera Works and Chamber Opera Chicago. A much sought-after Hänsel, she also is well known for her portrayals of Rosina, Musetta and Carmen, and she received rave reviews for her performances of the Secretary in Menotti's The Consul with Portland Opera.

Ms. Watson is well known for her many concert appearances, having sung a vast array of repertoire from Bach to Bernstein. She made her Ravinia Festival début as vocal soloist with the prestigious Joffrey Ballet singing the music of Erik Satie in their Postcards ballet. She was enthusiastically praised for her interpretation of lieder by Richard Wagner in the Joffrey's Dance for Life Benefit Gala at Chicago's Harris Theater. A favorite with the Grant Park Music Festival, she performed as soloist under the direction of Carlos Kalmar in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Hadyn's Mass in Time of War, and excerpts from Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, with Hugh Wolff in Janáček's Glagolitic Mass, Christof Perick for Beethoven's Mass in C, Zdenek Macal in Borodin's Prince Igor, and with Jesus Lopez-Cobos in Bruckner's Te Deum.

As a soloist with Music of the Baroque, she sang Mozart's Waisenhausmesse with Nicholas Kraemer, and Hadyn's Theresienmesse with Jane Glover. Maestra Glover has also conducted Ms. Watson in performances of the Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Verdi's Requiem with Samuel Ramey. Ms. Watson was soloist in the Verdi Requiem in her Barcelona début with the European Symphony Orchestra at the Palau de la Musica. Her Prague début was Mozart Requiem at the Rudolfinum with I Virtuosi Pragenses. In her Carnegie Hall début, Ms. Watson sang Mozart's Mass in c minor and returned as soloist in Beethoven's Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, Mozart's Requiem and Coronation Mass, Britten's World of the Spirit and Karl Jenkin's Requiem and The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. She made her début with Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall singing the alto solos in Händel's Messiah.

She is highly regarded for her performances of major works by J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, St. Mark Passion, St. John Passion, The Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio and the B minor Mass, and other Baroque composers. She has performed with the Bach Society of St. Louis, Princeton Pro Musica, Chicago's Händel Week, The Virginia Consort, Richmond Symphony, Apollo Chorus, St. Charles Singers, Florida, Flagstaff, San Antonio, Duluth, Sheboygan, Northwest Indiana, South Bend, Lake Forest, Eastern Connecticut, DuPage and Classical Symphony Orchestras.

Tracy Watson's singing career continues to embrace a wide variety of works. She recently performed Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, Mahler's Second, Third and Fourth Symphonies as well as Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, Cantaloube's Chants d'Auvergne, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Elgar's Sea Pictures, De Falla's El amor brujo, and the popular Bernstein on Broadway. She regularly performs in solo recitals and with her husband tenor William Watson. Their husband-and-wife performances of of Britten's Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac have garnered universal plaudits.

The Watsons, along with opera director Michael Ehrman, are the co-founders of the Opera Training Institute of Chicago.

Tracy Watson will begin as Assistant Professor of Voice at Central Michigan University in August 2013.

August Symphony Series performance location

Door Community Auditorium - Fish Creek 

The Peninsula Music Festival - 10347 Highway 42

Unit B Green Gables Shops 

P.O. Box 340, Ephraim, Wisconsin  54211

email: musicfestival@musicfestival.com

Phone: (920) 854-4060