CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lucretia in Britten's Rape of Lucretia at Opera Memphis
  • Carmen in Brook/Bizet at Colorado Music Festival and Fight Club Carmen (abridged Bizet) at Bay Chamber Concerts with Edwin Cahill directing
  • Missy Mazzoli's first opera Song from the Uproar, written for her, which "made a star of Abigail Fischer" (Steve Smith, New York Times/TimeOut NY) at LA Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Da Camera Houston
  • Testo in Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with Gotham Chamber Opera, directed by Robin Guarino
  • Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs with Columbus Symphony, under Jean-Marie Zeitouni
  • Boston Baroque's recording of Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass
  • Handel Messiah with Kansas City, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Virginia Symphonies, among others
  • Angelina in Rossini's La Cenerentola with Union Avenue Opera ("pure brilliance," KDHX St. Louis) and also with Salt Marsh Opera

  • Chamber music of John Zorn, from Lincoln Center Festival to the Adelaide Festival in Australia, Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival, and a tour throughout Europe including Paris' Citè de la Musique

ROOTS

  • Born in Norwich, Vermont to chamber musician parents who now teach at Rice University in Houston, Texas
  • Spent every summer since she was 4 at Tanglewood Music Festival and Greenwood Music Camp
  • A graduate of Vassar College (BA), where she studied Urban Studies, Philosophy, and Music (and sang in the big band) and Eastman School of Music (MM), where she studied voice and played baroque cello for fun
  • A trained cellist in contemporary music, chamber music, and continuo playing

BIOGRAPHY

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"With her dramatic tumble of red hair and cello-mellow voice, Ms. Fischer sings with dramatic restraint that has no equal in her generation. You didn't want her to stop." So said Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times after Ms. Fischer's performance of George Benjamin's Upon Silence with Orchestra of Saint Luke's at the New York Phil Bienniel. Among the contemporary pieces she has championed, the most notable may be Missy Mazzoli's first opera Song from the Uproar, performed at LA Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Da Camera Houston in the 2015-2016 season.

 

Also in 2015-16, Ms. Fischer returned to Boston Symphony Orchestra as soloist (and Fairy actress!) in incidental music from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by Andris Nelsons, championed the lead role as Mrs. X.E. in the world premiere of Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone in New York City’s Prototype Festival, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, and dug into her new favorite role of Carmen in both La Tragèdie de Carmen (Brook/Bizet) at Colorado Music Festival and an abridged Bizet version at Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine.

 

Upcoming in the 2016-17 season will include Handel Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Duke Chapel Choir, Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar at the Gardiner Museum in Boston, and her Italian stage debut in Toshio Hosakawa's The Raven in Bolzano, Italy.

 

In 2014-15 Abigail Fischer returned to Gotham Chamber Opera as Eva in Martinu’s Comedy on the Bridge; sang Respighi’s Il tramonto at Kean University, under Jean-Marie Zeitouni; the role of Mother in Stefan Weisman's opera The Scarlet Ibis at the "suddenly indispensable" Prototype Festival; Handel’s Messiah with both Kansas City and Alabama symphonies; was soloist with New York Choral Society in Hindemith's When Lilacs in the Dooryard Bloom'd in her Carnegie Hall debut; sang the incredible mezzo solos in J S Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Duke Chapel Choir; sang the title role in Handel's Ariodante at Chautauqua; was soloist in Mahler Symphony No. 3 with Santa Rosa Symphony; and performed Berio Folk Songs in Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado. 

 

In season 2013-14 Abigail Fischer sang Respighi’s Il Tramonto and the John Harbison premiere of Crossroads with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble; a program of vocal chamber music with Chamber Music Northwest; Messiah with Ashville Symphony, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and Rhode Island Philharmonic; a doublebill of Monteverdi’s “Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda” and Beecher’s “I Have No Stories to Tell You” with Gotham Chamber Opera (NYC); Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with Alabama Symphony; and George Benjamin's Upon Silence on the NY Philharmonic's inaugeral Bienniel with Orchestra of St. Luke's. She also toured Europe, Jerusalem, Adelaide, the Met Museum and Lincoln Center Festival performing works of John Zorn to commemorate his 60th birthday. Her 2012-13 season engagements included mezzo-soprano soloist in a performance and recording of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman; title role in The Rape of Lucretia with Opera Memphis; Eötvös’ Angels in America with Los Angeles Philharmonic; Messiah with Virginia Symphony Orchestra; and Vivaldi's Gloria, Beatus Vir, and Porpora's De Profundis with American Bach Soloists.

 

Highlights of Ms. Fischer's operatic work include Angelina in La Cenerentola with Union Avenue Opera (in Italian) and Salt Marsh Opera (in English), Stéphano in Bel Cantanti Opera’s Roméo et Juliette; Chandler Carter’s opera Strange Fruit , presented by New York City Opera; Hänsel in Hansel and Gretel with New Jersey State Opera; Cherubino in Opera North's Le Nozze di Figaro; Sesto in Arcadia Players' concert version of La Clemenza di Tito; 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; and Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd with Eastman Opera Theater. 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 Rebel Baroque Orchestra, performing Mozart's Mass in C and Handel's Messiah, and the roles of Musica and Speranza in Monteverdi's Orfeo with Steven Osgood at the Wintergreen Festival. In concert Ms. Fischer has performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Adelphi Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with the American Classical Orchestra and Alabama Symphony; segments from Sweeney Todd and Merrily we Roll Along in a Sondheim tribute with the Boston Pops, under the baton of Keith Lockhart; and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Eastman Orchestra.

 

Ms. Fischer has given the world premieres of Elliott Carter's Mad Regales and Bernard Rands' Walcott Songs at Tanglewood Music Festival; John Zorn's Madrigals, Holy Visions, and Shir Ha-Shirim, with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed; Bang on a Can's Lost Objects at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Ted Hearne's Katrina Ballads, released as a full-length album on New Amsterdam Records/NAXOS and performed at New York City Opera's VOX; and Nico Muhly's Mothertongue and Elements of Style, performed at Lincoln Center, and which were written for her and received praise in features from the New York Times to NPR.

 

Trained as a cellist, Ms. Fischer continues to perform chamber music with groups such as the Chiara, Enso, Momento and Flux quartets, the Horszovsky Trio, Continuum and Sequitur, with individuals such as James Dunham, Curtis Macomber, Andrew Jennings, Norman Fischer, Peggy Pearson, Todd Palmer, Caleb Burhans, Nadia Sirota, on series such as Vermont Musica Viva, Music Mondays, Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music, and venues such as Merkin Hall and Miller Theater. With the chamber ensemble Continuum, she has toured Mongolia with the Roaring Hooves Festival, launched Tony Probowo’s opera The King’s Witch in Jakarta, Indonesia, and performed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

 

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music (MM) and Vassar College (BA), Abigail Fischer has studied with Stephen King, Marlena Malas, Juli Wood, Drew Minter, Carol Webber, Irene Gubrud, Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, and Patricia 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, Stephen Stubb's Accademia d'Amore, Lucerne Festival Academy under the instruction of Pierre Boulez, Songfest, Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, Chautauqua Voice Program, 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.