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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.
Recent highlights include 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. 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 2006, she was the principal guest artist with the new music ensemble Continuum on a tour of 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. Upcoming performances include Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar, written for her voice and the NOW Ensemble. It's fully staged version will be performed in 2012 at the Kitchen, with its chamber version touring in the meantime in South and North Carolina, Toronto, and New York.
Recent highlights of Ms. Fischer’s work in early music include playing Cleophas in Handel's dramatic oratorio La Resurrezione with American Bach Soloists, the title role in Dido and Aeneas with the Bronx Opera, soloist with the Trinity Wall Street Choir and the renowned Rebel Ensemble, and various roles (including 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 (with her father, Norman Fischer, as the Abnormal Duo), Nico Muhly’s Mothertongue and Elements of Style (performed at Lincoln Center), and Bang on a Can’s Lost Objects (performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music), 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 with Opera North, Mother Marie in Poulenc’s The Dialogue of the Carmelites, Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito in a concert version with the Arcadia Players, Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Ma Moss in Copland’s The Tender Land with the Bronx Opera, 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 2005, she 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. In August it will also be released on the Naxos label.
Persuing her long-standing interest in electronic music, Ms. Fischer has pioneered the project ABSYNTH, a 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, and now studies with Irene Gubrud. She has attended University of Cincinnati’s Lucca Opera Festival (2000), Ferrandou Singing School under the direction of David Wilson-Johnson (2000, 2002), Opera North (2003), Madison Early Music Festival (2001), Songfest (2007), Aspen Music Festival (2004, 2009), the Tanglewood Music Center (2005, 2008), and has been a resident artist at the Banff Centre (2008).
More info at www.abigailfischer.com