Margaret Gawrysiak, mezzo-soprano, has recently performed Mistress Hibbons in the world premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter with Opera Colorado; Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Townsend Opera; Public Opinion in Orpheus in the Underworld, and Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore with Virginia Opera; Marquise in La file du Régiment with Arizona Opera; Mrs. De Rocher in Dead Man Walking with Dayton Opera; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Vera Boronel in The Consul with Seattle Opera; Ježibaba in Rusalka with North Carolina Opera; Frugola in Il tabarro with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with Crested Butte Music Festival; Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Baba the Turk and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and La Mère d’Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Wolf Trap Opera; and Zita in Gianni Schicchi at the Castleton Festival.
Current engagements for Margaret include the Old Lady in Candide with Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; and a return to Seattle Opera as Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Margaret’s engagements have also included Gertrude/Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Eunice in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Marzelline in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera; Giovanna in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera; and a workshop of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys with the Metropolitan Opera. As a graduate of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program she was featured as Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Olga in Eugene Onegin, and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program she covered Beppe in L’amico Fritz, and performed Isabella in scenes from L’italiana in Algeri on the Schwabacher Concert Program. Margaret was twice a member of the Young American Artists Program at Glimmerglass Opera where she performed as Juno in Orpheus in the Underworld, and covered the roles of the Grandmother and Aunt in Jenůfa. Other performances have included Madame de la Haultiere in Cendrillon with Aspen Opera Theatre; a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and L’enfant et les Sortileges with the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Eugene Opera; the Witch in Hansel and Gretel with the Buffalo Philharmonic; Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre; Mother Marie in the Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Eastman School of Music; and Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore with Opera Illinois.
In concert, she has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Lorin Maazel, and the Saginaw Bay Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem with the Springfield Symphony; Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel with the Seattle Symphony; and Dessau’s Haggadah shel Pesach with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall.
In 2009 Margaret was a winner of the Sullivan Foundation Award and received second place in the Lotte Lenya Competition. She has received awards from the Jensen Foundation, Portland Opera’s Lieber Awards, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Awards. Geneseo, IL is her hometown.
Wolf Trap Opera – The Rake’s Progress
“Mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak, as Mother Goose and Baba the Turk, had a hilariously raucous tone and scenery-chewing antics that nearly stole the show”
– The Washington Post, August 5, 2012
“In “The Rake’s Progress,” the opera ain’t over ’til the bearded lady sings. That’s Baba the Turk, the needy, demanding, facially hairy circus star Tom marries just to thumb his nose at the world…Margaret Gawrysiak brings a plummy mezzo and abundant comic exuberance to the role, and also taps into character’s warmer side in the last act.”
– The Baltimore Sun, August 7, 2012
Virginia Opera – Hansel and Gretel
“At the top of the singers’ pyramid in this production, however, was mezzo Margaret Gawrysiak, cast in the dual roles of the not-so-wicked actual Mom as well as that wicked old witch in the second act. We’ve seen Ms. Gawrysiak in area productions before, including her performance as a convincing Mrs. Lovett in this summer’s Wolf Trap Opera performance of Sweeney Todd. She’s got a powerful voice, great acting chops, and is unafraid of physical comedy as well—all of which are significant assets in this opera. Her performance, particularly as the witch, galvanizes everyone into action in this production, which is an added plus—not to mention that she lends a virtual grand opera presence to the performance.”
– The Washington Times, December 12, 2011