Hailed for her “deliciously over the top” and “powerful mezzo” by Opera News, Alissa Anderson wields her comic prowess, striking features, and her “powerful vocalism” to great acclaim.
In 2021, Ms. Anderson joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera for the first time covering the role of the Nurse in Boris Godunov. She sang Erda in Graham Vick and Jonathan Dove's version of Wagner's Das Rheingold with Opera Santa Barbara. She also made her debut with the Berkshire Opera Festival as Dame Quickly in Falstaff and her Austin Lyric Opera debut as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro. She made her debut with HeartBeat Opera in New York City in December 2021 as the mezzo soloist in The Messy Messiah Drag Extravaganza . In 2022, Ms. Anderson made her debut with Opéra de Rennes and Nantes Opera in France as Mother Goose in The Rake's Progress and debuted with Urban Arias in Washington, D.C. in 2022 as Mama in the world premiere of Why I live at the P.O. Future debuts in 2022-2023 include The Deaconess in Król Roger and Florence Pike in Albert Herring with Chicago Opera Theatre, Madame Flora in The Medium with Nashville Opera, and Mrs. Medlock in The Secret Garden with Hawaii Opera Theatre.
In the 2019/2020 season, Ms. Anderson made her company and role debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Princess Clarissa in Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges as well as both her European and role debuts as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with The Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the spring she returned to Opera Birmingham to sing the role of Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillion (cancelled due to Covid). Other engagements this season included her debut with Austin Lyric Opera as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro (postponed to 2021 due to Covid), a return to Opera Philadelphia to cover the lead in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Woman with eyes closed (postponed due to Covid), and a return to Opera Santa Barbara for a role debut as La Marquise de Berkenfield in La fille du régiment (cancelled due to Covid).
The 2018-2019 season included Ms. Anderson’s return to San Diego Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto, her debut with Opera San Antonio as Marthe in Faust, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Ms. Andrew/The Bird Woman in Mary Poppins in a return to Utah Festival Opera, and the starring role in the world premiere of the opera Debussy & Ravel: The Flowers of Evil with Mercury Chamber Orchestra at the Wortham Center in Houston, TX. The 2017-2018 season featured her debut with Opera Birmingham and Opera Louisiana in the title role of La tragédie de Carmen, her debut with Opera Delaware as Frugola/La Zia Principessa in Il trittico, and her debut with Utah Festival Opera as The Witch in Into the Woods.
The 2016-2017 season saw her debut with San Diego Opera as Tisbe in La Cenerentola, a New Year’s Eve gala concert with Opera Southwest, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with North Carolina Opera, Verdi’s Requiem with the Houston Camerata, and La Zia Principessa/Ciesca in Il trittico with the Opera Company of Middlebury. Other recent performances for Ms. Anderson include La Zia Principessa/Zita in Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi with Opera Santa Barbara, Cleo in The Most Happy Fella with Tulsa Opera, Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress with Utah Opera, and her debut with Houston Grand Opera’s East + West series in River of Light by composer Jack Perla and librettist Chitra Divakaruni. In addition, she made, her “comically perfect” debut as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with Opera in the Heights, Lampito in Lysistrata with Fort Worth Opera, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Santa Barbara, Emilia in Otello and Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Southwest, Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillion and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with the Santa Fe Concert Association, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera in the Heights, and her return to Santa Fe Opera where she sang the Society Woman in The Last Savage. Recent concert engagements have included John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Concordia University Symphony Orchestra, her European concert debut as mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with performances throughout Germany and France and her Lincoln Center debut as the mezzo soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.
In 2010, Ms. Anderson achieved a remarkable success and was celebrated for being “impeccably prepared” and “splendid in every way” when, as a young artist, she stepped in as Florence Pike in Santa Fe Opera’s Albert Herring under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. At the Sarasota Opera, Ms. Anderson performed the roles of Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Flora in La Traviata. As a resident and principal artist with Fort Worth Opera she performed the roles of Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Angel Trio in Angels in America. Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News praised her 2010 performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra stating, “Mezzo Alissa Anderson supplied aptly rich tones and an awesome chest voice.”
Other notable engagements include her Tisbe in La Cenerentola and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera New Jersey, Flora in La Traviata and Mercedes in Carmen with Pensacola Opera, and Flora in La Traviata with Nevada Opera. As a young artist, she performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Ashlawn-Highland Opera, as well as spending three consecutive summers at the Seagle Music Colony where she sang the title role in Carmen, Anita in West Side Story, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alma March in Little Women, Woman in Marry Me A Little, and Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Ms. Anderson holds her Master of Music in Opera Performance from The University of Maryland and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas.
Photo credit - Fay Fox