Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó has become highly sought after in both North America and Europe as an artist of supreme musicianship and stagecraft. The Chicago Tribune exclaimed, “Krisztina Szabó stole her every scene with her powerful, mahogany voice and deeply poignant immersion in the empress’ plight” after her performance of Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea. She made her Lincoln Center début as Dorabella in Così fan tutte at the Mostly Mozart Festival where she was praised in the New York Times for being “clear, strong, stately and an endearingly vulnerable Dorabella.”
In the 2016-17 season, Ms. Szabó is Angelina in La Cenerentola with Edmonton Opera, soloist and actor in a production of short plays by Samuel Beckett titled All But Gone with Canadian Stage, soloist in the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf with National Arts Centre Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Messiah with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Missa Solemnis with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, and soloist in Telemann’s Der Tag des Gerichts with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. She will appear in recital and as guest masterclass teacher at the University of Victoria, University of Alberta, and Mount Allison University. She will also be guest judge and Gala Artist for the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition.
In the 2015-16 season, Krisztina Szabó returned to the Canadian Opera Company in three leading roles (Thisbe/Arianna/Clorinda) in a triple bill production, Pyramus and Thisbe, is soloist in Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, in Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia, Calgary Philharmonic, and Duke Chapel Choir, and in Dean Burry’s The Highwayman in a return to Talisker Players. In the summer of 2015 she reprised the role of Judith in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with the Colorado Music Festival. Her 2014-15 season engagements included returns to Canadian Opera Company as The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung, to Calgary Opera as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, to Music of the Baroque and Vancouver Early Music in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, to Vancouver Bach Choir as soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and to Against the Grain Theatre in Death and Desire. She also was soloist with Toronto Symphony Orchestra in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, with the Canadian Ukrainian Opera Association in a concert and CD launch, Galician Songs by Ukrainian Composers, in Handel’s Theodora with Vancouver Early Music, in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Kingston Symphony Association, with Continuum Music in Souvenir and with Tapestry New Opera in Booster Shots. In June 2015, she was nominated twice for a Dora Award in the same category, Outstanding Female Performance, for her work in both Erwartung and Booster Shots.
Ms. Szabó exemplifies today’s modern singer: she is vocally versatile, possesses excellent stage prowess and paints vivid character portraits on both the opera and concert stages. She sings frequently at the Canadian Opera Company and has been seen in diverse roles, such as Le Pèlerin in L’amour de loin, Idamante (Idomeneo), Musetta (La bohème), The Double-Offred in the Time Before (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Nancy (Albert Herring). In 2006 she helped christen the company’s new opera house in their critically acclaimed Ring Cycle as Wellgunde (Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung), and Siegrune (Die Walküre) and returned to open their 06/7 season in the role of Dorabella (Così fan tutte). Canadian audiences have also seen Ms. Szabó as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Sesto (La clemenza di Tito) and Musetta in La bohème with Vancouver Opera, Meg (Little Women) with Calgary Opera, Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with L’Opéra de Québec, Edmonton Opera and Calgary Opera, Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte) with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Labadie conducting, Ruggiero (Alcina) in concert with Les Violons du Roy, Nerone (Agrippina) with L’Opéra de Montréal, and as the title role in Iphigénie en Tauride with Opera Atelier.
Outside of Canada, Ms Szabó has performed a wide variety of roles including: Rosalind (The Mines of Sulphur) for the Wexford Festival Opera (company début), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) – all with Chicago Opera Theater, Magnolia (Showboat) with L’Opéra National du Rhin, the title role in Charpentier’s Médée with Le Concert Spirituel in Paris, The Queen of the Fairies in Ana Sokolovic’s hilarious opera, The Midnight Court, with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre’s tour to England, Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Bianca (Mercadante’s Il giuramento) with Washington Concert Opera, Ljubica (Sokolovic’s Svadba/Wedding) with Opera Philadelphia and Dido (Dido and Aeneas) with Music of the Baroque.
Krisztina Szabó is a frequent performer of recital, concert and chamber repertoire. She has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Mozart’s Mass in C Minor), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (B minor Mass) L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec (Bach’s Mass in B Minor), Vancouver Bach Choir (John Adams’ El niño), the San Antonio Symphony (Handel’s Messiah), the Talisker Players in Toronto for an evening of chamber music, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Mendelssohn’s Elijah), the Elora Festival Orchestra (Verdi’s Requiem), Les Violons du Roy’s United States tour of (Haydn’s cantata Arianna a Naxos) , the Brooklyn Academy of Music (staged production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion) and the Oregon Symphony (Mozart Requiem). She has also appeared as soloist with Plural Ensemble in Madrid, Spain, under the baton of renowned composer-conductor, Peter Eötvös.
In recital, she has appeared with Ravinia Festival, Aldeburgh Connection, Music Toronto, Off Centre Music Salon and Music at Sharon. In addition, she has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, Lanaudière Festival, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestra London, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Esprit Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Canadian Art Song Project, Festival of the Sound, Grand Teton Festival Soundstreams, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Waterside Music Festival, Stratford Summer Music Festival and Indian River Festival.
Ms, Szabó has appeared on television featured in CBC’s “Opening Night” in concert with the Canadian Opera Company. On film, she can be seen as Zerlina with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Don Giovanni Revealed: Leporello’s Revenge, and she can be heard as the voice of Leanne in the new opera movie Burnt Toast. Krisztina Szabo can also be heard as a featured soloist in a recording with the Talisker Players “Where Words and Music Meet“, Musica Leopolis CDs works of Lysenko, Stetsenko, Stepovy and Galicians I (4 different CDs), Singing Somers Theatre (the works of Harry Somers) and Baby Kintyre, a radio opera by Dean Burry.
Ms. Szabó finished her postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario studying with Darryl Edwards, with whom she continues to study. She has been the recipient of the Emerging Artist grant from Canada Council and was recently honoured by her home town of Mississauga with a star on the Music Walk of Fame in its inaugural year. Krisztina lives in Toronto with her husband, Kristian Clarke and their daughter, Phoibe Clarke. Ms. Szabó is a member of the voice faculty at the University of Toronto.