The American soprano, Melissa Fogarty, has earned awards including the Adams Fellowship at the Carmel Bach Festival and the Giorgio Cini Foundation Fellowship for study in Venice. She recently was a finalist in the 2008 vocal competition sponsored by Classical Singer magazine. Her wide range of musical experience began with appearances as child soloist at the Metropolitan Opera (including the Shepherd in Tosca in a telecast with Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballé), New York City Opera (the major role of Marcantonio in the New York premiere of Dominick Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming), and Sarasota Opera (Flora in Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw). She received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Applied Voice from the Eastman School of Music, and her eclectic resume grew to embrace such diverse genres as rock, Klezmer, and musical theatre, in addition to classical repertoire.
Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, versatile soprano Melissa Fogarty has been enjoying a banner year in both opera and concert. In March (2008), she made an auspicious debut at New York City Opera, in the leading role of Soprano I (Cupid/Venus/Honor) in Mark Morris’s production of Purcell’s King Arthur, conducted by Jane Glover. April brought a return engagement with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra at Benaroya Hall, where Ms. Fogarty starred as Serpina in a semi-staging of Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and was cited by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for her “bright attractive soprano and ample technique.”
In May (2008), Melissa Fogarty impressed public and critics alike in VOX, City Opera’s annual showcase of new American operas, performing Dice Thrown, a virtuosic one-woman "aleatoric soundscape" by John King, and participating in a roundtable discussion on singing new music, with renowned colleagues Lauren Flanigan and Emily Pulley. Only weeks later, at Symphony Space, she performed the world premiere of the demanding new song cycle A Field Manual, written especially for her, baritone Chris Pedro Trakas, and the Fireworks Ensemble by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici. On June 24, she will give another world premiere: Christopher James’s Five Sappho Fragments, for soprano and chamber orchestra, with the esteemed new music ensemble North/South Consonance, conducted by Max Lifchitz.
A favorite of David Del Tredici, Melissa Fogarty figured prominently in his 70th Birthday celebrations in 2007. She performed his dazzling song cycle Miz Inez Sez (with the composer at the piano) at Sarah Lawrence College, his flamboyant monodrama Dracula at Brooklyn Conservatory, and his Grammy Award-nominated Paul Revere's Ride with the Canticum Novum Singers. Sought after by numerous other composers and new music groups, Melissa Fogarty has also recently performed of The New Math(s) by Louis Andriessen with the highly regarded ensemble Sequitur at Merkin Concert Hall and roles in new operas by Sorrel Hayes, Marc Lowenstein, and Tom Schnauber in City Opera’s 2007 and 2008 VOX festivals.
Melissa Fogarty is also much in demand for her lively and elegant interpretations of Baroque and Classical-period music. Her many credits in this repertoire include Clorinda in Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with New York’s Metropolis Ensemble (2006); La Poésie in Charpentier’s Les Arts florissants with Concert Royal in New York and Dallas (2002), Oberto in George Frideric Handel’s Alcina with New York’s Vertical Player Repertory company (2001, 2002), the Israelitish Woman in G.F. Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and soprano soloist in J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra at Columbia University (2000); and other roles with New York Collegium, Teatro Bacchino in San Francisco, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, and the Yale Center for British Arts.
In 2006, Melissa Fogarty was honored with an Outmusic Award for “Best Solo Debut - Female” for her cantata album Handel: Scorned and Betrayed (Albany Records). The distinguished singer/musicologist Julianne Baird commented, “Melissa Fogarty’s depiction of these strong-willed, decisive women of history is red-blooded, exciting, and passionate. She brings to bear an exquisite sense of style for this repertoire.” Her other recordings include Alessandro Scarlatti’s Agar et Ismaele esiliati with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra (Centaur Records) and Forbidden Dance with Ensemble for the Seicento, an album of 17th-century music in which she both sings and plays the Baroque guitar (Musicians Showcase).