Hailed by Opera News as “strikingly lovely” and the Los Angeles Times as a singer who “can release roulades of coloratura with a shimmering sound,” rising Canadian mezzo-soprano Julia Dawson enjoys increasing exposure both on the opera stage and in the concert hall. In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Dawson returns to Oper Frankfurt as an ensemble member, with roles including Angelina in La Cenerentola, Goffredo in Ted Huffman’s new production of Rinaldo, and the Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas. She also sings the title role in the American premiere of Scarlatti’s Erminia with Opera Lafayette in Washington D.C. and New York City.
The 2016-2017 season saw Ms. Dawson in her second year as an Oper Frankfurt studio member, where she sang Dorotea in Verdi’s Stiffelio, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and Moppet, a Cat and, Wild Goose in a new production of Britten’s Paul Bunyan.Read more
Additional operatic highlights include Johanna in Sweeney Todd and Poppea (cover) in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Aspen Music Festival, Emilia in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica with Opera Lafayette, Angelina in La Cenerentola with The Boston Youth Symphony, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Frédérick (cover) in Mignon at the Music Academy of the West; Sesto in La clemenza di Tito and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte with Oberlin Opera Theater and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera-in-Italy. Roles at AVA include Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Siébel in Gounod’s Faust, Javotte in Manon, Milovzor in Pique Dame and Zulma in L’Italiana in Algeri. Ms. Dawson was an apprentice artist at Santa Fe Opera, a young artist with the Glimmerglass Festival, and has participated in Opera Philadelphia’s new works project, Double Exposure.
Concert and recital work includes Poème de l’amour et de la mer with the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester, recital debuts at The Kennedy Center and Merkin Hall in concerts presented by Vocal Arts DC and the New York Festival of Song, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the American Academy of Conducting workshop at the Aspen Music Festival, second soprano soloist in Bach’s B minor Mass with the Houston Bach Society, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mozart’s Requiem with the Oberlin Orchestra, Vivaldi’s Gloria with Symphony in C, and Liebeslieder-Walzer with the Music Academy of the West.
A 2015 George London Award Competition winner, Ms. Dawson received the Anny Schlemm Preis from Oper Frankfurt, an honor given to a singer associated with the company once every five years. She has received fellowships from the Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West, and has sung in masterclass with James Levine at Carnegie Hall under the auspices of Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues festival
Ms. Dawson holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music degree Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. She recently completed studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, earning a performance certificate.
“Julia Dawson…can release roulades of coloratura with a torrent of shimmering sound.”
“As the peasant girl Zerlina, mezzo-soprano Julia Dawson was by turns innocent and daring, ably negotiating what is perhaps the opera’s most sophisticated bit of acting.”
“Meyerbeer’s florid vocal line in “Nobles seigneurs, salut” from Les Huguenots was no challenge to mezzo-soprano Julia Dawson who filled the role with ample personality.”
“Julia Dawson, well remembered from her major George London award last winter, put heart and soul into her portrayal of Emilia, the widow of Pompey, who is seeking revenge against Caesar. We have written about the many shades of sadness in Schubert’s song cycles; here, Ms. Dawson created the many shades of anger. Her voice, like Mr. Holiday’s, is a force of nature and she acts in such a visceral manner, using her entire body, that we were actually feeling it. Her handling of the fioritura was nothing short of dazzling. ”
“Julia Dawson embodies this treacherous woman with exuberance. Her aria at the end of the first act enthralls the audience, not only with her excellent vocal flourishes, but also with the character’s sheer glee at the thought of vengeance. Her dynamic physique, gestures, and vocal expressions keep the audience in rapt attention.”
“Julia Dawson’s portrayal of Emilia, the revenge-crazed widow of Pompey, was vocally impressive.”