Hailed by the Maine Classical Beat for “a voice to die for [combined] with acting ability, beauty, and stage presence,” Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani is fast-becoming one of today’s most sought-after young singers.
In the 2016-2017 season, Maya Lahyani returns to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Flora in Willy Decker’s production of La Traviata and to Seattle Opera, where she will appear as Varvara in a new production of Janáček’s Katya Kabanova, as well as Flora in Peter Konwitschny’s production of La Traviata. Concert appearances include Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony” with the Charlotte Symphony and an arias concert with the Sun Valley Opera. Lahyani will also be the featured vocal soloist in a world premiere performance by the Alonzo King LINES Ballet.
Ms. Lahyani’s 2015-2016 season included performances and covers at the Metropolitan Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado, Lola in Sir David McVicar’s production ofCavalleria Rusticana conducted by Fabio Luisi, and a Serving Woman in legendary director Patrice Chéreau’s production of Elektra led by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She concluded her season as the title role ofCarmen at Opera Las Vegas and PORTOpera to great acclaim.
Highlights of Ms. Lahyani’s recent seasons include her debut with the Canadian Opera Company as the Page in Atom Egoyan’s production of Salome while concurrently covering the role of Mère Marie inDialogues des Carmélites, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto at the Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Seattle Opera, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Dallas Opera, and Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel with Opera Fairbanks. For her performances at Wolf Trap Opera in the title role of Carmen, Opera News praised her “attractive, sultry tone and deftly sculpted phrasing… This was a vocally impressive Carmen, whether in seductive mode… or in furious outbursts of self-assertion.”
As an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Lahyani’s roles and productions with the company included Siegrune in Die Walküre, Sister Marta and The Duenna in Cyrano de Bergerac opposite Plácido Domingo, The Makropulos Case with Karita Mattila, Beppe in Merola Opera Program’s L’Amico Fritz, and the title role in Carmen for Families. Lahyani made her San Francisco Opera main stage debut in summer 2010 as Wowkle in La Fanciulla del West under Nicola Luisotti. In past seasons at San Francisco Opera, Ms. Lahyani performed in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier under conductor Patrick Summers and covered Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia.
Prior her time in San Francisco, the mezzo-soprano was a member of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program where she appeared as Dorabella in Così fan tutte. She has also regularly taken part in The International Vocal Art Institute in Tel Aviv, where she has sung Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible, the title role in Mascagni’s Zanetto, and Charlotte in Werther. Ms. Lahyani received her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Music from the Mannes School of Music in New York.
Her concert work portfolio includes performances as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Nicola Luisotti, Ravel’s Shéhérazadewith the Jerusalem Symphony, Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, and the alto soloist in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with Kurt Masur and the San Francisco Symphony.
Ms. Lahyani was a 2010 grand finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a 2008 finalist in the Joy in Singing Competition. She has been awarded scholarships by the San Francisco Foundation, the America-Israeli Cultural Foundation, the Ronen Foundation, and the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute.
“Maya Lahyani is a born Carmen. The demands of the role lie smoothly on her voice and she has strong resonance all across its range. Most of all, she created a charismatic figure that held the attention of every member of the audience. For a young singer who had only performed the title role of Carmen in two previous productions, her grasp of its intricacies was amazing.”
“If there were ever a mezzo-soprano perfectly suited to sing Carmen, it is Israeli-born Maya Lahyani, who combines a voice to die for with acting ability, beauty and stage presence. She is one of the few Carmens I have seen who makes Don Jose’s and Escamillo’s infatuation entirely believable.”
“Maya Lahyani, the mezzo-soprano who sang the title role, brings both vocal suppleness and an alluring stage presence to the production, in healthy masure. Her two first-act showpieces, the “Habanera” and “Sequidilla,” were magnificently sultry, and her account of the dark, second act card aria, “En vain pour éviter,” touched on Carmen’s tragic side without overstating it.”
“Omar, the fourth Palestinian, was apparently written as a trouser role for a mezzo-soprano; in this case, dancer Jesse Kovarsky threw his body into contortions of despair (choreography by Arthur Pita), as Maya Lahyani, here identified as Palestine Woman, sang the part with a dark, well-rounded tone.”