Hailed as “a voice to die for [combined] with acting ability, beauty, and stage presence,” Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani is quickly becoming one of today’s most sought-after international singers. Highlights of recent seasons have included the title role in Carmen at Minnesota Opera, Portland Opera, OnSite Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Las Vegas and PORTOpera as well as Dorothée in Cinderella and Rosette in Manonat the Metropolitan Opera. With Israeli Opera, Ms. Lahyani performed Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, the Page in Salome with Canadian Opera Company, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Berkshire Opera Festival, Hansel in Hansel und Gretel with Opera Fairbanks and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with The Dallas Opera. Concert highlights have included Messiah with Xian Zhang, the Second Maid in Elektra with Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra for Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time under the baton of Alan Gilbert.
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-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Ronen Foundation, and the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute. She received her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Music from the Mannes School of Music in New York.
“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.”
“Maya Lahyani’s velvety mezzo hit the mark as Marchesa Melibea.”
“Maya Lahyani showed a promising dark contralto-colored mezzo as the Polish Marquise Melibea.”
“Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani displayed an unusually rich voice as the Page.”