Maya Lahyani

Mezzo-Soprano

Biography

Hailed 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 2019-20 season, Maya Lahyani will return to The Metropolitan Opera for a seventh season to sing Rosette in Manon and Tisbe in La Cenerentola. She will also return to Israeli Opera to sing Sister Helen in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. In concert, she will sing Mary Magdalene in Elgar’s The Kingdom with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and make her London Symphony Orchestra debut in Tippett’s A Child of Our Time under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

Maya Lahyani’s 2018-19 season included performances as Charlotte in Israeli Opera’s new production of Jules Massenet’s Werther. Maya also returned to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Grimgerde in Die Walküre, which was broadcast Live in HD, as well as cover Maddalena in Michael Mayer’s famously vibrant, Las Vegas-themed production of Rigoletto.

Maya Lahyani’s 2017-2018 season included performances as the Second Serving Woman in Elektra under the baton of Yannick Nézét-Séguin and as Dorothée in a new production of Cendrillon at The Metropolitan Opera. She also sang Maddalena in Rigoletto at the Berkshire Opera Festival and covered the role of Dalila in Samson and Dalila at the Dallas Opera.

Ms. Lahyani has appeared at The Metropolitan Opera in numerous roles, including Lola in Sir David McVicar’s production of Cavalleria Rusticana, Omar in John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer under the baton of David Robertson, Flora in Willy Decker’s production of La Traviata, Rosette in Laurent Pelly’s production of Manon conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Kate Pinkerton in Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly, Käthchen in Werther, Third Sprite in Rusalka, Altichiara in Francesca da Rimini, and Fiona in the Met premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. She is the first Israeli-born singer to sing on the Met stage.

Highlights of Ms. Lahyani’s recent seasons also include the title role of Carmen at Opera Las Vegas and PORTOpera, 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 in Dialogues des Carmélites, her return to Seattle Opera as Varvara in a new production of Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová as well as Flora in Peter Konwitschny’s production of La Traviata,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 Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Fairbanks.

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, 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 the baton of Nicola Luisotti. In past seasons at San Francisco Opera, Ms. Lahyani performed in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier under conductor Patrick Summers and covered Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia.

Prior to 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.

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 Shéhérazade with the Jerusalem Symphony, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, the alto soloist in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Kurt Masur and the San Francisco Symphony, Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Charlotte Symphony, and an arias concert with the Sun Valley Opera. Ms. Lahyani was also the featured vocal soloist in a world premiere performance by the Alonzo King LINES Ballet.

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. Ms. Lahyani 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.”

Maria Nockin

Opera Today

“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.”

Christopher Hyde

Maine Classical Beat

“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.”

Allann Kozinn

The Portland Press Herald

“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.”

Susan Elliott

Classical Voices North America

More Reviews

“Maya Lahyani’s velvety mezzo hit the mark as Marchesa Melibea.”

Tim Smith, Opera News 

“Maya Lahyani showed a promising dark contralto-colored mezzo as the Polish Marquise Melibea.”

Anne Midgette, The Washington Post 

“Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani displayed an unusually rich voice as the Page.”

Christopher Hoile, Opera News