A Grand Finals winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a winner of the 2016 Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Prize from Opera Theatre of St Louis, and a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, soprano Sydney Mancasola has been praised by the New York Times for her “lovely lyric soprano and radiant high notes.” Ms. Mancasola’s 2017–2018 season sees her return to the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt with roles including Gilda in Rigoletto, the Italian Singer in Capriccio, and Niece in Peter Grimes. Ms. Mancasola will also return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for her role debut as Violetta in La Traviata, marking the directing debut of Patricia Racette.
The 2016–2017 season saw Ms. Mancasola join the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt with roles including Musetta in La Bohème, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Onoria in Ezio, Fido in a new production of Britten’s Paul Bunyan, and soprano soloist in a new production of Betulia liberata. Ms. Mancasola also made her house and role debut as Gilda in the Jonathan Miller production of Rigoletto at English National Opera, of which The Guardian wrote “her flawless coloratura and dreamy trills [are] one of the evening’s great performances.”
Operatic highlights include her European debut with Komische Oper Berlin as the heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Pamina in the Barrie Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte, and Servilia in a concert performance of La clemenza di Tito. Additional highlights include her company debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as Comtesse Adèle in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory and return to the company in the title role of Manon; her return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Lisette in Puccini’s La Rondine; her company debut with Palm Beach Opera as Marie in La fille du régiment and her role debut as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles with Florida Grand Opera.Read more
Additional roles in Ms. Mancasola’s repertoire include Adele in Die Fledermaus with Brevard Music Center; Cunégonde in Candide with Oberlin Opera Theatre; and Zdenka (cover) in Arabella with Santa Fe Opera. Roles at AVA included Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Despina in Così fan tutte, and Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande.
The concert stage has seen Ms. Mancasola in performance with the San Francisco Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, Eugene Symphony Orchestra for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung conducted by Danail Rachev, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Sun Valley Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, Strauss’s Brentano-Lieder, and Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Michael Rossi. She was also featured as a guest soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate with the 2012 international music festival Calí de Camara in Colombia.
Honors and awards include Top Prize Winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, 2nd Prize and Audience Favorite at the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and 1st Prize in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition. Ms. Mancasola is an alumna of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, where she received the Judith Raskin Memorial Award for Singers, as well as the Gerdine Young Artist program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Brevard Music Center.
Ms. Mancasola began her musical training as a classical violinist in her home state of California and went on to study voice at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in 2011 and was the recipient of the Margot Bos Standler Scholarship.
“Only Sydney Mancasola is in any way special as Gilda. The finest actor of the three, she is radiant and glittering in the more stratospheric writing.”
“Sydney Mancasola brings a shyly glinting soprano to Gilda.”
“The unforced grace with which Sydney Mancasola delivers Gilda’s arias is a delight.”
“Her combination of deep-colored voice, solid technique, and general sense of fun was something any right-minded opera company would jump at.”
David Patrick Stearns
“Californian Sydney Mancasola sang a bewitchingly full-voiced and vocally agile Leïla. A highly engaging singer and actress, Mancasola made us feel the priestess’s panic in “J’étais encore enfant” before she soared to coloratura heights in “Comme autrefois.””
“Sydney Mancasola was an enchanting Manon, her soprano radiant and glittering in the display writing, and offering a surprising dose of lyric weight in mid-range. ”
“Sydney Mancasola sings Lisette, and she nearly stole the show for me. Her performance is strong, bright and sassy – filled with enormous confidence. Her voice is sweet and clear and her diction superb. In the end Lisette, whose theatre career was a one-night catastrophe, also becomes a swallow, returning to her home as Magda’s servant.”
“The radiant, svelte and beautiful Mancasola has charm to burn, possessing a voice like fine china, boasting solid technique and effortless pliability in her assignments. Warding off the evil spirits for the fishermen, she navigated the tremendous vocal leaps and runs in the Italian bel canto style “O Dieu Brahma” with confidence, command and suppleness, energizing the crowd at the close of Act One.”
“Soprano Mancasola is worth the price of admission alone. ”
“As Leila, the woman with whom both men are in love, the young American soprano Sydney Mancasola, a Grand Finals winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, gave a full-voiced, committed performance. She adroitly and elegantly handled the complex coloratura of “O, dieu Brahma,” never letting the difficult runs and ornaments interfere with the aria’s lyricism. Throughout, she sang with a rich, focused, gleaming voice. But more than that, she showed a gift for infusing the character’s emotion into every moment, her voice turning urgent and fearful as she recalls the terror of an angry mob bursting into her house when she was a child, or when her voice radiates gladness as she realizes Nadir is nearby. She made the most of every moment, singing with a sorrowful intimacy as she handed one of the villagers her necklace before what she believed would be her execution.”
“Her gleaming top range and effervescent lightness spun “Salut a La France” with just the right Gallic touch. Mancasola was even more effective in Marie’s two slower, more inward arias. She brought out the sadness and heartbreak at being parted from her beloved Tonio in her poignant aria near the end of the first act. Mancasola’s rich lower voice shone to impressive effect in the heroine’s second act ballad of despair as Marie longs to escape from the Bavarian chateau of the Marquise of Berkenfield.”
“Magda’s maid, Lisette, is a delightful role. Sydney Mancasola sings Lisette, and she nearly stole the show for me. Her performance is strong, bright and sassy – filled with enormous confidence. Her voice is sweet and clear and her diction superb.”
“Sydney Mancasola’s Marie was a slim, petite hoyden that emanated the charm that makes her character so beloved. Her buoyant personality matched her lovely voice as she easily moved from the boisterous “Chacun le sait” and the lesson scene trio to the deeply felt “Il faut partir” and (especially) “Par le rang.” ”
“California soprano Sydney Mancasola raced up and down two-and-a-quarter octaves with no more apparent effort than tipping a row of dominoes, each note leading smoothly to the next.”
“Rising star Sydney Mancasola offered cascades of spot-on vocalizing as the Countess Adele. The silvery soprano seemed to gain in heft after her spectacularly sung entrance aria, and her immaculate coloratura was matched by her poised stage presence. ”
“Her soprano was pitch-perfect and clear, and her emotions were honest and evident in her expressions and body language throughout the opera. While Mélisande can seem somewhat silly and simple, Mancasola portrayed her without irony, which actually added to the character’s effectiveness.””
“The big discovery, for me, was soprano Sydney Mancasola…with a voice that’s bright, focused, accurate, and projects an air of effortlessness, partly thanks to the solidity of her vocal technique, partly due to her comfort level onstage. She sashayed around as if she owned the place. And she did.”