Soprano (Old Saybrook, Connecticut)
Debut: Wood Nymph, Rusalka, 1993
Repertory: Violetta (Traviata)
I am so excited about this – I met Mary when we worked with the same coach. Always upbeat, cheerful and friendly – I am thrilled for her to finally get more exposure! I have followed her career for years and she has grown steadily as an artist, singer and actress through out the many roles she has taken on.
This is one of her favorite roles – she has sung it many times all over the world and has only ever been second casts in it at the MET and she deserves more than that !
“I love how real Verdi feels to me. I learn so much about myself in whatever role I sing, but particularly with his music.” That kind of self-discovery is one of the most important byproducts of the intensive work she does with her longtime acting coach, Hank Hammett of Southern Methodist University. “Hank and I have spent countless hours focusing on what I can bring to a role that makes it both authentic for the character, yet uniquely my own. Violetta is a perfect example of this. Her story, of course, is always the same on paper – but my goal is to tell it in a way that seems totally new each night. To do that, you have to make choices based on whatever is happening to the character in the moment, and those choices are colored and nuanced by my experiences, my life. She changes and grows with me as I change and grow, and I hope she’ll continue to do so.”
“When I’m so deeply connected to a role like this, I like to think it’s something that the audience can definitely feel. That somehow, what I’m finding out about myself is something they can find out about themselves as well. Verdi has taken me on some amazing journeys, and I’m glad so many people have been there to share them with me.” [marydunleavy.com]
and from a recent article on the Opera Online Us website:
…she cherishes the roles she still enjoys, like Violetta (“I love the dramatic path she takes, the libretto is beautiful and real, and of course the music is divine.”); and covets the role of Manon. (“Anyone who knows my career just a little bit is aware that my dream role is Manon. It seems like a great fit for me musically and dramatically.”)