MARIETTA SIMPSON (mezzo-soprano), one of the most sought-after mezzo-sopranos on the music scene today, is greatly admired for the rich beauty of her deeply expressive voice. A native of Philadelphia, she graduated from Temple University and received her Master's Degree in Music from the State University of New York. She began her operatic training at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton and then became a member of the Houston Opera Studio.

She has gone on to sing with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle and with all the major orchestras in the U.S., including the New York Philharmonic (Mendelssohn's Elijah and Bach's St. John Passion under Kurt Masur), Philadelphia Orchestra (Mahler's Symphony No. 2) and the Cleveland Orchestra (Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Jahja Ling, Bach's St. Matthew Passion under Christoph von Dohnányi). Marietta Simpson has worked with many of the world's great conductors, including the late Robert Shaw, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Charles Dutoit, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Robert Page and Günther Herbig.

She has performed at Carnegie Hall (Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with Mr. Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony, Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Bethlehem Bach Choir), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Porgy and Bess, which was also filmed for British television), New York City Opera, the Houston Grand Opera (role of Commère in Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts), Boston's Symphony Hall (Handel's Elijah under Christopher Hogwood), the Kennedy Center (Dvorak's Stabat Mater under Robert Shafer) and at festivals such as the Lincoln Center Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Grand Teton Festival (Verdi's Requiem under Eiji Oue), Oregon Bach Festival (Dvorak's Stabat Mater under Helmuth Rilling), Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival (Mahler's Symphony No. 2), Florida Philharmonic's Beethoven Festival (Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony under James Judd), Prague Festival and the Brno Festival (Mahler's Kindertotenlieder) and the Ojai Festival (Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges and Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tiresias with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle). Marietta Simpson has gone on tour in Europe with Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony in concert performances of Porgy and Bess, as well as in Poland, Germany and Russia with Helmuth Rilling and the Stuttgart Bachakademie Orchestra and Chorus.

She can be seen on Video Artists International's complete version of Handel's Messiah with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony. Her other recordings with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Shaw on the TELARC label include Vivaldi's Gloria, Bach's Magnificat, Schubert's Masses #2 and #6, Beethoven's Mass in C and Bach's Mass in B Minor, Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, Szymanowski's Stabat Mater and Dvorak's Stabat Mater. She can also be heard on the EMI recording of Porgy and Bess, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Marietta Simpson's season highlights for 2001-2002 included engagements with the Columbus Symphony (Mozart's Requiem), the Indianapolis Symphony under James Judd (Bernstein's Jeremiah Symphony), the Baltimore Symphony under Yuri Temirkanov (Shostakovich's From Jewish Folk Poetry), the Saint Louis Symphony under Hans Vonk (Mozart's Requiem), the San Antonio Symphony under Enrique Arturo Diemecke (Mozart's Requiem), the Detroit Symphony and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan (Messiah), the Cleveland Orchestra under Robert Porco (Messiah), the Oregon Symphony (Porgy and Bess), the Grand Rapids Symphony under David Lockington (Mahler's Symphony No. 3), the Florida Philharmonic under James Judd (Elijah), Dallas Symphony under Andrew Litton (Missa Solemnis), the Greenville Symphony (Verdi's Requiem) and a New Year's Eve concert with the New York Philharmonic under John Eliot Gardiner (Beethoven's Ninth Symphony). Marietta Simpson will also perform in recital at Philadelphia's new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

In the spring of 1994, Temple University awarded her its Certificate of Honor as a distinguished alumnus, and Philadelphia's National Political Congress of Black women presented her with their second annual Chisholm Award as an outstanding African-American woman in music.

 
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