Mary Hegarty

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Mary Hegarty was born in Cork and studied at the Cork School of Music and at the National Opera Studio in London. She broadcasts regularly with the BBC and RTE and performs frequently on concert and recital platforms throughout Europe.

Recent and future engagements include the Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring for Opera North‚ Buxton Festival Opera and at the Birgitta Festival‚ Tallinn‚ the title role in Bizet’s Fair Maid of Perth at the Buxton Festival‚ Dee O’Hara in Jonathan Dove’s TV opera Buzz on the Moon‚ Gilda in Woody Allen’s movie Match Point and Gretel Hansel and Gretel with Reisopera‚ the title role The Merry Widow in Cork‚ Dorinda Orlando with Opera Theatre Company in Dublin and Ortensia Mirandolina at Garsington in addition to her countless concert appearances‚ which include Schoenberg 2nd String Quartet with RTE Vanbrugh Quartet‚ a gala concert with the Fleischmann Choir and Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra and Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Irish Youth Choir and The New Jersey Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Mary has appeared as Elvira Italian Girl in Algiers and Norina Don Pasquale for ENO‚ where she has also appeared in The Fairy QueenAriadne auf NaxosThe Magic FlutePeter GrimesCarmen and The Silver Tassie. Roles at Opera North have included Susanna Marriage of Figaro‚ Colombina Jewel Box‚ Laula L’Etoile‚ title role HKGruber’s Gloria and Leonore Masquarade‚ Elisa Il Re Pastore‚ Ninetta Thieving Magpie‚ Lisette La Rondine and Adina L’Elisir d’amore. She sang Fiorilla Il Turco in Italia at Garsington‚ Susanna Figaro for Opera Ireland and Grange Park Opera and Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and at Garsington‚ Adina L’Elisir for Opera Northern Ireland‚ Nanetta Falstaff with City of Birmingham Touring Opera and Cherubino Figaro with Opera Factory‚ Phyllis Iolanthe at Grange Park‚ Flight Controller Flight at the Adelaide Festival‚ with Reisopera in Holland and with Vlaamse Opera‚ 1st Niece Peter Grimes at La Monnaie and in Bilbao‚ Frasquita Carmen at Glyndebourne‚ in Tenerife and on BBC TV‚ Nedda I Pagliacci at the Royal Albert Hall‚ Clorinda La Cenerentola for Opera Zuid‚ Micaela at Castleward and with Opera 2005 in Cork and Francesca Zambello’s production of The Little Prince for BBC. Concerts have been widely varied with such works as Messiah (Royal Albert Hall)‚ Carmina Burana (Barbican and Royal Festival Hall)‚ the premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Eternal Recurrence for BBC Radio3‚ solo recitals in Ireland and a series of large-scale gala concerts with Carl Davis.

Recordings include a solo album A Voice is Calling‚ the title role in Patience and Eurydice Orpheus in the Underworld with the D’Oyly Carte (Sony)‚ Silver Tassie (ENO) and Frasquita Carmen (Chandos). Abroad‚ she has sung in the Batignano and Aix en Provence festivals and Messiah with the Orchestre Nationale de Belgique.

Albert Herring‚ Buxton Festival

Mary Hegarty’s lively Miss Wordsworth‚ plunging her hand accidentally into the trifle...

Opera Magazine (September 2017)

...Mary Hegarty delightful as the schoolteacher‚ Miss Wordsworth.

Manchester Theatre Awards (July 2017)

Albert Herring‚ Opera North

William Dazeley and Mary Hegarty shine as vicar and schoolmistress

Financial Times (May 2013)

Each character comes alive without exaggeration or caricature...William Dazeley and Mary Hegarty shine as vicar and schoolmistress

Financial Times (May 2013)

Mary Hegarty’s bright-toned coloratura‚ bird’s nest hair-do and thick-rimmed specs give the village school teacher Miss Wordsworth an endearing primness

Opera Britannia (May 2013)

...the committee of local dignitaries – Mary Hegarty‚ William Dazeley‚ Graeme Danby‚ Joseph Shovelton – was nicely etched

The Telegraph (May 2013)

Mirandolina‚ Garsington Festival

As two actresses posing as Countesses‚ the extravagantly caparisoned Mary Hegarty & Jean Rigby almost stole a show that plot-wise could have managed perfectly without them

Opera Magazine (August 2009)

Mary Hegarty and Jean Rigby’s characters...relished the opportunity for humour‚ acting quite brilliantly

Seen & Heard International (July 2009)

Mary Hegarty and Jean Rigby as two "actresses" supply most of the comedy

The Guardian (June 2009)

Mary Hegarty and Jean Rigby‚ as the two old-pros of the boards were absolutely hilarious and seemed to be having as much fun as their cavorting indicated

Musical Pointers (June 2009)

...and Mary Hegarty and Jean Rigby (as a pair of silly passing actresses) all turn in accomplished performances

The Telegraph (June 2009)

...and two actresses on the make (Mary Hegarty‚ Jean Rigby‚ both excellent)

The Times (June 2009)

Carmen‚ Castleward Opera

She provided a charming Micaela.

Opera Magazine (August 2005)

The Thieving Magpie‚ Opera North

Centre stage was taken in more ways than one by the delightful Mary Hegarty‚ vocally radiant as the falsely accused thief Ninetta...Ninetta sang her heart out.

Eastern Daily Press (April 2005)

Mary Hegarty is vocally agile as the spirited Ninetta.

Irish Times (April 2005)

Hers is a voice in its prime and a wonder to experience.

The Leeds Guide (March 2005)

The performances are flawless‚ especially the aria between Ninetta (Mary Hegarty)‚ her father‚ Fernando (Jonathan Best) and the mayor (Robert Poulton).

BBC - South Yorkshire (February 2005)

There is a great central performance from Mary Hegarty as Ninetta - a thrillingly sung‚ wonderfully acted portrait of a feisty woman whose spirit is gradually broken by traumas from which she may never recover.

The Guardian (February 2005)

Mary Hegarty’s portrayal of Ninetta is superb. Her voice is incredible and despite Ninetta’s role as the idealised archetype of wrong chaste maiden‚ the humanity of her character is touchingly delivered.

Leeds Student (February 2005)

Special mention must go to Mary Hegarty for an impressive performance as Ninetta.

Leeds Weekly News (February 2005)

Heading a spirited cast‚ Mary Hegarty repeats the central role she first played in 1999‚ and an engaging and powerful job she makes of it.

Metro (February 2005)

Ninetta is sung quite Mary Hegarty‚ who is also a most winning actress....the march to execution is stunning‚ Hegarty at her finest.

The Spectator (February 2005)

Mary Hegarty’s Ninetta was sympathetically played and well-articulated.

The Telegraph (February 2005)

Mary Hegarty’s beautifully phrased Ninetta‚ sung with with some impeccable coloratura‚ is the precursor of Verdi’s wracked heroines.

The Times (February 2005)

Mary Hegarty’s sparkling coloratura combined with a dramatic intensity make for a Ninetta that can inhabit both the comic and tragic worlds of the piece.

Yorkshire Evening Post (February 2005)

The excellent Mary Hegarty‚ both vocally and dramatically‚ ideally characterises the very different person she becomes when she relies on religion to strengthen her to the inevitable sentence.

Yorkshire Post (January 2005)

I Pagliacci‚ Gubbay/Royal Albert Hall

Mary Hegarty’s Nedda sounded gorgeous

The Guardian (September 2002)

Carmen‚ Glyndebourne

Mary Hegarty (Frasquita)...all make their mark.

The Times (July 2004)

Mary Hegarty a sparky Frasquita.

Independent on Sunday (August 2002)

With the adorable Mary the heroine’s friends‚ the top lines of the Act II quintet and the big finales are in luxurious throats.

Sunday Times (August 2002)

There was a stylish double-act from Mary Hegarty and Christine Rice as Frasquita and Mercedes.

Daily Telegraph (July 2002)

Mary Hegarty and Christine Rice make a lively couple as Fransquita and Mercedes.

New York Times (July 2002)

L’Elisir d’Amore, Opera North

Mary Hegarty was typically spirited in the role of Adina‚ threading a nonchalant way through her coloratura‚ but with a veneer of hard-nosed‚ business circumspection in her dealings with her lovelorn waiter‚ Nemorino. She gradually melted in the heat‚ and her voice lost its early edge‚ to sweet effect.

Opera Magazine (March 2001)

Mary Hegarty makes a near-perfect choice for sparkling Adina with the heart hard as a diamond and sings with a nonchalant brilliance.

Financial Times (January 2001)

Mary Hegarty sings Adina’s music with witty elegance; she too transforms herself convincingly‚ from condescending rich kid into insecure sexual vamp‚ without missing a trick.

The Guardian (January 2001)

...played with great delicacy and intelligence...Mary Hegarty is the real star of this show. Her vocal timbre is ideal for the role. She surmounts its difficulties with confidence‚ and brings to it a fine expressive range.

The Independent (January 2001)

She looks and sounds every inch the part of Adina. Bossy one minute‚ vulnerable the next‚ she has the whole town wrapped around her finger. Why‚ even Dulcamara perks up at the sight of her. Hegarty attacks her music with gusto.

The Observer (January 2001) pert and as sharp-voiced as a girl who finally melts can be...Hegarty is a winning artist‚ even when she is being bitchy.

The Spectator (January 2001)

Mary Hegarty’s Adina is a starry portrayal vocally.

Sunday Telegraph (January 2001)

As Hotel Adina’s proprietress‚ the Cork-born soprano Mary Hegarty has a whale of a time: her bright‚ silvery timbre suggests the brittleness of the character‚ but there is sufficient warmth in her singing to make her change of heart plausible at the end. She is one of those rare artists who infuses technically demanding coloratura with sparkling‚ insouciant wit‚ and she is touching when she releases Nemorino from his military commission.

Sunday Times (January 2001)

... played with great delicacy and intelligence‚.this Adina‚ from brittle beginnings‚ seems to grow younger as well as warmer as the evening goes on.... Hegarty is‚ though‚ the real star of this show. Her vocal timbre is ideal for the role. She surmounts its difficulties with confidence‚ and brings to it a fine expressive range.

The Independent (January 2001)

Mary Hegarty’s sweet-toned Adina.

The Stage (January 2001)

As Adina‚ Mary Hegarty was aptly tart in personality and clean of vocal line.

Daily Telegraph (December 2000)

Hegarty knows just how to win the audience...projects the part with such warmth that it’s easy to believe that her taunting exterior hides a heart if not of gold then at least of pewter.

The Times (December 2000)

La Rondine‚ Opera North

Mary Hegarty sparkled as Lisette.

The Independent (October 2000)

Mary Hegarty shining as Magda’s stagestruck maid Lisette.

Sunday Telegraph (October 2000)

Mary Hegarty and Wynne Evans carry the sub plot with wit and verve‚ lavishing a vocal security and sweetness of tone upon their every utterance.

The Stage (October 2000)

Mary Hegarty’s delicious Lisette

The Sunday Times (October 2000)

Mary Hegarty gives a gorgeous performance as the maid‚ Lisette‚ with the admirable Jonathan Best as Rambaldo showing just how to play a key supporting role without detracting from the major characters.

Yorkshire Post (October 2000)

Hear and Now‚ BBC

My prize for best broadcast performance of the week goes to the Irish coloratura soprano Mary Hegarty‚ who was a joy in Gerald Barry’s new Nietzsche setting‚ The Eternal Recurrance. Flinging her voice about in Barry’s wild leaps‚ she still sounded sweet and human.

The Independent (June 2000)

The Eternal Recurrence‚ Ulster Orchestra

Mary Hegarty was the soprano soloist in the specially commissioned Nietzsche-setting‚ The Eternal Recurrence. .... The piece‚ for a singer with an endless and effortless supply of high Cs‚ rather embeds the text in an orchestral blaze characterised by almost relentless exuberance. ...Mary Hegarty showed the temperament and technical resource to give to the music without stint.

Irish Times (June 2000)

Die Entführung aus dem Serail‚ Garsington Opera

Mary Hegarty had just the right balance between cautious maid and excited lover

Opera Now (November 1999)

Mary Hegarty was the brightest of Blondes‚ adept inpushing around the villainous Osmin.

The Guardian (June 1999)

Mary Hegarty’s feisty Blonde.

The Times (June 1999)

The Thieving Magpie Opera North

Ninetta‚ the maid accused of the magpie’s crime‚ is beautifully played and sung by Irish soprano Mary Hegarty.

Manchester Evening News (January 1999)

Mary Hegarty’s superb performance in the leading role. She catches every mood perfectly‚ progressing from the deliciously scatty‚ lovelorn girl of the opening through to the bewildered woman of the second half‚ her tone growing firmer‚ more heroic in the process‚ her features gradually drained of human feeling. Throughout she uses vocal embellishments with the insight of a true Rossinian‚ and as the end of the scarifying decorations of her verso in the vaudeville finale turn it into a sort of Lucia di Lammermoor Mad Scene contained within a matter of seconds‚ making Duncan’s ending work powerfully.

The Times (January 1999)

In the main role of Ninetta‚ Mary Hegarty was no sugary soft centre. Her personality and singing were bright and keen.

Financial Times (January 1999)

Marriage of Figaro‚ Grange Park Opera

Mary Hegarty’s lively‚ lovable Susanna was the lynchpin.

Opera Magazine (November 1998)

there was a strong Susanna from Mary Hegarty

Independent on Sunday (July 1998)

Mary Hegarty as a thoughful and sweet-toned Susanna

Sunday Times (July 1998)

Mary Hegarty was an utterly delicious Susanna

The Times (July 1998)

Seraglio‚ Glyndebourne Touring Opera

The most winning performances come from Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts’s Pedrillo and Mary Hegarty’s sexy‚ gloriously sung Blonde‚ Constanze’s irrepressible maid.

The Express (October 1997)

Don Pasquale‚ ENO

Subtlety and depth characterise Mary Hegarty’s deliciously tough and sexy Norina

The Stage (July 1997)

Mary Hegarty’s Norina is alone worth the price of a ticket. Her singing is as witty as her impersonation‚ her diamond-bright coloratura as warm as it is sparkling‚ and no one can ever have told a rosary on the Coliseum stage with such eloquence. In a word‚ irresistible.

The Times (June 1997)

Turco in Italia‚ Garsington Opera

As the flirt‚ Fiorilla‚ Mary Hegarty shines out‚ a winning minx dashingly confident in her coloratura.

The Guardian (June 1996)

Mary Hegarty sang Fiorilla’s music with needle-fine accuracy

The Times (June 1996)

Don Pasquale‚ ENO

Mary Hegarty brought all her talents to bear in a delightfully sung and acted Norina‚ the vocal lines captivatingly fashioned‚ neatly and elegantly turned‚ with vivacious spirit and accomplishment.

Opera Magazine (May 1996)

The best thing about it is Mary Hegarty in ice-cool‚ aerially bright voice as Norina.

The Independent (March 1996)

Mary Hegarty’s strong-willed Norina. Her pleasing soprano has firmed up a treat. She confidently whizzes around the staves‚ decorates nonchalantly‚ sings off the words with style and clarity.

The Stage (March 1996)

L’Elisir D’Amore‚ Opera Northern Ireland

Cork soprano Mary Hegarty confirmed her reputation as one of Ireland’s top sopranos. Her Adina was sung beautifully.

Irish News (March 1995)

It is equally amazing to discover that Cork soprano debut as Adina‚ a role Donizetti might has written with her in mind. Her lively stage presence and superb singing‚ lyrically liquid with a colouratura encompassing a high E flat‚ revealed her as a natural in the part; she brought a real depth of characterisation to the role.

The Tribune (March 1995)

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