The Knock (world premiere)
Photo: Helio Arts
"sincere delivery" and "plush mezzo"
- Opera Today
Blue (world premiere)
Photo: Connor Lange
Mia Athey, mezzo-soprano, is establishing herself as a multifaceted performer who tells stories through opera, musical theatre, film and writing. She has been hailed by Opera News as "Particularly captivating … whose voice seems so well-suited to slip between speech and song that when she does let loose it is enormously gratifying."
Mia is currently covering J’Nai Bridges in the world premiere of Written in Stone at Washington National Opera in the two operas: Rise by Kamala Sankaram and A.M. Homes and it all falls down by Carlos Simon and Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Then in May, Mia is thrilled to return to Minnesota Opera as a guest artist in Bizet’s Carmen where she will portray Mercédès and cover Carmen for Denyce Graves’ directorial debut, conducted by Elias Grandy.
Last December, Mia participated in the workshop for the world premiere of the musical Show Way at The Kennedy Center, based on the John Newbery award winning children’s book by Jacqueline Woodson and composed by Tyrone L. Robinson. She would have made her musical theatre debut as Auntie at The Kennedy Center in early 2022, but the show was postponed due to the surge of the omicron variant.
In the fall of 2021, Mia was featured in her first opera film with The Glimmerglass Festival portraying Aishah McNair in the world premiere of The Knock by Aleksandra Vrebalov and Deborah Brevoort – a role she created in her first virtual workshop in the fall of 2020. That fall she also participated in the digital world premiere of the Edward Tulane Choral Suite by Paola Prestini with Minnesota Opera.
Mia returned to The Glimmerglass Festival stage in the summer of 2021 as a Young Artist for her third season where she portrayed Pheobe in the world premiere play of The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson starring Denyce Graves, written by Sandra Seaton and composed by Carlos Simon. While at Glimmerglass, she was also featured in the To the World musical theater concert directed by Eric Sean Fogel and conducted by Jim Lowe; sang in the Gods and Mortals Wagner concert conducted by Maestro Joseph Colaneri and covered both 2nd and 3rd Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with English translation by Kelley Rourke.
As a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera from 2019-2021, Mia spent the second half of her first season and her entire second season creating art and music from her Minneapolis apartment during the pandemic. Not letting the pandemic stifle her artistry and with the support of Minnesota Opera, she created a one woman showcase of opera and Broadway favorites which she produced, directed, filmed, choreographed, performed and edited all from her apartment. She virtually participated in Opera in the Outfield, the 2021 Minnesota Opera Virtual Benefit, and covered Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring.
In her first season with Minnesota Opera, Mia portrayed the roles of Maidservant 2 in Elektra. She covered the Minskwoman in Flight, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and was the study cover for Rosina in The Barber of Seville. Before it’s cancellation due to the pandemic, she sang in the chorus and covered Nellie/Fancy Doll #3 for the upcoming world premiere of Edward Tulane.
The summer of 2019 was a time of professional debuts for Mia. As a first-time young artist for The Glimmerglass Festival, she made her operatic debut in the world premiere of Blue as Girlfriend/Congregant #3 while covering the Mother and she made her dancing debut in Show Boat, while singing in the Ensemble and She also covered Susanna in The Ghosts of Versailles. Due to the pandemic, Mia’s second season with The Glimmerglass Festival in 2020 was solely virtual.
In 2020, Mia won the Social Justice Prize in the Opera MODO Detroit Aria Competition: COVID Edition in which she created and edited a music video in her apartment to the aria “Bring my baby back” from the opera Blue.
A native of Hyattsville, Maryland, Mia graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Voice from The Catholic University of America and completed the Music Education Certification Program. She received a Master of Music in Voice from The College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at The University of Cincinnati. In 2018, she won 4th place in the Three Arts Scholarship Fund in the Vocal Music Division.
Other roles performed by Mia include, Tina in Dinner at Eight, the Baroness in Candide, and La Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, L’opinion Publique in Orphée aux enfers and Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette. Concert repertoire includes performances of Stravinksy’s Les Noces, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Neue liebeslieder by Brahms, and Handel’s Messiah.