Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix: Samson et Dalila (Camille Saint-Saëns)
Megan Esther Grey, contralto
Derrek Goff, piano
Filmed and recorded by Conduit Studios
A recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, contralto Megan Esther Grey is quickly gaining attention in roles large and small across the United States. In the summer of 2021, Ms. Grey returned to Wolf Trap Opera as Nellie Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert. Future engagements include her debut in the title role of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with UNT Opera and a concert production of Verdi’s Otello where she will portray Emilia under the baton of Maestro David Itkin leading the UNT Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2022, Ms. Grey will join the Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde.
Throughout the disrupted 2020-2021 season Ms. Grey performed in multiple recitals in collaboration with pianist Matthew Gemmill with whom she premiered a song cycle entitled Ugly People by American composer Philip Wharton with texts by Carl Sandburg which went on to receive 2nd Place in the 2021 NATS Art Song Composition Awards. In April of 2021, she was joined by pianist Mark Bilyeu and trombonist Derek Bromme for performances of Libby Larsen’s Mary Cassatt and Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. This multimedia recital featured paintings by Mary Cassatt, as well as mixed media prints by Mer Brich and an animated script by Alexandra Saulsbury.
While her appearance as Carolina in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers with Wolf Trap Opera was canceled due to COVID19, Ms. Grey was able to return to Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Artist during the summer of 2020 where she appeared in the “Into the Woods” project as Fricka in Die Walküre and as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel.
The 2019-2020 season marked large milestones for Ms. Grey, including her Metropolitan Opera debut as Kate Pinkerton in the Anthony Minghella production of Madama Butterfly and appearances as 2nd Lady in Julie Taymor’s The Magic Flute. In February of 2020, she made her recital debut in the prestigious Park Armory Recital Series singing Mahler’s Rückert Lieder and selections from Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.
Ms. Grey’s summer of 2019 saw rave reviews for her debuts at Wolf Trap Opera as Der Trommler in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Hippocratine in Gluck’s L’île de Merlin. Having sung “impressively and with notable flexibility” (Anne Midgette, Washington Post), she was also praised for demonstrating “remarkable calm while projecting power as the island’s doctor… and she showed some good moves coming down the slide” (OperaGene). Of her appearance as Der Trommler, Opera News remarked, “…Grey sounded like a Wagnerian-in-waiting, her tone steely and secure.”
Ms. Grey has also made a mark on the West Coast as a participant in the prestigious Merola Opera Program in the summer of 2018. Her voice described as “potent and precise” (SFChronicle), she was also lauded for her performances in the Schwabacher Summer Series, especially as her portrayal of Erika from Samuel Barber’s Vanessa.
Distinguished in competition, Ms. Grey was a Grand Finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2018, a winner of Opera Index’s Walter’s Award in 2018, 2nd place winner in 2016’s Classical Singer vocal competition, a 2016 Presser Scholarship recipient, and the 2015 winner of the St. Paul Schubert Club’s annual Scholarship Competition.
Originally from Cedar Falls, Iowa, Ms. Grey completed both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the University of Northern Iowa.