One of the brightest stars on stages in the US and abroad, soprano Harolyn Blackwell has been recognized for her expressive and exuberant performances, making a wide and varied career on opera, concert, and recital stages of the world. Following study at The Catholic University of America in her native Washington, DC, Ms. Blackwell’s performing career began on the Broadway stage in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. The transition from musical theater to opera occurred shortly afterward, when she was selected as a finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Since that time, Ms. Blackwell has performed with many of the major national and international opera companies and at festivals around the world, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Aix-en-Provence Festival, and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Ravinia Festival, among others. At the Metropolitan Opera, she has appeared in several productions, including La Fille du Régiment, Un Ballo in Maschera, Le Nozze di Figaro, Manon, Die Fledermaus, and Werther. Ms. Blackwell also starred in the Broadway revival of Bernstein’s Candide in 1997.
Ms. Blackwell’s operatic and symphonic engagements have included appearances under the batons of such renowned conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and Charles Dutoit. She has appeared with many of the most distinguished orchestras in the US and abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, she has appeared with the NHK Symphony, Tokyo, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, and L’Orchestre National de Lyon, among many others.
Ms. Blackwell is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, one of which afforded her the opportunity to study and work in Italy with Renata Tebaldi and Carlo Bergonzi. Others include the Baltimore Opera’s Puccini Foundation Award; the WGN-Illinois Opera Guild’s “Audition of the Air”; two career grants from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation; Alumna of the Year Award from The Catholic University of America; an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Siena College; and most recently, an Honorary Doctorate of Music from George Washington University.