Peabody Southwell, mezzo-soprano
Lauded by Opera Magazine UK for her “stylistic mastery and ripe, sensual sound” American mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell “is going places” (Los Angeles Times). She most recently appeared as the title role in Handel’s Agrippina with Opera Omaha conducted by Stephen Stubbs in a new production by James Darrah. Other work of the 2013-2014 season has included performances as the Third Lady with Los Angeles Opera in Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute conducted by James Conlon and a concert of Stravinsky with New World Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami and on tour to Chicago.
She also performed a multimedia recital with Schoenberg’s “The Book of the Hanging Gardens” with Mark Robson and the direction of James Darrah at Boston Court in Los Angeles, and a debut with Chicago Opera Theater in her performance of title role in Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires.
She made her debut with Los Angeles Opera in 2013 under the baton of Plácido Domingo in the World Premiere of Dulce Rosa and appeared with James Conlon in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia as a guest artist of Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. A list of all upcoming appearances and projects is available here.
Other recent work includes performances of Peer Gynt with San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, Theater@Boston Court with the new multimedia work Voces en el Polvo, performances as Lotte Lenya in a Kurt Weill cabaret in Maine with pianist/singer Edwin Cahill, her role debut as The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and solo appearances with both the Los Angeles “Pacific Standard Time” art and culture exhibition and The Geffen Contemporary/MOCA.
She made her professional debut with Long Beach Opera as The Fox in Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen in 2009 immediately following her graduation from UCLA. Subsequent engagements with LBO included the experience of more than ten principal roles in four seasons, notably Federico García Lorca in Golijov’s Ainadamar, Ramiro in Vivaldi’s Motezuma, María in Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires and the staged US Premiere of Gavin Bryars’ The Paper Nautilus. Orchestral credits include Steven Loza’s America Tropical, Dalbavie’s Sextine Cyclus, Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été and the World Premiere of Mark Popeney’s Harvest Moon featuring the poetry of her great grandmother: award-winning poet and playwright Jospehine Preston Peabody. Committed to contemporary music, she has premiered and recorded many works by modern composers including Patrick Leonard and The White Oak Dance Project. Trained at NYC’s Herbert Berghof Studios; her work as a voiceover actor can also be heard on PBS.
She was a Western Region finalist in the 2012-13 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a prize winning Western Region finalist in the MONC of 2010-11 after winning in the Los Angeles District both years. She was the winner of the 2009 Atwater Concerto Competition and was a finalist in the 2011 Lotte Lenya Competition.