Back to Mary-Ellen

Born in Montreal, Canada, of Greek parents, Mary-Ellen Nesi studied in Athens under Misa Ikeutsi and at the Mayer-Lismann Opera Center in London.

She has appeared opera houses such as Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Semperoper Dresden, Frankfurt Opera, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Theater an der Wien, Théâtre de Champs-Elysées Paris, Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg, Opéra de Versailles, The Royal Opera house-Linbury Theater, Teatro Olimpico Rome, Teatro Comunale Florence, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Municipale of Piacenza, Greek National Opera, Thessaloniki Opera, Sao Carlos Opera Lisbon, Teatro de la Maestranza Seville, Wiesbaden Opera, and festivals such as the Spoleto Festival, the Handel Festivals in Göttingen and in Halle, Klangvocal Dortmund, Musikfest Bremen and the festivals in Athens, Cuenca and Santiago de Compostela.

She has an unusual wide range of operatic roles, such as the title role in CARMEN, Adalgisa in NORMA, Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, Giovanna Seymour in ANNA BOLENA, Octavian in DER ROSENKAVALIER, Dorabella in COSI FAN TUTTE, Cherubino in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Ramiro in LA FINTA GIARDINIERA, Orazio in Gluck’s IL TRIONFO DI CLELIA, Orfeo in ORFEO ED EURIDICE, Hänsel in HÄNSEL UND GRETEL, Teresa in LA SONNAMBULA, Lola in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, Maddalena in RIGOLETTO, Tebaldo in DON CARLOS and principal roles in operas by contemporary Greek composers such as Helen of Sparta in Thanos Mikroutsikos’ THE RETURN OF HELEN, Night in Periklis Koukos’ MANUEL SALINAS. Her many roles by Handel include the title roles in SERSE, ORESTE, RODRIGO, FARAMONDO, ALESSANDRO SEVERO, Sesto in GIULIO CESARE, Ruggiero in ALCINA, Andronico in TAMERLANO and Teseo in ARIANNA IN CRETA. Roles by Vivaldi include the title role in ORLANDO FURIOSO, Antiope in ERCOLE SU’L TERMODONTE, Anastasio in GIUSTINO, the title role and Berenice in IL FARNACE and Mitrena as well as Fernando in MOTEZUMA. Other roles in the baroque repertoire include Megacle in Paisiello’s L’OLIMPIADE, Licida in Pergolesi’s L’OLIMPIADE, Ottavia in L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA and Penelope in IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA.

Mary-Ellen Nesi regularly collaborates with prominent conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Frederic Chaslin, Marco Comin, Theodor Currentzis, Alan Curtis, Rubén Dubrovsky, Ottavio Dantone, Marcello Di Lisa, Charles Dutoit, Diego Fasolis, Emmanuelle Haïm, René Jacobs, Julia Jones, Wolfgang Katschner, Peter Kopp, J. Reilly Lewis, Eduardo López Banzo, Paul O’Dette, Andrea Marcon, Miguel Gómez Martínez, Rainer Mühlbach, George Petrou, Federico Maria Sardelli, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Stephen Stubbs, Ivars Taurins and Bruno Weil.

Mary-Ellen Nesi is a much sought-after concert singer. She has an unusually vast repertoire and she frequently appears in concert halls and festivals throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

Recent opera engagements have included Ruggiero in Handel’s ALCINA at the Semperoper Dresden, the title role in Vivaldi’s IL FARNACE at Maggio Musicale Florence, Orazio in Gluck’s IL TRIONFO DI CLELIA at Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Calipso in Porpora’s POLIFEMO at the Theater an der Wien, Ino as well as Juno in Handel’s SEMELE at Opéra de Nice, Penelope in IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA at the Boston Early Music Festival as well as at Staatstheater Darmstadt, Dejanira in Handel’s HERCULES and Sifare in Mozart’s MITRIDATE, RE DI PONTO at Nationaltheater Mannheim, Medarse in Hasse’s SIROE at Opéra de Lausanne, Berenice in Vivaldi’s IL FARNACE at Opéra de Versailles, Maddalena in Handel’s LA RESURREZIONE in Munich, Romeo in I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI, Charlotte in Massenet’s WERTHER, Dorabella in COSI FAN TUTTE and Angelina in LA CENERENTOLA, all at the Greek National Opera.

Engagements in 2017 included Holofernes in Vivaldi’s JUDITHA TRIUMPHANS in New York, Dejanira in Handel’s HERCULES at Nationaltheater Mannheim, Medarse in Hasse’s SIROE at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Ericlea / Melanto / L’humana fragilità in Monteverdi’s IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Le Concert d’Astrée, as well as in Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne with B’Rock Orchestra, Porpora’s GERMANICO IN GERMANIA at Theater an der Wien as well as in Krakow, Stratonica in Scarlatti’s MITRIDATE at the Festival de Beaune, Holofernes in Vivaldi’s JUDITHA TRIUMPHANS in Venice and Telemann’s Brockes-Passion in Hamburg.

Engagements in 2018 has so far included further performance of Dejanira in Handel’s HERCULES at Nationaltheater Mannheim, Medarse in Hasse’s SIROE at the Markgräfisches Theater of Bayreuth,

Her recordings of Handel’s operas include the title roles in Handel’s ORESTE AND ALESSANDRO SEVERO, Teseo in ARIANNA IN CRETA, Andronico in TAMERLANO, Sesto in GIULIO CESARE and Arsace in BERENICE. She has also recorded Cherubino in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Orazio in Gluck’s IL TRIONFO DI CLELIA, Berenice in Vivaldi’s IL FARNACE, Dorisbe in D. Scarlatti’s TOLOMEO ED ALESSANDRO, a solo CD SALVE REGINA, and a CD with the title CHRISTMAS AT SAN MARCO. DVD recordings include Antiope in Vivaldi’s ERCOLE SU’L TERMODONTE and Mitrena as well as Fernando in Vivaldi’s MOTEZUMA.

She is the founder the Opera Festival of Ancient Corinth, which stages operas inspired by ancient Greece in the archaeological site of Ancient Corinth.

July 2018

Monteverdi – IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA / Fortuna / Melanto
Staatstheater Nürnberg
Wolfgang Katschner, conductor

Handel – ARIANNA IN CRETA / Tauride
Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor / Il Pomo d’Oro

Sondheim – COMPANY / Sarah
The Athens and Epidaurus Festival
George Petrou, conductor / Armonia Atenea

Handel – RINALDO / Armida
Festival Castell de Peralada
Dani Espasa, conductor / Vespres d’Arnadi

Greek National Opera
Sebastiano Rolli, conductor

Christoph Schoener, conductor

July 2018