Shannon Mercer, soprano Shannon Mercer, soprano
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Reviews


2011-2012
Elgar's Glorious Kingdom with the Pax Christi Chorale at Toronto's Koerner Hall
"Toronto soprano Shannon Mercer brought a compelling luminosity to a prolonged solo in "The sun goeth down," at the close of the fourth of The Kingdom's five parts, or movements." (Musical Toronto, 6 May 2012)
 
Mozart's Requiem with the Utah Symphony Orchestra
"The young soloists were all first-rate, but soprano Shannon Mercer stood out with the lyric beauty and surprising power of her voice." (Salt Lake Tribune, 27 April 2012)
 
Handel Cantatas with Tragicomedia in Boston
"Both Mercer and Williams provided a well-balanced performance, reveling in the rich timbres of both their voices, particularly in the lower registers, as in Strozzi's Donna no sŕ che dice, no dice che sŕ. ...Mercer showed remarkable control and flexibility in her glittering upper range, particularly in solo cantatas such as No se emenderá jamás, the only one of Handel's Spanish cantatas, or in duet with Wheeler in Agostino Steffani's Tengo per infallibile. As a duet, both Mercer and Williams fully portrayed the rich operatic drama of the works, be it in the tender moments of at the close of Tengo per infallibile, or the (again) arch Italian drama of Handel's prayer to Cupid, Tacete, ohimč, tacete." (The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 31 January 2012)
 
"Don't Fecking miss it" Shannon in Queen of Puddings' Beckett: Feck It!
"Mercer's a fine singing actor, creating a sensual character sketch in each of the songs and stepping seamlessly into Come And Go as one of its trio." (Now, Feb 23-March 1, 2012)
 
"...performing with panache and verve, ably abetted by trumpeter Michael Fedyshyn. Mercer also gets to act a little (and rather well)... The musical highlight proved to be the ornate, Gaelic folksong "Eleanor a Run," exquisitely sung by Mercer." (Toronto Star, 20 February 2012)

2010-2011
Bach's St. John Passion in Portland with Les Voix Baroques and the Portland Baroque Orchestra
"Ich folge dir gelichfalls was another vocal/instrumental duet, this time between Huggett and soprano Shannon Mercer. It was joyous and spritely, requiring fantastically tricky entrances from both performers. Mercer's diction was glorious and pure and the great power of her voice was unforced, tinged with delicate grace, ringing through the hall and yet feeling somehow as though one were hearing it from inside one's own head." (Oregon Music News, 14 March 2011)
 
"Soprano Shannon Mercer and alto Matthew White (in an exquisite duet with Joanna Blendulf on gamba) made their final desolate arias heartbreaking high points." (The Oregonian, 13 March 2011)
 
A "Musical Banquet" - in recital with Luc Beauséjour for Early Music Voices in Calgary
"She was able to enchant the audience at Christ Church....Mercer was at her melting best here, especially in the wonderful Schlummert ein, an aria to melt the heart every time it is sung." (Calgary Herald, 16 November 2010)
 
In Concert with Tafelmusik in Toronto
"Shannon Mercer [has] a gorgeous, warm, flexible and vibrato-free voice that she manipulates with a master's confidence and musical acumen. In Fra queste ombrose piante, (Under Those Shady Trees), a solo cantata by Conti, Mercer rendered every emotional nuance with conviction. She was also expressive and luminous in a suite from Handel's Il pastor fido (The Faithful Shepherd) that alternated instrumental dances with solo arias." (Toronto Star, 23 September 2010)

2009-2010
'Brilliant' with Les Voix Baroques at Music at Sharon
"Soprano Shannon Mercer - singing better than I'd yet heard her - was the bright, supportive angel… a brilliant Filia ranging with skill and passion from the exuberant vivacity of Filia's first glad daughterly greeting to the tragic lamentation of her inevitable doom." (Globe and Mail, 5 July 2010)
 
Mozart@254 concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Peter Oundjian
"Toronto singer Shannon Mercer has a rare combination of a pure, lyric soprano voice coupled with enough power to fill a large hall. On top of that, she deftly shaped the dramatic arc of this profession of undying love." (Toronto Star, 4 January 2010)
 
Rave reviews for Shannon's Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
"The standout was soprano Shannon Mercer, who not only has a luminous lyric voice, but who sings every word as if she truly means it. She made us want to rejoice greatly, and we were convinced that her redeemer really is alive. The size and acoustics of Roy Thomson Hall are not kind to the smaller, more lithe voices that are best at singing 18th century music, but Mercer fully overcame these obstacles." (Toronto Star, 17 December 2009)
 
"Feathery-voiced soprano Shannon Mercer and honey, warm mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó were their usual excellent selves." (Classical96.3, 20 December 2009)
 
Not the Messiah at London's Royal Albert Hall
"The two Americans from the original cast, Shannon Mercer as Judith and William Ferguson as Brian bringing the house down in their Amourdeus duet and bringing lyrical beauty to their duet in The Final Song." (View London, 26 October 2009)
 
"An operatic sex scene makes the form fit the content, is brilliantly performed by Shannon Mercer and William Ferguson (as Brian), and gets the ovation it deserves." (Times, October 24 2009)
 
Shannon wows once again as Pamina in Opera Lyra Ottawa's The Magic Flute
"Ottawa soprano Shannon Mercer sang Pamina, Tamino's beloved. Along with her beautiful singing, she brought an interpretation to the role that suggested that she would be an ideal spouse for Tamino. The two of them, along with flutist Joanna G'froerer, created a sense of high seriousness, almost sacredness, in the fire and water scene. In this production, the scene was the emotional climax of the opera." (Ottawa Citizen, 14 September 2009)

2008-2009
Purcell's The Faerie Queene with Early Music Vancouver and MusicFest Vancouver
"Mercer was clear as a bell in tone, diction and rhythm, and straightforward in interpretation. Her ornamentation was fleet and precise; it also had a vital, filliping definition. Happiness was Mercer's forte, and her performance did not need to be complicated." (Globe and Mail, 10 August 2009)
 
Shannon Mercer brings her Pamina to Victoria
"Probably the evening's highlight, though, was Shannon Mercer's achingly beautiful performance of Pamina's Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden. Ms Mercer had been impressive even up to that point but this convinced the audience that she was much more than the typical 'Damsel-in-distress.'" (Review Vancouver, April 2009)
 
"Shannon Mercer's Pamina is tender, guileless and, in her moments of anguish, deeply moving." (Victoria Times Colonist, 18 April 2009)
 
"Soprano Shannon Mercer beautifully expressed the shifting emotions of Pamina, a damsel in some distress..." (Monday Magazine, 23-29 April 2009)
 
As Constanza in the Queen of Puddings world premiere of Inês
"Constanza, played by soprano Shannon Mercer, attacked notes with a delicious lightness and a pure, tuned clarity that made it seem like a heavenly light beamed upon her every time she opened her mouth." (Live Music Report, 25 February 2009)
 
Shannon "a lovely Pamina, often touching" in The Magic Flute
"The lead singers and the music itself were the saving of the evening. Soprano Shannon Mercer and tenor Colin Ainsworth were handsome and vocally appealing as the Princess Pamina and the Prince Tamino, the lovers elevated to a nominal wisdom by their fidelity and courage." (Globe and Mail, 1 November 2008)
 
"Indeed, there was much to smile about in Opera Hamilton's production. First and foremost, the singing. How Toronto soprano Shannon Mercer has blossomed since she last sang here five years ago. Beautiful tone, pure and steady, she was a delight in Pamina's plangent aria, Ach, ich fuhl's." (Hamilton Spectator, 1 November 2008)

2007-2008
US Tour of Eric Idle's Not the Messiah
"The duet for Brian and Judith as they are having sex made the simulated orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally seem like a weak test run. Soprano Shannon Mercer and tenor William Ferguson moaned and yelled with increasingly hysterical abandon - all in good Baroque form, you understand." (Houston Chronicle, 18 July 2008)
 
"Shannon Mercer, a shining soprano, was Brian's vocally flexible girlfriend." (LA Times, 4 August 2008)
 
Shannon "soaring beautifully" with Tafemusik
"The best singers in the quartet were Mercer and Ainsworth. Both have bright voices, with fine intonation and an impressive palette of vocal colours at their disposal." (Tafelmusik - Globe and Mail, 10 May 2008)
 
"The soloists were a treat: soprano Shannon Mercer, her lovely lyric voice soaring beautifully through Haydn's demanding musical ornaments" (Tafelmusik - Toronto Star, 8 May 2008)
 
"Breathtaking" in Nova Scotia
"To tell the truth, it was a breathtaking experience... Shannon Mercer, the guest soloist for the afternoon, is a baroque soprano with a voice designed to express the warmth of baroque vocal music in its mid-range as well as the lightness and ice-cracking purity of its highest notes. Mercer sang two contrasting arias from Tamerlano and then returned on the second half to sing three of Henry Purcell's weepiest arias, with heart-rending conviction. Few composers, even given, as here, the right voice, orchestra and conductor, weep as convincingly as Purcell in Fairest Isle (King Arthur), When I Am Laid in Earth (Dido and Aeneas), and the queen of heartbreakers, O Let Me Weep, Forever Weep (The Fairy Queen). Mallon, a truly inspired programmer as well as conductor, wove these arias and the superb Shannon in between movements from Purcell's The Gordian Knot - An Overture, Aire, Minuett and Chacone. Very clever, and very effective." (The Chronicle Herald, 14 April 2008)
 
In Recital with the Women's Musical Club of Toronto
"The program, which ranged from a Mozart concert aria to Claude Vivier, announced an independent and curious mind: There was plenty of repertoire - six ariettas by Bellini; songs by William Walton and Vivier's Hymnen an die Nacht - that rarely gets aired. Mercer approached it all with a fine ear for detail and vocal colour, a fiery temperament and a ready wit. You felt the power of her glowing instrument." (Tamara Bernstein, Globe and Mail, 8 March 2008)
 
Shannon 'brilliant' in Handel's Tamerlano
The biggest surprise was soprano Shannon Mercer as Asteria. She is a very fine singer, but in this role she showed such brilliant acting skills and breath control in the way she used her voice, that she upgraded for me to great singer. (Classical 96.3, February 2008)
 
Bach Cantatas with Early Music Vancouver
"Shannon Mercer has a fresh, flexible voice, very considerable charm and, even for church music, a certain sexiness." (Vancouver Sun, 4 December 2007)
 
In "golden voice" for Baroque Consort recital

"Mercer's voice rang out beautifully in the near-ideal acoustics of St. Giles...her finest moments were in two arias by Johann Krieger. Mercer was sensitive to the nuances of the music and text and avoided the common trap of using the dramatic conventions of later opera. And what a sound she has...the church was filled with Mercer's golden voice." (Ottawa Citizen, 4 November 2007)



Profiles

     

La Scena Musicale,March'11

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Ottawa Citizen, Jan'10

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680 News, Dec'09

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Wholenote, Nov'09

             
     
Ottawa Citizen Style, 2009 spring   Times Columnist, March'09   Hamilton Spectator, Oct'08  
Ottawa Sun, May'07
             
         
Ottawa Life - cover, April'07   Opera Canada, Summer'04        

 


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