Mezzo-Soprano

Samantha Hankey

Winner: Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018
Winner
: Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions 2017
Winner: Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition 2017

Resident artist at the Merola Opera Program 2017 where she performed the title role in La Cenerentola.

Credit: Dario Acosta

Introduction

American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey is quickly making a name for herself at home in the US and abroad.

Highlights of recent seasons include her role and house debuts as Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Den Norske Opera and as Siébel Faust at the Grand Théâtre de Genèvthe, the title role in Handel’s Agrippina at The Juilliard School, and Varvara in Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Káťa Kabanová.

In the 2018/19 season, Samantha will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Pantalis Mefistofele, and returns to the Met throughout the year in Adriana Lecouvreur, Carmen, Das Rheingold, Götterdämmerung, and Rigoletto. She will also make her company debut at Opernhaus Zürich as Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro. In addition to these debuts, Samantha will cover the title roles in Agrippina at the Bayerische Staatsoper and the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie at the Metropolitan Opera.


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  • More info  
    07 Feb 18 GOUNOD Faust (Siébel)
    Grand Théâtre de Genève

    “…il permet de découvrir les beaux moyens de la jeune mezzo-soprano américaine Samantha Hankey, avec son joli vibrato et sa profonde musicalité.”

    “…letting one discover the beautiful ways of the young American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, with her lovely vibrato and profound musicality.”
    José Pons, Olyrix, 3 February 2018

    “L’occasion d’apprécier la musicalité et le joli timbre de la jeune mezzo américaine Samantha Hankey.”

    “The opportunity to appreciate the musicality and beautiful timbre of the young American mezzo Samantha Hankey.”
    Le Monde

    “Angefangen bei Samantha Hankey, die den Siebel mit ihrem frischen Mezzosopran klangschön und makellos gestaltet”

    “Starting with Samantha Hankey whose Siébel sounds beautiful through her vibrant mezzo voice”
    O-ton

    “La mezzo américaine Samantha Hankey s’exprime dans un parfait français, avec une voix chaude et cuivrée, et une présence scénique affirmée…”

    “The American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey expresses herself in perfect French, with a warm and copper-toned voice and a striking stage presence…”
    Emmanuel Andrieu, Opera Online, 19 February 2018

    “Samantha Hankey was an appealing Siébel…”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 4 February 2018

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    11 Jan 18 ROSSINI Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
    Den Norske Opera, Oslo

    “Of the lovers, Samantha Hankey makes the bigger impact as a punk-ish Rosina who is clearly going to be too much of a handful for her hapless and deluded guardian. She sang with power and poise and held the attention even on a crowded stage.”
    Owen Davies, Plays to See, 11 January 2018

    “Hankey’s mezzo-soprano has a gorgeous dark tint to it…”
    Aksel Tollåli, BachTrack, 17 October 2017

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    05 Aug 17 ROSSINI La Cenerentola (Angelina)
    Merola Opera Program, San Francisco

    “It is this Cinderella figure whose goodness radiates through the opera and Merola scored a triumph by casting Samantha Hankey, a light mezzo-coloratura whose temperament and technique seem ideal for this assignment. The voice is lushly distinctive in the lower register, and as the finale confirmed, fluent and expansive in coloratura forays”
    Allan Ulrich, Opera News, 5 August 2017

    “Pride of place, however, goes to mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey for her interpretation of the role of Angelina, aka Cenerentola… Samantha Hankey reveals glorious tone, impressive high notes, and superb vocal technique. Her coloratura is a thing of beauty! Moreover, Hankey is a fine actress, one who dramatically portrays the goodness, innocence and graciousness of her Cinderella character. Samantha Hankey is definitely a singer to watch!”
    James Roy McBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet

    “That, and true love, which in Rossinian terms means matching cascades of coloratura fireworks. Hankey supplied those in a formidable closing account of “Nacqui all’affanno” — Rossini makes us wait until evening’s end before the prima donna can wow us…”

    Joshua Kosman, SF Gate

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    29 Apr 17 The Dallas Opera Guild Competition
    Dallas

    “During the Finals Round this evening, Ms. Hankey dazzled the audience with renditions of “Parto, parto” from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and “D’amour l’ardente flamme” from La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz.”

    Broadway World News Desk

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    23 Apr 17 JANACEK Katya Kabanova (Varvara)
    The Juilliard School

    “Among these tormented townsfolk Janacek includes two young people who openly embrace their romantic feelings: Kudrjas (the ardent tenor Sam Levine), a self-educated clerk, and Varvara (the beguiling mezzo-soprano Samantha hankey), Katya’s only confidante.”

    Anthony Tomassini/The New York Times

     

    “Samantha Hankey, recently the company’s phenomenal Agrippina, excelled at Varvara’s totally different challenges”
    David Shengold, Opera News, July 2017

     

    “The free-spirited Varvara, Káťa’s confidante, was interpreted by mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, whose lovely, luminous voice will definitely allow her to tackle meatier roles down the road.”

    Edward Sava-Segal, Bach Track

     

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    18 Feb 17 HANDEL Agrippina (title role)
    The Julliard School

    “Two singers gave completely persuasive performances-American mezzo Samantha Hankey and Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński. Hankey zipped through Agrippina’s punishing music with beautiful tone, immaculate prosody and queenly authority”

    F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News

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    01 Feb 16 CAVALLI La Calisto (Diana)
    The Juilliard School

    “Also impressive was his Diana, Samantha Hankey, the most ingenious and economical actor in the cohort of ten singers. A square-shouldered beauty with a maple-flavored mezzo, Hankey was able to indicate with admirable subtlety when she was meant to be the “real” Diana and when she was meant to be the god Giove disguised as Diana. Hankey attacked her “angry” music without sounding harsh or forced and was a lusciously pliant partner in her love scene (as Diana) with Endimione, as well as in her coupling (as Giove in Diana) with the toothsome Calisto of Angela Vallone.”
    F. Paul Driscoll / Opera News

    “Mezzo Samantha Hankey impressed with her ability to differentiate dramatically between her dual roles of Diana and Giove-as-Diana as well as for her burnished, mellow sound…”
    Richard Sasanow / Broadway World

    “Samantha Hankey amazed with a commanding stage presence and with her ability to persuasively differentiate Diana as lover from the severe Diana who is horrified by Calisto’s confession of love.”
    Thomas May / MEMETERIA

    “The afternoon was dominated by a tour-de-force performance by Samantha Hankey as both Diana and Giove transformed into Diana…Hankey, whose Marcellina threatened to steal last spring’s Nozze di Figaro at Juilliard, again revealed a secure, lustrous mezzo which reveled both in Diana’s hesitant dawning love for Endimione and in the disguised Giove’s lusty seduction. She also deftly differentiated the two contrasting personae: the proud, erect goddess of the moon and the brusque, slouching serial seducer distinctly uncomfortable as a woman. One hopes that Juilliard will soon showcase Hankey is a mainstage production… Jakub Józef Orlinski revealed a mellow countertenor (and great guns) as the astral-obsessed shepherd Endimione, and he blended most enchantingly with Hankey in their sensuous “Dolcissimi baci.””
    Christopher Corwin / Parterre Box

    “As Diana and the randy Giove-impersonating-Diana, Samantha Hankey had the largest part and handled it with dramatic smarts and vocal aplomb.”
    David Shengold / Gay City News

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    18 Aug 15 Mozart Così fan tutte
    The Aspen Opera Center

    “As her sister, Dorabella, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey used supple tone that could raise the intensity level when needed. Duets with Dyachek were keenly balanced and beautiful, and her romantic temptation for Guglielmo felt real.”
    Harvey Steiman / The Aspen Times

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    24 Apr 15 Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro
    The Juilliard School

    “Samantha Hankey, in one of the production’s few worthy choices, played Marcellina as an stylish matron rather than the usual harridan, making her eventual embrace of her newly found son all the more plausible.”
    Fred Cohn / Opera News

    “…but the show was nearly stolen by the opulently vigorous Marcellina of Samantha Hankey. Unlike the squawking of aging former Cherubinos we’ve been subjected to in recent years at the Met, she sang the role with a rich full mezzo and pithy flair. Observing the bad old habit of cutting Marcellina’s aria was regrettable as I suspect Hankey would have killed in it.”
    Christopher Corwin / Parterre Box

Repertoire

BIZET
Carmen/Mercédès

CAVALLI
La Calisto/Diana & Diana in Giove

CILEA
Adriana Lecouvreur/Mlle Dangeville*

DOVE
Flight/Minskwoman

GOUNOD
Faust/Siebel

HANDEL
Agrippina/Agrippina
Radamisto/Zenobia

HERTZBERG
The Rose Elf/The Elf

JANACEK
Katya Kabanova/Varvara*

MASSENET
Cendrillon/Le Prince Charmant

MOZART
Così fan tutte/Dorabella
Die Zauberflöte/Zweite Dame
Le nozze di Figaro/Marcellina, Cherubino

RAVEL
L’enfant et les sortilèges/La tasse chinoise

ROSSINI
Il barbiere di Siviglia/Rosina
La Cenerentola/Angelina

VERDI
Rigoletto/Countess Ceprano

WAGNER
Das Rheingold/Wellgunde, Waltraute

Competitions

2018 The Glyndebourne Opera Cup, First Prize
2017 The Metropolitan Opera National Council, Winner
2017 The Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, First Prize
2016 The Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Competition
2016 The Gerda Lissner Foundation Lieder & Song Vocal Competition, Grant
2016 The Richard Tucker Music Foundation, Sara Tucker Study Grant
2016 The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Grant
2016 The Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, Third Prize
2015 Opera Index, The Lissner Charitable Fund Award
2011 & 2015 The Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, First Place