Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations, English, Irish and Scottish mezzo-soprano Marion Newman “sings with rich, opulent tone, and her delivery pulses with the multiple meanings of her duplicitous existence.” (Opera News) and she has been noted as “a show stealer” (BBC Music Magazine). In her Irish debut with Cork’s Opera-2005 in the title role of Carmen, she was widely praised for her “superbly sinuous sexuality” and “as a very exciting new talent” by the Irish Examiner. She returned to Cork to appear as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Ms. Newman has appeared as Tisbé in Cenerentola, Margret in Wozzeck and Juno in The Tempest with Pacific Opera Victoria, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Vancouver Opera, Cherubino, Cinderella, Flora and Rosina for Opera Lyra Ottawa as well as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana and as Hansel for Opera Hamilton.
Highlights of Marion’s recent seasons include Dr. Wilson in Missing, by Brian Current and Marie Clements, Rosina with Opera Lyra Ottawa at the National Arts Centre, Da Ji in Dora Award-winning Alice Ping-Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan’s The Lesson of Da Ji with Toronto Masque Theatre and the lead role of Noodin-Kwe in the world premiere run of Giiwedin, a First Nations opera by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan. In a recital for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, Marion sang the world premiere of Bigiiwe, by Canadian Ojibway/Odawa composer Barbara Croall. International appearances include performances in the Czech Republic and Germany as Don Ramiro in Mozart’s Die Gärtnerin Aus Liebe and Ericlea in Il Ritorno di Ulisse and a tour in Lithuania with the Ergo Ensemble. As part of the Banff Centre new music programme, she toured France with Richard Dubelski’s What’s Goin’ On.
On the concert stage, Marion has performed with the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Ballet of Canada, Portland Baroque Orchestra, CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble, The Elmer Iseler Singers, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Kingston Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Elora Festival Singers and the St Lawrence Choir. Her extensive repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, De Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Davidde Penitente, Copland’s In The Beginning, Bach’s St. John Passion, Magnificat, and Cantata no. 4. Upcoming performances include a Canada-wide tour of Ancestral Voices, written for Marion by Bramwell Tovey, with the Vancouver Symphony and a appearances with Symphony Nova Scotia, Edmonton Opera and the Victoria Symphony.
Marion has also demonstrated her “luscious mezzo soprano voice and captivating vivacity” on television, having been featured five times as a soloist on CBC’s National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, and opening the 2002 Royal Golden Jubilee Gala at Roy Thomson Hall, where she performed the National Anthem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Marion’s discography includes The Lesson of Da Ji, with Marion in the title role. Released in 2016, this disc won Critics Choice in Opera News. Other recordings include five discs with the Aradia Ensemble for Naxos: Polly by Samuel Arnold, Sacred Music by Vivaldi, and Griselda, also by Vivaldi, Handel’s Rinaldo and Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noel and Te Deum. As well, she recorded Sea Change – featured in the contemporary work Brush Strokes by Linda C. Smith – with Continuum Contemporary Music, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, and Bach’s Cantata no. 4 with the CapriCCio Ensemble, for Virga Recordings.
Marion made her orchestral debut at the age of sixteen with the Victoria Symphony, not as a singer, but as a pianist, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 488 in A Major. She holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Victoria and a Master of Music with Distinction in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.