Described by Theater Mania as a performer who is “worth the price of admission alone” (Nutcracker Rouge-Company XIV), and by Opera News as giving the “best all-around performance” (Handel’s Ariodante – The Princeton Festival), soprano Marcy Richardson has brought the art of marrying aerial arts, pole dancing, and burlesque with live classical singing to opera and entertainment companies worldwide. On the NYC nightlife scene, she has performed with Company XIV, Duane Park, the Bartschland Follies with Susanne Bartsch at the Mckittrick Hotel and Sony Hall, Speakeasy Times Square at Bond 45, the People’s Ball at the Brooklyn Public Library, the Great Gatsby Party at Capitale with Astarte Creative, and The Rose Room at the Triad Theater. Equally at home on the operatic and concert stage, she has performed as a soloist in many of New York’s most acclaimed concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She took home the 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Female Performance in an opera for her acrobatic aerial and vocal portrayal of Amour in Gluck’s Orphée with Against the Grain Theater, a co-production with Opera Columbus. She will be joining Opera Columbus once again in the role of Papagena in their newest production of The Magic Flute in April 2024.
This Summer, she is in New York performing with Duane Park, Susanne Bartsch, new venues such as Red Pavilion in Bushwick, and at various private events. She is based in both London and New York when she is not on the road or at sea, and has a private pole studio in Brooklyn for both live and virtual teaching and training.
She recently served as aerial director/choreographer and acrobatic trainer for Kaleidoscope Entertainment and Celebrity Cruises, where she helped create and premiere three shows onboard the new Beyond before it’s maiden voyage from Saint Nazaire, France. This past year, she has been a guest entertainer multiple times on Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, performing her signature singing aerial acts in lyra and aerial pole. She also recently jumped into a general aerialist/ensemble track with two days notice for the premiere of Persephone on Resilient Lady out of Athens due to a last minute emergency until they were able to find a long term replacement. Subsequently, she will be joining the cast of Persephone once again in Greece and Croatia, but this time as aerial and circus director for the new cast members embarking in September. She is also serving as Aerial/Circus director and creating a track in a brand new show premiering on Virgin’s fourth ship, “Brilliant Lady” which will make its maiden voyage next year.
While furloughed, she could be seen hanging in a hoop from fire escapes in both her backyard and over the street at Duane Park for “outdoor dining with ambient street performance” in sub zero temps without batting an eyelash. With almost 13 years of pole and aerial training under her belt, she got her start in the air as a competitive pole dancer, and is the 2014 Pole Sport Organization National Level 4 Championship winner. She also recently appeared as Star in the movie Hustlers and has filmed featured extra pole work for the HBO series Betty as well as featured burlesque background on Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Originally from Grosse Pointe, MI and a BM/MM graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Ms. Richardson’s classical music career highlights include soloist in Handel’s Samson under Nicholas McGegan with American Classical Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Poppea in Handel’s Agrippina with Operamission, Diana and Giove as Diana (La Calisto) with Vertical Player Repertory, Dalinda (Ariodante) with the Princeton Festival, Monica (The Medium) with St. Petersburg Opera, Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), with Orlando Opera, Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) with Baltimore Opera, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s C Minor Mass, at Galway Cathedral in Ireland, and Exsultate, Jubilate with both the Princeton Symphony and Lyrique-en-Mer in Belle-Isle, France. As an apprentice artist, Ms. Richardson has trained and performed with Central City Opera, Baltimore Opera, Orlando Opera, and Brevard Music Center.
Ms. Richardson has won various awards and grants from the Kurt Weill Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Heinz Rehfuss Singing Actor Awards, Metropolitan Opera National Council, Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation, Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition, and Opera Birmingham’s Cassell Stewart Vocal Competition.
A champion of new music, she has sung many roles in contemporary opera and oratorio, including So Yeon in John Eaton’s microtonal opera, Re-Routed, with the Pocket Opera Players at Symphony Space in NYC, the highest soprano soloist in Sven David Sandström’s High Mass with VocalEssence in Minneapolis under Philip Brunelle, Fiordiligi in the premiere of Jonathan Dawe’s Cosi Faran Tutti at Columbia University’s Italian Arts Center, and the title role in a staged reading of Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre with Center for Contemporary Opera. Ms. Richardson has also been a featured performer with the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS Next,) American Composer’s Alliance Summer Festival, Opera on Tap, American Opera Projects, and the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland as a member of the Contemporary Music Festival Academy under Pierre Boulez.
She has appeared in many of New York City’s premiere entertainment spots for variety shows and burlesque outside of her regular venues, including Blunderland at House of Yes, The Slipper Room, Mac’s Powderkiss Cabaret hosted by Alan Cumming at Sony Hall, Schtick-a-pole-in-it and the Hot Jazz Festival with Shanghai Mermaid at DROM, Second Tuesdays at Sid’s at Sid Gold’s Request Room, Zavo NYC, Secret Circus at Secret Loft NYC, the Arianna Project with Music Nuova at Le Poisson Rouge, Spiegelworld at St. Anne’s Warehouse, Lavo Nightclub, Dances of Vice at Capitale, Cirque Central Entertainment, and The Curiosity Cabinet at Dixon Place.