Tracy Watson, mezzo-soprano, is a certified Singing Voice Specialist and a prolific performer know for the depth and beauty of her voice, as well as her interpretive skills. Praised for her versatility, Ms. Watson is equally at home on the opera and concert stage. She began her career in Chicago as a member of the prestigious Lyric Opera Center for American Artists after earning her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College. Her career took her to Germany where, at her first house audition, she was immediately engaged to sing the role of Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte by the Staedtische Buehnen Dortmund. This led to her first Niklaus in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann. While living in Europe, she was fest at the Theater Oberhausen, where she sang such diverse roles as Cherubino, Stefano and Mrs. Cratchit in the German premiere of Thea Musgrave's A Christmas Carol. This production was later featured at the opening night of the Nordrhein-Westfalen Festival of New German Theater at the Stadttheater Aachen.
After returning to the United States, Ms. Watson sang regularly with Chicago Opera Theater in roles such as Hansel, and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. She has sung with Whitewater Opera, Madison Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater and Portland Opera, where she received rave reviews as the Secretary in Menotti's The Consul. Ms. Watson is known for her ability to sing a wide range of roles from pants roles to the fiery Carmen, and Musetta from La Boheme.
Ms. Watson is a prolific concert performer, having sung concert repertoire and recitals in Europe and the United States. She has performed many times with the Grant Park Symphony with such conductors as Carlos Kalmar, Zdenek Macal, Hugh Wolff, Jesus Lopez-Cobos and Christof Perick. She performed the alto solos in Handel's Messiah with Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall, as well as with numerous orchestras and the Apollo Chorus at Chicago's Symphony Center. She sang in the American premiere of Britten's The World of the Spirit and Karl Jenkin's The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace and Requiem, all at Carnegie Hall. She has sung with Music of the Baroque, Princeton Pro Musica, the South Bend Symphony, the Bach Society of St. Louis, the Virginia Concert, the Richmond Symphony (Indiana and Virginia), I Virtuosi Pragensis (Prague, Czech Republic), the European Symphony Orchestra (Barcelona, Spain), to name a few. She also sang for the Joffrey Ballet in the Dance for Life benefit concert and will be joining their regular season in 2008 singing Erik Satie's Cabaret Songs. Her repertoire covers the great oratorios, concert and vocal works from Bach to Mozart to Mahler to Verdi, and many more.
Ms. Watson began her teaching career at Chicago's reknowned Old Town School of Folk Music. She taught at Loyola University Chicago 1995 - 1999, Chicago Academy for the Arts 1996 - 1998, and at Northwestern University's National High School Institute 2000 - 2010. Ms. Watson was on the faculty of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University 1998 - 2009 where she taught voice as well as Intro and Advanced Vocal Pedagogy. She recently joined the faculty of Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music as Lecturer of Voice and Opera. Her students are performing both here and in Europe, including apprenticeships with Central City, Intermezzo, Sarasota, BASOTI, La Musica Lyrica, Lucca, and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and with opera companies and orchestras around the world. Her students took the top prize at the Chicago Regional NATS competition in 2004 and 2005. Ms. Watson has been a member of NATS since 1995 and served as a regional board member for two years. She was president of the Chicago Singing Teachers Guild from 2004-2006, and continues to serve on the board. She was also contributed to an article on vocal resonance in the December '08 issue of Classical Singer Magazine. She remains an active performer in both concerts and recitals.