Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner

Meredith Arwady (Contralto)

Born: Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

The American conntralto, Meredith Arwady Kahrl, studied at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan and at Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. She received a Master of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied voice with Marlena Kleinman Malas.

A Grand Finals winner of the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Meredith Arwady joined the roster of Astral Artists upon winning its National Auditions. Astral presented her Philadelphia recital. She is also the recipient of other numerous awards and grants, including the 2005 Kirsten Flagstad Award, presented by the George London Foundation for a singer with a promising Wagnerian career, First Prize winner of both the 2004 Licia Albanese/Puccini Competition, the inaugural Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists in 2002, and a 2007 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

As a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicagoís Opera Center ensemble, Meredith Arwady made her mainstage debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2005, as Tisbe in La Cenerentola conducted by Bruno Campanella. Since then, she has been seen as Pasqualita in Dr. Atomic under Robert Spano, Quickly in Falstaff, Third Lady in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, She-Ancient in Sir Michael Tippettís A Midsummer Marriage, all under Andrew Davis, as well as productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten, Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, and Dialogues des Carmélites.

Meredith Arwady made her Los Angeles Opera debut in Woody Allenís production of Gianni Schicchi as Zita with Plácido Domingo as Schicchi and was seen at Houston Grand Opera, Oper Frankfurt and the Canadian Opera Company as Erda in Siegfried, as well as the First Norn in Frankfurt. She debuted at the English National Opera as Martha in John Adamsís The Gospel According to the Other Mary in a production by Peter Sellars and returned to the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Hannah in Tobias Pickerís Emmeline, Houston Grand Opera as Schwertleite in Die Walküre, and debuted at Madison Opera as Mrs. Lovett in Stephen Sondheimís Sweeney Todd.

Meredith Arwady recently appeared at the San Francisco Opera as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff under Nicola Luisotti, a role which she then sang in a new production at Oper Frankfurt. She was seen at Houston Grand Opera as Erda in Das Rheingold, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Mme. Croissy in Francis Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Santa Fe Opera in their double-bill The Impresario (Fräulein Krone) and Le Rossignol (Death). She returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Erda in Der Ring des Nibelungen under the baton of Fabio Luisi, a role she also sang at Oper Frankfurt under Sebastian Weigle. She garnered sensational acclaim creating the role of Kathy Hagen in Champion directed by James Robinson and conducted by George Manahan. She also appeared as Auntie in Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes with the Aspen Music Festival, in which the New York Times praised her ďrich-toned contraltoĒ performance.

Meredith Arwady has appeared with numerous opera companies in a variety of roles. She has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera as Pasqualita in John Adamsís Dr. Atomic under Alan Gilbert and as the Marquise de Berkenfeld in La fille du régiment; San Francisco Opera as Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Mother Abbess in Suor Angelica, and the Marquise de Berkenfeld; Santa Fe Opera as Gaea in Straussís Daphne and as the title role in Peter Sellarsís production of Antonio Vivaldi's Griselda; Houston Grand Opera as Auntie in Peter Grimes and in the world premiere of André Previnís A Brief Encounter; Oper Frankfurt as Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Erda / First Norn in Der Ring des Nibelungen; English National Opera as Pasqualita in Dr. Atomic; Canadian Opera Company in The Nightingale; Dallas Opera in Boris Godunov; Opera Philadelphia as Quickly in Falstaff; and Fort Worth Opera as Cornelia in George Frideric Handel's Giulio Cesare.

In concert, Meredith Arwady has performend L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel and Bernard Haitink, both with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, Christoph Eschenbach with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Nevsky with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano; G. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Davis and Houston Symphony Orchestra; Dr. Atomic with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano; Alexander Nevsky with the Spokane Symphony; G. Mahlerís Symphony No. 3 with the North Netherlands Orchestra; Dvorakís Biblical Songs and Prokofievís Ivan the Terrible with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia in Spain; and the Sir Thomas Beecham orchestration of G.F. Handel's Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra. A frequent recitalist, she has been seen in New York City and Chicago recitals under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, as well as recitals sponsored by the Curtis Institute of Music. She has also been featured as a soloist in the Richard Tucker Gala as winner of their Career Grant.

Meredith Arwady has appeared in Chicago Opera Theaterís production of Líincoronazione di Poppea. She performed Meg Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor as a member of San Francisco Operaís prestigious Merola Opera Program and returned to Merola to sing Madame Flora in The Medium. In addition, she has performed regularly at the Chautauqua Institute where she interpreted such roles as Madame Flora, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Mrs. Peachum in Die Dreigroschenoper, and both Mother and The Square Root of 7 in Líenfant et les sortilèges.

Engagements for the 2007-2008 season have included: L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 and J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 7 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures with the Kalamazoo Symphony, as well as recitals in New York and Chicago sponsored by the Marilyn Horne Foundation.

In the 2008-2009 season, Meredith Arwady debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Pasqualita in John Adamís Dr. Atomic, and made her European debut at the Oper Frankfurt as Ulrica in Verdiís Un Ballo in Maschera as well as her English National Opera debut in Dr. Atomic. She sang in Tippettís, A Child of our Time, as part of Jessye Normanís Honor! Festival at Carnegie Hall. She made another debut with the Houston Grand Opera, this season, in the world premiere of André Previnís opera, A Brief Encounter and will joinChautauqua Opera for Menottiís The Consul this summer.

Meredith Arwady began the 2009-2010 season at the San Francisco Opera, appearing as the Abbess in Suor Angelica and Zita in Gianni Schicchi. San Francisco audiences also heard her in the role of Marquise of Berkenfield in Laurent Pellyís production of La Fille du Regiment, a role she also recently performed at the Metropolitan Opera this season. She made her debut as Erda in a new production of Wagnerís Das Rheingold at Oper Frankfurt, She appeared on the concert stage this fall with L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra, followed by De Fallaís El Amor Brujo with West Michigan Symphony, and Messiah with the Washington National Symphony Orchestra.

Meredith Arwady began the 2010-2011 season with the role of Auntie in Houston Grand Operaís new production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. She also joined the Canadian Opera Company on their Brooklyn Academy of Music tour, with roles in Igor Stravinsky's Nightingale and Berceuses du Chat. Dallas Opera audiences heared her in Mussorskyís Boris Godunov in the spring of 2011, with Cornelia in Giulio Cesare at Fort Worth Opera Festival to follow. She ended the season with the title role of Antonio Vivaldi's Griselda in a new Peter Sellars production at the Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2011. On the concert stage, she performed L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony and George Frideric Handel'ís Messiah with the University of Michigan. She opened the 2011-2012 season as Erda in Der Ring des Nibelungen with Oper Frankfurt.

Hailed by critics as a ďrarityĒ and ďa genuine contralto,Ē Meredith Arwady continues to delight audiences in the USA and abroad with rich vocal intensity and captivating stage presence. She is a 2012 Grammy Award winner for Best Opera Recording (John Adamsís Dr. Atomic). In the 2016-2017 season, she will debut at Washington National Opera reprising her acclaimed performance as Kathy Hagen in Terence Blanchardís Champion. She also will be seen at the Dallas Opera as Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin and Houston Grand Opera as the 1st Norn in Götterdämmerung. In the summer of 2017, she will return to Santa Fe Opera as Amelfa in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Le coq díor.

"But this did allow the deep mezzo-soprano Meredith Arwady as the most properly vociferous of the relatives to make a big impression." -Mark Swed, LA Times (September 13, 2015) - Zita in 'Gianni Schicchi' at LA Opera
"No less accomplished was the imposing achievement of Meredith Arwady as the Old Prioress. This was easily the finest performance I have yet seen from Ms. Arwady, her potent contralto pulsing through her punishing death scene like it was written for her. Not merely content to pin our ears back with her steely capabilities, she found a fine subtlety of expression in her brief but memorable stage time, tugging at our hearts with her fate and her fears." -James Sohre, Opera Today (July 8, 2014) - Mme. Croissy in Dialogues of the Carmelites at Opera Theatre of St. Louis
"The rich-toned contralto Meredith Arwady created a sympathetic character and provided most of the workís slender comic relief as Auntie, the publican and madam." -James R. Oestreich, New York Times (June 22, 2013) - Peter Grimes at the Aspen Music Festival


Source: Columbia Artists Management Website (January 2017); Meredith Arwady Kahrl profile on Facebook; Instant Encore Website; Photos 01, 03, 05, 08: Simon Paudy
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




John Nelson


V-6 (2012): BWV 245 [2nd recording]

Links to other Sites

Meredith Arwady - Vocalists Contralto (CAMI)
Meredith Arwady (Instant Encore)

Meredith Arwady Kahrl on Facebook
Loud, Low and Slow Blog

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


Back to the Top

Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 15:40