The Canadian-Greek, mezzo-soprano, Mary-Ellen Nesi, was born in Montreal of Greek parents. She studied in Athens under Misa Ikeutsi, graduating with distinction. She took voice lessons from Ernst Haefliger in Zürich, Arrigo Pola in Modena, Frangiskos Voutsinos and Kostas Paskalis in Athens.
Mary-Ellen Nesi has received the highest critical acclaim for her performances in opera, concert and recital. She has appeared in many major operatic roles such as the title roles in George Frideric Handel's Serse, Oreste, Rodrigo and Faramondo, Ruggiero in Alcina, Andronico in Tamerlano, Teseo in Arianna in Creta, Medea in Teseo, and also Carmen, Adalgisa in Norma, Cenerentola, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Dorabella in W.A. Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, Cherubino in W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Ramiro in W.A. Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera, Megacle in the first world revival of Paisiello’s L’Olimpiade, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, Licida in Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's L’Olimpiade, Ottavia in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Penelope in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Orlando in Orlando Furioso, Antiope in the first world revival of Antonio Vivaldi's Ercole su’l Termodonte, Anastasio in A. Vivaldi's Giustino, Mitrena & Fernando in Motezuma, , Hansel in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, Teresa in La Sonnambula, Ino and Juno in Semele, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Tebaldo in Don Carlos and principal roles in operas by contemporary Greek composers such as Helen of Sparta, in The Return of Helen by Thanos Mikroutsikos, Night in Manuel Salinas by Periklis Koukos and others.
Mary-Ellen Nesi has appeared at major international venues such as the Carnegie Hall, the Avery Fisher Hall (NY), the Places des Arts (Montreal), the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Frankfurt Opera, the Theater an der Wien (Vienna), the Cadogan Hall (BBC Proms-London),the Semperoper (Dresden), the Chungmu Art Hall (Seoul), the Strathmore Hall (Washington DC), the Royal Opera of Versailles, the Opera of Lausanne, the Arriaga (Bilbao), the Sao Carlos Opera (Lisbon), the Comunale of Florence, Ferrara and Modena, the Municipale of Piacenza, the Opéra du Rhin, the Opéra de Nice the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Koerner Hall (Toronto) the Frauenkirche (Dresden), the Tonhalle (Düsseldorf), the Monumental (Madrid), the Caio Melisso (Spoleto), the Wiesbaden Opera House, the Teatro de la Maestranza (Seville), the Teatro Olimpico (Rome) and festivals such as the Spoleto Festival, the Göttingen and the Halle Händel Festspielen, the Semana de la Musica Religiosa di Cuenca,the Santiago de Compostela Festival, the Athens Festival and she is a regular guest at the Greek National Opera, the Megaron of Athens, the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, the Opera of Thessaloniki.
As a soloist, Mary-Ellen Nesi has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, the RTV Orchestra of Spain under M. Gomez-Martinez, Il Complesso Barocco under Alan Curtis, Bayerisches Staatsorchester under Ivor Bolton, Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra under Bruno Weil and Ivars Taurins, Washington Bach Consort under J. Reilly Lewis, I Barocchisti under Diego Fasolis, Accademia Bizantina under Ottavio Dantone, Al Ayre Espanol under E. López-Banzo, Dresden Staatskapelle, Camerata Stuttgart, Orchestra of Patras, Armonia Athenea and Concerto Köln under George Petrou, Athens and Thessaloniki State orchestras, Camerata-Friends of Music Orchestra, Greek Radio Orchestra, Orchestra of Colors, and Orchestra of the City of Athens and Orchestra of the City of Thessaloniki.
Her recordings of G.F. Handel's operas Oreste (as Oreste), Arianna in Creta (as Teseo), Tamerlano (as Andronico), Giulio Cesare (as Sesto) and Alessandro Severo (as Alessandro) under George Petrou (by MDG, Germany) were received with the highest praise from the international press (including the ECHO klassik 2008 for Tamerlano). She performs Antiope in the DVD of Ercole su'l Termodonte, Polinesso in the DVD of Ariodante and Mitrena in the DVD of Motezuma, under Alan Curtis (Dynamic). She has also recorded D. Alessandro Scarlatti's Tolomeo ed Alessandro (as Dorisbe) (Archiv), G.F. Handel's Berenice (as Arsace) (Virgin), a solo CD "Salve Regina" (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi), under Alan Curtis, A. Vivaldi's Farnace (as Berenice) (Virgin), under Diego Fasolis, "Christmas at San Marco" (Berlin Classics), under Peter Kopp. Her recent recordings include W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (as Cherubino) under Theodor Currentzis (Sony) and "The Baroque Divas" under George Petrou (Sony) and the DVD Farnace, under Federico Maria Sardelli (Dynamic).
Mary-Ellen Nesi has given many recitals and Baroque music concerts and has premiered works by contemporary Greek composers at home and abroad. Ιn 2003 she founded the Opera Festival of Ancient Corinth, which stages operas inspired by ancient Greece in the archeological site of Ancient Corinth.