Mezzo-Soprano Emily Fons has made several exciting role and company debuts in recent seasons that have set her apart as a versatile, powerful, and engaging performer. Ms. Fons was hailed by Opera News as one of opera’s rising stars and one of the best singing actresses of her generation, and received a Grammy nomination for her work on Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.
Ms. Fons has been lauded for her virtuosic abilities in Baroque and Bel Canto repertoire, her winning portrayals of opera’s traditional “trouser roles”, and the dramatic commitment and musicality she brings to modern works. In the past few seasons Ms. Fons has sung with Canadian Opera Company, Seattle Opera, The Berlin Philharmonic, The Santa Fe Opera, The International Händel Festspiele, the Cleveland Orchestra, Inland Opera Northwest, Haymarket Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Omaha, Boston Lyric Opera, the Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Opéra de Lille, the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
The 22/23 seasons brings premieres and new productions, along with familiar roles and companies. Ms. Fons starts her season at New Orleans Opera in a new production of Hansel and Gretel. In early 2023 she will reprise the role of Cherubino in the Claus Guth Le Nozze di Figaro at Canadian Opera Company. Spring brings an exciting world premiere as the central character in Nicolas Reveles’ “House” part of the “Ghosts” triple bill at San Diego Opera.
The 21/22 season began with an important role debut as Ariodante at the Göttingen International Handel Festival. Ms. Fons then made a role and company debut singing Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice with Inland Northwest Opera. In 2022 Ms. Fons returned to Japan for a production of Die Fledermaus with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, followed by performances of one of her signature roles, Cherubino, in Le Nozze Di Figaro with Seattle Opera. The season ended with performances of Rosina in The Barber of Seville at Santa Fe Opera in a production that was a box office hit and kept audiences laughing from start to finish.
The 20/21 season included a drive-in movie style production of Il Barbiere Di Siviglia at San Diego Opera, a company debut in the title role of La Cenerentola at the famous Ascend Arena with Nashville Opera, and a filmed version of Handel's Orlando with Haymarket Opera.
Ms. Fons took on the title role in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June of 2019. The 2019/20 season continued with a return to the Atlanta Opera for the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and a return to the Canadian Opera Company for the role of Hänsel in a new production of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel.
Ms. Fons began 2019 at Seattle Opera singing the role of Laurene Powell Jobs in Mason Bates’ and Mark Campbell’s The [R]evolution of Steve Jobs. Ms. Fons then returned to Michigan Opera Theatre to sing Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and finished the 2019 season in Seattle with a role debut as Maddalena in Rigoletto.
In the summer of 2018, Ms. Fons made her company debut with the highly acclaimed Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago. Ms. Fons sang the title role in Cesti’s Orontea. In the 2017/18 season Ms. Fons also returned to the Cleveland Orchestra as the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Mozart Requiem, and made her company debut with Opera North Carolina reprising the role of Ruby Thewes in Jennifer Higdon’s Grammy nominated opera Cold Mountain. Ms. Fons created the role of Ruby in the opera’s premiere at the Santa Fe Opera in 2015.
Ms. Fons made a successful role and company debut with Kentucky Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and appeared in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, followed by performances as the title role in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges, first with the Berlin Philharmonic, and then in Japan as part of the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya. Ms. Fons had the honor of premiering art songs by James Stephenson on a recital at the Polish Center of Wisconsin, and performing for the second time Kathleen Ginther’s “The River Merchant’s Wife” which she premiered with the Southern Illinois University concert choir and wind ensemble at Orchestra Hall in Chicago in 2011.
Other notable performances include the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola in a new production by Jean Bellorini for Opéra de Lille, Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with the Santa Fe Opera, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in Claus Guth’s acclaimed production at the Canadian Opera Company, Dorabella in Opera Omaha’s new production of Cosi Fan Tutte, a role debut as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Florentine Opera, the title role in Handel’s oratorio Susanna with the International Händel Festspiele, and the title role in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges with maestro Seiji Ozawa.
Ms. Fons is enjoying a successful international career while also staying committed to performing in and giving back to the communities she works in, and her home state of Wisconsin. She is co-authoring a book on personal finance for young singers in the hopes of educating future singers on the importance of building careers that work for them, and provide stability for the lives they desire.