For the 2015-16 & 16-17 seasons, mezzo-soprano Mary Beth Nelson is a resident artist at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY, where she made her guest artist debut as Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri in 2015. Since beginning her residency, Ms. Nelson has appeared in radio broadcasts as well as recitals, and performed the feisty heroine Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Dinah in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti under the baton of Warren Jones, and the Beggar Woman in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. This season, she sang Flora in La Traviata and Hansel in Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel. Currently she is preparing to sing Concepción in the one-act opera L'heure espagnole by Maurice Ravel, and Mezzo-Soprano in Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox.
Most recently, Ms. Nelson was a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival, where she appeared in The Crucible (Betty Parris), Sweeney Todd (Ensemble/Quintet Soloist), The Thieving Magpie (Pippo cover), and Lost Luggage (Ernestina, Aug 19), as well as various ancillary programming throughout the season. She trained as a young artist at Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY during the colony's 99th and 100th anniversary seasons.
Ms. Nelson competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Tulsa district) in January of 2014 and won a Trudy Oliphant Young Encouragement Award. The following month she was awarded an Emerging Talent Award in the Lotte Lenya Competition from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. She completed her Bachelor's degree after having won 1st Place prize and People's Choice Award in the 16th annual International Crescendo Music Awards in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Most recently, she was a Finalist and top audience choice award winner in the 9th Annual Lois Alba Aria Competition, and winner of the Jennifer White Memorial award in Shreveport Opera's Mary Jacob Smith Singer of the Year Competition.
In 2014, Ms. Nelson completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University. While an undergraduate, she was a frequent winner in the Texoma Regional and Oklahoma District NATS competitions. Her voice teacher was Frank Wayne Ragsdale and her vocal coach was Jan McDaniel.
A native of Orange County, CA, Ms. Nelson studied for a year and a half at the Orange County School of the Arts in the Opera Conservatory under the artistic direction of Robin Follman. She has worked in master class settings with Frederica von Stade, Susanne Mentzer, Florence Birdwell, and Ron Raines.