Hailed for her “deliciously over the top” and “powerful mezzo” by Opera News, Alissa Anderson wields her comic prowess, striking features, and her “powerful vocalism” to great acclaim. Ms. Anderson achieved a considerable success and was celebrated for being “impeccably prepared” and “splendid in every way” when she stepped in as Florence Pike in Santa Fe Opera’s Albert Herring under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. In 2018, Ms. Anderson made both her role and company debuts as the title role in La Tragedie de Carmen with Opera Birmingham. She also sang Frugola and her signature role of La Zia Principessa in Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica with Opera Delaware and Carmen in La Tragedie de Carmen with Louisiana Opera. The summer of 2018 brought her debut with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre as the Witch in Into the Woods and Mrs. Catlett in Amazing Grace.
In 2019, Ms. Anderson makes her Mercury Chamber Orchestra debut as the main character of Rose in “Debussy and Ravel: The Flowers of Evil”, a world premiere one woman opera based on the poetry of Charles Baudelaire and the music of Debussy and Ravel. She will then return to San Diego Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto and make her debut at Opera San Antonio as Marthe in Faust. The summer of 2019 sees a return to Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and The Bird Woman/Ms. Andrew in Mary Poppins. In the fall of 2019 Ms. Anderson will also make her debut with Opera Philadelphia.
Engagements for recent seasons included Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera in the Heights, Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress with Utah Opera, holiday concerts with Arizona Opera in conjunction with the Phoenix Theatre, John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Concordia University Symphony Orchestra, and La Zia Principessa/Zita in Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi with Opera Santa Barbara. The 2016-2017 season saw her debut with San Diego Opera as Tisbe in La Cenerentola, a New Year’s Eve Gala concert with Opera Southwest, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with North Carolina Opera, the Verdi Requiem with Houston Camerata, and Principessa/Ciesca with Opera Company of Middlebury.
The 2013-2014 season brought Ms. Anderson’s debut with Houston Grand Opera’s East + West series production of River of Light by composer Jack Perla and librettist Chitra Divakarun, her reprise of Florence Pike in Albert Herring with Indianapolis Opera (cancelled), and a return to the Verdi Requiem with the University of Kentucky Symphony. The 2012-2013 season for Ms. Anderson included her debut with Tulsa Opera as Cleo in The Most Happy Fella as well as her “comically perfect” debut as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with Opera in the Heights. Additionally, she returned to Opera Southwest as Emilia in Otello and to the Santa Fe Concert Association as Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillion. The summer of 2012 marked her European debut as mezzo soloist in the Verdi Requiem with performances throughout Germany and France. Ms. Anderson’s 2011-2012 season included return engagements with Opera Santa Barbara as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Fort Worth Opera as Lampito in Lysistrata. She also made her Lincoln Center debut singing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony under the baton of Atsushi Yamada. Her 2010- 2011 season included Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Southwest, her return to the Santa Fe Concert Association to perform the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, and her debut with Opera Santa Barbara as Flora in La Traviata. The summer of 2011 brought her return to the Santa Fe Opera where she sang the role of Society Woman in The Last Savage and performed the roles of Carmen and Sweeney Todd’s Mrs. Lovett in a program of opera scenes with the company.
Ms. Anderson has worked extensively with the Sarasota Opera performing the roles of Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Flora in La Traviata. She has enjoyed a long relationship with Fort Worth Opera as both a resident and principal artist where she has performed the roles of Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Angel Trio in Angels in America. Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News praised her 2010 performance of the Verdi Requiem with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra stating, “Mezzo Alissa Anderson supplied aptly rich tones and an awesome chest voice.”
Other notable engagements include her Tisbe in La Cenerentola and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera New Jersey, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Flora in La Traviata, and Mercedes in Carmen with Pensacola Opera, Angelina in La Cenerentola with Opera Coeur d’Alene, and Flora in La Traviata with Nevada Opera. As a young artist, she has performed with Des Moines Metro Opera and Ashlawn-Highland Opera, as well as spending three consecutive summers at the Seagle Music Colony where she sang the title role in Carmen, Anita in West Side Story, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alma March in Little Women, Woman in Marry Me A Little, and Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Ms. Anderson received the Kathryn Tyrell Award in the Shreveport Opera Competition, the Agnes M. Canning Award from Santa Fe Opera, was a Finalist in the Opera Birmingham Competition, a Semifinalist in Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Competition, and received the Stuart R. Silver Award from Sarasota Opera. She holds her Master of Music from the Opera Studio program at The University of Maryland and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. She is currently a student of Stephen King.