Shannon Mercer Soprano

Helicon Performances

Handel’s “La resurrezione”

Recognized for the luminosity and effortless agility of her voice, as well as her commanding stage presence and profound acting ability, Canadian soprano Shannon Mercer enthusiastically embraces a range of repertoire from early to contemporary music.

The 2014-2015 season sees Shannon perform in both Monteverdi’s Orfeo (as Messagiera) and l’Incoronazione di Poppea (as Ottavia) at the Boston Early Music Festival, on tour with Ensemble Caprice to Montreal, Washington D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Bach Sinfonia in Washington D.C., and “The American Dream” with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Highlights of Shannon’s 2013-2014 season included a reprisal of Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba-Wedding with Opera Philadelphia, Fauré’s Requiem with the Kansas City Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, a series of Bach Cantatas with Early Music Vancouver, Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Solomon with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

The role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte has figured prominently in Shannon’s career, having performed it with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opera Hamilton, and with Pacific Opera in both Victoria and London. Other recent opera roles include Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Canadian Opera Company and her much-lauded French debut in the title role of Marin Marais's Sémélé which was recorded with the renowned Hérve Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel on Glossa: “Mercer’s Sémélé seduces” (BBC Music Magazine).

Shannon has performed in Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy, Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in Houston with Mercury Baroque and Les Voix Baroques, and at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in an all-Mozart recital featuring the  renowned soprano Barbara Bonney.

Illustrating Shannon’s breadth of musical interests and exceptional vocal talent, her award-winning discography ranges from baroque to contemporary, from traditional Welsh folk music to Christmas songs. Her latest releases include the 2014 Juno-Award-nominated disc of Berlioz’s Les Nuits d'été and Palej's The Poet and the War with Toronto based ensemble G27 (Centaur) and Bach’s St. John Passion with the Portland Baroque Orchestra conducted by Monica Huggett (AVIE). Other recordings include the JUNO Award winning Gloria! Vivaldi's Angels, the JUNO-nominated Salsa Baroque with Ensemble Caprice (Analekta) and, the Prix Opus-nominated O Viva Rosa (Analekta).

Shannon also stars as Judith in the film version of Monty Python funny-man Eric Idle’s Not the Messiah, a role she debuted in the world premiere at Toronto’s 2007 Luminato Festival and at the Caramoor Festival and subsequently reprised on a US tour to Houston, Washington, and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and Royal Albert Hall in London.

An alumnus of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Summer Program, Shannon began her operatic career as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Program. A Career Development Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and winner of the 2004 Bernard Diamant Prize, allowed Shannon to spend an extended period of time in Vienna where she studied German operatic repertoire with renowned voice coach Margaret Singer. She also received the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Women's Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Award.

A native of Ottawa, Shannon Mercer now resides in Toronto.