What a warm, beautiful and agile voice McHardy possesses, and what a range, so beautifylly displayed in Una voce poco fa and Ombra mai fu from Handel's Xerxes-better known as Largo-and the exquisite My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice from Samson and Delilah.
- Harry Curry, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Nov 28, 2005
A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia
Chicago Opera Theater
Allyson McHardy's dusky, velvety mezzo gave Hermia depth and character...
- Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2005
An Evening in Paris
Everybody's favourite femme fatale, Carmen,
also made an appearance a la mezzo soprano Allyson McHardy, in Bizet's Cuban-inspired Habanera. Appropriately coquettish, McHardy's sense of drama and temperamental flair was exactly right.
- Holly Harris, Winnipeg Free Press, February 27, 2005
Off Centre Recital
McHardy has a particularly large and rich instrument, with gorgeous low notes and much expressivity.
- John Terauds, Toronto Star, February 14, 2005
Eugene Onegin Olga
San Francisco Opera
Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, a rich-toned and thoughtful graduate of the Merola Opera Program, made an impressive debut as Tatyana's sister, Olga.
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, November 26, 2004
Schwabacher Debut Recital
San Francisco Opera
Sunday's wondrous recital by mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy... was just the sort of
event that shows the San Francisco Opera Center's series at its best: an exciting
introduction to a hugely gifted young singer, with the promise of future
boasting rights for anyone able to say we heard her when...
...[she] is a mezzo of the old
school who combines vocal endowments, artistic cunning and theatrical panache
in roughly equal measures. If her future holds anything but stardom, I'll be very
McHardy proved herself a dazzling artist and
entertainer... She has an opulent, throaty tone whose darkly hooded
quality seems to imply as much as it reveals, yet she had no trouble at all conjuring
up reserves of power in her upper register. The high climatic phrase of
'Zueignung' was as thrilling as the vertiginous drop to her chest register that
immediately followed it. And in the Schumann cycle she proved a master at gauging the
emotional tenor of each song and translating it into vocal terms...
She invested 'Die
Stille' ('Silence') with plenty of light-footed charm - in another life McHardy could be a
killer leading lady in operetta... she came out victorious...
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, January 27, 2004
L'Heure Espagnole Concepcione
Tanglewood Music Centre
In L'Heure Espagnole... Allyson McHardy reminded us
of the great Spanish mezzos who have claimed the role.
- Richard Dyer, Boston Herald, July 26, 2001
Opera in Concert (Toronto)
McHardy was expressively mean and bold, inhabiting her part with a brash vigour that suited her ripe, lusty sound...
- Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star, April 2, 2001
McHardy's rich mezzo-soprano and dominatrix-style sexiness, made it easy to understand how Polinesso could ensnare Dalinda.
- Tamara Bernstein, National Post, April 2, 2001
Rags to Riches: One hundred years of American Song
with pianist Steven Blier
Schwabacher Debut Recital Series, San Francisco Opera Center
The Canadian artist [Allyson McHardy] invested Ives' "Tom Sails
Away" with polish and aching nostalgia for the boy who went to war.
She returned to dispatch "Nickel Under the Foot," the prostitute's song from
Marc Blitzstein's Weillesque "Cradle Will Rock" with a world weary
sophistication and an idiomatic attack; no feeling of slumming here.
- Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, February 20, 2001
Madama Butterfly Suzuki
Canadian Opera Company
As Butterfly's companion, Suzuki, the Canadian mezzo-soprano Allyson
McHardy was first rate, both vocally and dramatically...
- Ken Winters, Globe and Mail, March 31, 2003
Falstaff Meg Page
Tanglewood Music Centre
The role of Meg Page can vanish into the ensemble textures, but the anchored mezzo-soprano of Allyson McHardy gave consistent pleasure; she
was as cherishable in this part as her Tanglewood-trained predecessor, Mildred Miller, back in Bernstein's day.
- Richard Dyer, Boston Globe, August 1, 2000
Allyson McHardy was a particularly warm, witty Meg...
- Leighton Kerner, Opera News, November 2000
Bach Cantata 146
K-W Philharmonic Chamber Singers
The alto aria was sung by Allyson McHardy, whose rich, warm sound alone was worth the price of admission. McHardy delicately phrased and shaded,
and while she paid careful attention to detail, she never sounded forced or pedantic. This
was a rare treat, and one that was all too short.
- Harry Currie, Kitchener Waterloo Record , March, 1999
L'Italiana in Algeri Isabella
San Francisco Opera's Merola Program
Several of these singers were eminently worth hearing. Chief among them was Canadian
mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, who gave a delightful performance in the title role of
Isabella....her singing was warm and forthright, her command of coloratura
fearless and her stage demeanor never less than charismatic. She
is a singer to watch.
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle , August 2, 1999
She's a real stage creature, dark, slender, physically expressive
and loaded with smoldering personality.
- Stephanie von Buchau, Pacific Sun, (San Francisco) August 1999
McHardy, in fact, held much within the embrace of her vocal instrument,
including both comedy and - in an Act II aria where Rossini seems to predate by several
decades the sombre grandeur of his countryman Verdi- some darker qualities which
hint at the young singer's probable success with tragedy. She's also blessed with
a sparkly sexy allure, evoking a young Mary Tyler Moore and making it
entirely credible that she'd be persued ardently by three suitors.
- Jeff Kallis, Commuter Times (San Francisco) August 1999
Die Kr�g der Poppea Ottavia
Allyson McHardy's passionate mezzo rendered impressively the distress of
the suffering, deceived Empress Ottavia.
- Peter Buske, Berliner Morgenpost, August 1998
Concert performance with Kammeroper Schlo�Rehinsberg
A further high point of the evening was undoubtedly the mezzo soprano Allyson McHardy. She sang the difficult part of Dalila by Saint-S�s with an unusually
warm, voluminous voice. The audience expressed its appreciation with applause that lasted for several minutes and shouts of brava.
- Jeannette Lehmann, Granseer Tageblatt, August 1998
La Calisto (Cavalli) Juno
Canadian Opera Company
Allyson McHardy's vengeful goddess managed to be both hilarious and alarming, and even, by her exit, rather poignant.
- Urjo Kareda, Globe and Mail (Toronto), May 7, 1996
Mad for All Reasons
Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company (Toronto)
McHardy gave a brilliant performance, improvising passionate Italianate-
sounding gibberish in a strange counterpoint to the instrumentalists' cabaret music.
- Tamara Bernstein, Globe and Mail, May 7, 1996