Michelle DeYoung

Recent engagements include Wagner concerts with the Orchestre National d’Ile de France and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Symphony No.2 with the Orchestre National de Belgique, Mahler Symphony No.8 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle with the Orchestre National de France.

© Larissa Welch


Michelle DeYoung is one of the world’s most exciting mezzo-sopranos.

Her prolific concert engagements include the New York Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras under Sir Colin Davis (with whom she recorded Didon in Les Troyens to great critical acclaim), the San Francisco Symphony under Tilson Thomas, the Boston Symphony under Ozawa, the Chicago Symphony and Philharmonia under Boulez, the Cleveland Orchestra under Slatkin, the Royal Concertgebouw under Chailly, the Berlin Staatskappelle under Barenboim and Boulez, the Israel Philharmonic under Maazel and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Gardner. She has given recitals in New York, San Francisco, Lisbon, Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh Festival.

Her operatic engagements have included Jocasta with von Dohnanyi in Paris; Fricka for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Haitink; Fricka, Brangäne, Venus and Shaman in Tan Dun’s The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera under Levine; Brangäne in Chicago under Sir Andrew Davis and at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin and La Scala, Milan under Barenboim and Kundry in Bayreuth under Boulez and Berlin under Barenboim.


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    25 Jan 20 MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde
    New York

    “The mezzo had no problems navigating through the difficult middle section of Von der Schönheit, her voice merging wonderfully with the ensemble when describing the galloping horses. Almost all signs of froideur in DeYoung’s approach dissipated in Abschied, the last song. Her repeated, slowly-dying-away “Ewig” (forever) was extremely poignant.”

    Edward Sava-Segal, Bachtrack, 25 January 2020

    “The American mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung was at her best in Der Abschied, her voice warm and steady, responding sensitively to the pensive first person narrative and catching the otherworldly quality in the final sighs of “ewig… ewig…”

    Clive Paget, Limelight, 25 January 2020

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    29 Jan 19 DVORAK Rusalka
    Opera de Paris

    “Michelle DeYoung… incarne une sorcière aux graves charpentés, appuyés, phrasés sur de grandes échelles bien marquées, comme son vibrato méprisant.”
    Charles Arden, Olyrix, 30 January 2019

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    24 Nov 18 BERNSTEIN Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah"
    Chichester Cathedral

    “The moving finale was sung by Michelle DeYoung with passionate intensity, the rich tone and glorious amplitude of her voice effortlessly conveying this great Hebrew jeremiad the length of the nave and beyond.”
    Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack, 25 November 2018

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    28 Jun 18 Schoenberg Gurrelieder
    Royal Festival Hall

    “…Michelle DeYoung’s wonderful Wood-Dove rose to a thrilling climax…”
    Camilla Greenwell, The Times, 3 July 2018

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    09 Aug 17 WAGNER Parsifal
    Opera Australia

    “Indeed, Michelle DeYoung’s fascinating, multi-faceted Kundry threatened to steal the show.”
    Deborah Jones, Opera Magazine, November 2017

    “Michelle DeYoung as Kundry also broadens in this crucial transformation. In the first act her voice was richly portentous and coloured. In the seduction of Act 2, she added enveloping warmth and forceful power.”
    Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 August 2017

    “American mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung was perfect as Kundry, a woman cursed to eternity for laughing at Christ’s crucifixion and an unwilling pawn in Klingsor’s web of intrigue. The pivotal scene where she attempts unsuccessfully to seduce Parsifal was superbly realised, her visceral aria with its dramatic leaps was spine-tingling.”
    Steve Moffatt, Daily Telegraph, 11 August 2017

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    01 Mar 17 BARTÒK Bluebeard's Castle
    Philadelphia Orchestra

    “DeYoung has a warm low quality yet also proclaimed a terrific, long-held high C when her character saw that magical kingdom.”

    Steve Cohen, The Opera Critic, March 2017

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    01 May 16 Recital Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre
    Washington D.C., US

    “A Brahms set was an ideal opening, with accompanist Kevin Murphy matching DeYoung ideally in tone and volume. This was big-boned Brahms, the bass-leaning piano parts setting the mood for DeYoung’s dark, intense sound.”

    Charles T Downey, The Washington Post, 2 May 2017

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    21 Oct 15 WAGNER Tannhauser
    Metropolitan Opera

    “…mezzo Michelle de Young as a glamorous Venus…”
    Richard Sasanow, Broadway World, 21 October 2015

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    02 Jul 14 BARTOK Bluebeard's Castle
    Edward Gardner; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

    “Judith can be just an annoyingly inquisitive shrew unless sung with the subtlety Michelle deYoung brought to the part, combined with a powerful voice never overwhelmed by Bartok’s huge orchestral forces.”
    Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post, 4 July 2014

    “…Michelle DeYoung stood and delivered superbly well…DeYoung, meanwhile, was passionate, impulsive, and naive rather than calculating.”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian

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    04 Aug 13 VERDI Aida

    “DeYoung’s Amneris also was the real deal, both vocally and dramatically. The Ravinia Steans Institute alumna oozed haughty duplicity in her manipulation of Aida, later veering between scorned fury and helpless pity in the Judgment Scene, where the man she loves (and tried to save) is sentenced to death for treason. Her voice, strong and steady, with a becoming tonal finish, responded perceptively to every dramatic situation.”
    John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 4 August 2013