Praised for her “warm mezzo” (The Telegraph) and “velvet-voice” (Daily Telegraph), British-Spanish mezzo soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons recently made critically acclaimed house and role debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Siébel in David McVicar’s production of Faust and creating the role of Hel in the world premiere of Gavin Higgins’ The Monstrous Child at the ROH Linbury Theatre.
Looking forward to the 2022/23 season, Fontanals-Simmons performs Jack The Wreckers with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati; recitals with Iain Burnside at Wigmore Hall and the Lammermuir Festival; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde at the Roman River Festival and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Worcester Festival Choral Society. Marta also reprises her role in Gavin Higgins’ The Faerie Bride with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales following a very well received world premiere in 2022.
In the 2021/22 season, Fontanals-Simmons joined the Ensemble at Grand Théâtre de Genève, performing Matriosha in a new Calixto Bieito production of Prokofiev’s War and Peace and Erste Magd Elektra. She also returned to Glyndebourne Festival to perform Jack in a much-anticipated production of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers. On the recital platform, she performed at Wigmore Hall; Oxford Lieder; Blackheath Halls; Zeist Lieder Festival; Cowbridge Festival; and Aldeburgh Festival, premiering a new cantata for mezzo-soprano, baritone and chamber orchestra The Faerie Bride by writing duo, Gavin Higgins and Francesca Simon. On the concert platform, she performed Beethoven Mass in C with the Oxford Philharmonic and Stanford’s Requiem with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Recent operatic highlights include her house and role debut at English National Opera as Eurydice Woman in Daniel Kramer’s iconic production of Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus; her house debut as Jennie Hildebrand in Weill’s Street Scene for Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Amando Le Grand Macabre with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester; Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte for Glyndebourne Festival; Jennie Hildebrand Street Scene at the Teatro Real; Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera and at the Théâtre Champs Elysées; the title role in La Cenerentola for Diva Opera; and Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly for the Glyndebourne Tour and Grange Park Opera.
On the concert platform, Fontanals-Simmons has emerged as a “strong artistic personality and an unflinchingly direct communicator” and as an interpreter of a broad range of repertoire. Career highlights include her debut album with long-time collaborator Lana Bode ‘I and Silence; Women’s Voices in American Song’ for which she received 5 star reviews; the European premiere of Alasdair Nicolson Shadows on the Wall at Barbican Hall and Berlioz’s La Captive both with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall; Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with Sakari Oramo at the Last Night of the Proms; Mendelssohn Elijah with CBSO at Birmingham Symphony Hall; L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Stéphane Denève and the RadioSinfonieorchester Stuttgart; a tour of Elgar’s The Sea Pictures with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Bach Mass in B Minor with Ryan Wigglesworth at the St Endellion Festival; Handel’s Messiah with Lawrence Cummings at the London Handel Festival; Stravinsky’s Les Noces at Queen Elizabeth Hall; and Mozart’s Requiem with Gerald Wirth at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna.
In recital, Fontanals-Simmons performs with artists including Roger Vignoles, Simon Lepper, Bengt Forsberg and Iain Burnside, and is an associate member of the Quantum Ensemble at the Auditorio de Tenerife. She was awarded the Prix de Lied at Le Concours international de chant-piano Nadia et Lili Boulanger in Paris and was a finalist in the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Award at Wigmore Hall, London. Fontanals-Simmons is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal and was a Jerwood Artist at Glyndebourne for the 2015/16 season.