Mezzo-soprano Mary Gerbi is a versatile soloist and chamber musician whose repertoire ranges from plainchant to new music premieres. She has been praised for her “earthy tone and crisp diction,” “trumpet-like projection,” and “impressive control,” (Boston Musical Intelligencer); and for “project[ing] emotion with easy power” (Boston Globe).
As a concert soloist, Ms. Gerbi’s performances include Haydn’s Salve Regina and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with Boston Cecilia; Corigliano’s Fern Hill with the Maryland Choral Society; Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the Berkshire Bach Society; selections from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with both Emmanuel Music and the Handel and Haydn Society; Bach's cantata BWV 12 with the Connecticut Early Music Festival; and John Knowles Paine's Mass in D with the Hampshire Choral Society. A naturally gifted actress, she has portrayed the title role in Alessando Scarlatti’s La Principessa Fedele with Amherst Early Music and Elisa in Maria Teresa Agnesi’s Sofonisba with La Donna Musicale. With the Connecticut Early Music Festival, she premiered the role of Tiresias in a new prologue to Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in which she also performed as the Spirit and Sailor. In high demand as an ensemble member, she sings regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Emmanuel Music, and several other groups.
A skilled interpreter of medieval and renaissance music, Ms. Gerbi has given multiple lecture-recitals on Italian and English madrigals, performed at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society and other academic conferences, and created a program to complement the exhibit “The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries” at the Peabody Essex Museum. She is a core member of Ensemble Origo, whose recording of a reconstruction of the coronation of Charles V is currently in production. She has toured internationally with the Liber Ensemble for Early Music, and she appears on Cut Circle's critically-acclaimed album of Franco-Flemish polyphony entitled “De Orto and Josquin: Music in the Sistine Chapel around 1490”. She received a fellowship from the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy to study and perform music by John Dunstaple, and from the Vancouver Early Music Programme to explore the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the Codex Las Huelgas.
Ms. Gerbi is also an experienced singer of 20th-century and contemporary works. She appeared on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s concert series performing David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion “with outstanding sensitivity and skill” (Boston Classical Review). She performed with the groundbreaking vocal ensemble Boston Secession for eight years, and can be heard on their recordings Surprised by Beauty: Minimalism in Choral Music and Afterlife. She joined the Lorelei Ensemble for their debut recording; she sang on and contracted the chorus for an album of choral works by Carson Cooman; and she was both an ensemble member and soloist on The Sacred Voice: Heinrich Christensen Conducts Sacred Vocal Works by Graham Gordon Ramsay. She recorded an album of Steven Paulus's choral music with True Concord Voices and Orchestra that reached No. 5 on the Billboard Classical Charts in September 2015.
Raised in Millbrook, New York, Ms. Gerbi studied at Boston University and has resided in the Boston area ever since.