"HANKEY ZIPPED THROUGH AGRIPPINA'S PUNISHING MUSIC WITH
beautiful tone, immaculate prosody & queenly authority."
With “much elegance and youthful tone” (Financial Times), mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey is increasingly lauded for her powerful stage presence, paired with a voice admired for its “dusky focus and hypnotic allure.” (The Times). Shining brightly when faced with a complex character, she has been praised by The New York Times not only for her “mighty yet smooth sound,” but also for her “tireless energy and dramatic skill.”
Hankey’s 2023-2024 season marks her debuts at the Royal Opera House, where she appears as Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Detroit Opera, in the role of the Fox in Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen; and at Lyric Opera of Kansas City in a role debut as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana. Following critically acclaimed performances as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier last season, Hankey returns to the Metropolitan Opera this season as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette – a “Met Live in HD” production that will be seen on screens around the world. She also makes her much anticipated return to Opernhaus Zürich for director Kirill Serebrennikov’s revival of Così fan tutte, where she sings the role of Dorabella. In concert, Hankey performs as a featured soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and appears in recitals at Antwerp LiedFest and in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Samantha Hankey opened her 2022-2023 season as Federico García Lorca in a new production of Golijov’s Ainadamar at Scottish Opera, directed by Olivier Award-winning choreographer and director Deborah Colker, followed by a house debut at Chicago Lyric Opera as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. The season also marked her Carnegie Hall recital debut in Weill Recital Hall with pianist Sophie Raynaud. Other highlights included her return to the Metropolitan Opera as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier (broadcast Live in HD); her role and house debut as Mélisande in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande by Netia Jones at Santa Fe Opera; and reprising Così fan tutte (Dorabella) at Palm Beach Opera.
Significant house and role debuts in recent seasons include the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona as Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Dorabella in Così fan tutte at San Diego Opera, and Ruggiero in Glyndebourne Festival’s new production of Alcina. She made her role debut as Prince Charming in Cinderella at the Metropolitan Opera, and her house debut in the same role at the Opéra de Paris, before returning to Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, a role that she debuted to critical acclaim in the new production by Barrie Kosky, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
From 2019-2021, Hankey held a Fest contract at the Bayerische Staatsoper, where she made notable appearances as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Wellgunde in Das Rheingold, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, and Carmen in Marina Abramović’s new production of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas at the Opernfestspiele. Other notable house debuts include the Metropolitan Opera where she performed a myriad of named roles in a single season, Opernhaus Zürich, Den Norske Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Grand Théâtre de Genève.
On the concert stage, Hankey performed the title role in Handel’s Agrippina in concert with Il Pomo d’Oro in Turku, Finland, where she was praised by Turun Sanomat for her “marvelously rich mezzo.” She also appeared at Bard Festival in Lili Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène, at Carnegie Hall in Handel’s Messiah, in solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau and in New York City at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Brian Zeger, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
Equally at home in classical repertoire and new music, Samantha Hankey has a longstanding relationship with composer David Herzberg, with whom she co-developed the title role in The Rose Elf as well as The Fairy Prince in The Wake World, both of which received considerable praise through multiple workshops, premieres and CD recordings. She also has been involved in numerous world premieres including productions with Opera Philadelphia and The Metropolitan Opera.
"ALSO IMPRESSIVE WAS HIS DIANA, SAMANTHA HANKEY, THE MOST INGENIOUS & ECONOMICAL ACTOR IN THE COHORT OF TEN SINGERS.
A SQUARE-SHOULDERED BEAUTY WITH A MAPLE-FLAVORED MEZZO,
HANKEY WAS ABLE TO INDICATE WITH ADMIRABLE SUBTLETY WHEN SHE WAS MEANT TO BE THE "REAL" DIANA AND WHEN SHE WAS MEANT TO BE THE GOD GIOVE DISGUISED AS DIANA."
"OF THE LOVERS, SAMANTHA HANKEY MAKES THE BIGGER IMPACT AS A PUNK-ISH ROSINA WHO IS CLEARLY GOING TO BE TOO MUCH OF A HANDFUL FOR HER HAPLESS AND DELUDED GUARDIAN.
SHE SANG WITH POWER & POISE & Held the attention even on a crowded stage."
PLAYS TO SEE
Hankey’s career includes awards in a vast number of national and international competitions. In 2018, she won both First Prize and the Media Prize at the Inaugural Glyndebourne Cup. The same year, she took home multiple prizes at the Operalia Competition, winning top awards in the general division as well as the Birgit Nilsson Prize for her interpretation of the work of Richard Strauss. In 2018, she also received a Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, following an earlier 2016 award of a Sara Tucker Study Grant. In 2017, she was named a Grand Finals Winner by the Metropolitan Opera National Council, took First Prize in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and received a Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship in the foundation’s final year.
Samantha Hankey is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where she received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and was recognized with several distinctions, including the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music and The Juilliard Kovner Fellowship.
A native of Marshfield, Massachusetts, Hankey embraced her passion for music from an early age after performing in a local production of Annie at age six. She sang with the Boston Children’s Chorus for several years as a youth, attended the distinguished Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and pursued pre-college vocal training at the Longy School of Music and the New England Conservatory.