LATEST UPDATES FROM SAMANTHA
December 14, 2018
Best of 2018: 11 Singers Who Had A Year To Remember!
Ms. Hankey is featured as one of eleven singers who made major impacts and debuts over the course of the year in OperaWire's December High Notes article, "Best of 2018: 11 Singers Who Had a Year to Remember!"
"The National Council Audition winner is one of the brightest rising stars in the industry. She made her Geneve Opera debut in a new production of “Faust” and then went on to win the first annual World Cup Glyndebourne competition. In the summer, she went on to take home second prize at the prestigious Operalia competition, solidifying her status in the opera world. She was also involved in the world premiere of “The Rose Elf,” which premiered in New York and was recorded for release in 2019."
September 2, 2018
SAMANTHA HANKEY TAKES HOME MULTIPLE PRIZES IN 2018
Ms. Hankey traveled to Lisbon, Portugal to compete in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition. One of just twelve finalists, Ms. Hankey was awarded the Second Prize Award in the general division as well as the Birgit Nilsson Prize for her interpretation of the work of Richard Strauss. Operalia maintains a goal of attracting singers of all voice tessituras and from every country in the world ranging from 18 to 32 years of age, and to have them audition and be heard by a panel of distinguished international opera personalities, in the most prestigious and competitive showcase in the world.
Ms. Hankey was the only competitor from the USA to earn prizes in the prestigious finals of the competition, where she performed "Da, chas nastal" from Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans. The finals concert, conducted by Plácido Domingo, was broadcast live internationally- check back here for performance videos soon.
Issue 2 Summer 2018: USA focus
SPOTLIGHT ON SAMANTHA HANKEY
In Askonas Holt's new magazine, Samantha sits down for a Q&A that covers everything from what she loves most about her career to her pre-performance ritual of listening to Gamelan music.
"What do you love most about your career?
All of the adventures and challenges! I love that everyday is a bit different; the rehearsal schedule changes, some days there are lessons, travel, days off...I feel I'm well suited to these changes. I couldn't picture myself sitting at a computer all day, five days a week."
SAMANTHA HANKEY NAMED A 2018 RICHARD TUCKER CAREER GRANT WINNER
Richard Tucker Career Grant winners are selected each year for unrestricted grants. Ms. Hankey was previously the recipient of a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant.
Nominations for all the categories are solicited from a wide universe of professionals in the US and abroad. Those invited to audition in New York City each spring sing for a panel of opera professionals and leaders in the opera world. Auditions are open to the public and are attended annually by both opera lovers and artistic administrators from opera houses across the world.
September 12, 2018
wQXR & OPERAVORE
40 UNDER 40
Ms. Hankey is featured as one of forty young singers to watch in "40 Under 40: A New Generation of Superb Opera Singers," a recent article curated by Operavore & WQXR New York Public Radio.
"Samantha Hankey, a mezzo from Massachusetts, starred as The Elf in The Rose Elf, by David Hertzberg, produced by Unison Media at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn in June. It was one of the most important opera events of the year. Hankey has won various prizes and excelled in every performance I saw her do at Juilliard. She joins the Met this season and will perform in six operas."
March 24, 2018
SAMANTHA HANKEY WINS INAUGURAL GLYNDEBOURNE OPERA CUP
Ms. Hankey was named the first place winner of The Glyndebourne Opera Cup, an international competition for opera singers designed to discover and spotlight the best young singers from around the world. The final stages of the competition took place in March 2018. The 25 semi-finalists competed for one of ten places in the finals.
The theme of the inaugural competition was Mozart, and finalists were accompanied by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The competition was televised in a dedicated TV series on Sky Arts, Glyndebourne’s official UK broadcast partner for the competition, and was hosted by Chris Addison & Danielle de Niese and viewed around the world.
Ms. Hankey performed "Parto, parto" from La Clemenza di Tito and "‘Va pure ad altri in braccio" from La finta giardiniera. In addition to winning First Prize in the competition, Ms. Hankey was awarded the Media Prize.
Sebastian F Schwarz, Chair of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup jury, said: "Throughout the competition, from the heats, through the semis to the final, Samantha Hankey was a winner. She had amazing stage presence, wonderful musicality, a beautiful voice – a voice that can be used in various sizes of theatres. She understood what she was singing about, and she conveyed it with absolute clarity and wonderful musical intelligence."
Sound Bites spotlights up-and-coming singers and conductors in the world of opera.
"Samantha Hankey delivered a star-quality performance as Handel’s Agrippina at Juilliard last season. Her luscious, amber-toned mezzo zipped through the evil queen’s machinations with a dazzling combination of assurance and glamour, but Hankey chuckles when complimented on her performance. “She’s not me, that’s for sure. I’m a pretty private person. That’s why I enjoy being onstage—I get to completely open up and express all those things I can’t in everyday life. Agrippina is so evil, but the character has such substance and richness that it was fun to explore her. The music is fantastic—it’s so chromatic, which is unusual for Handel. I absolutely loved it. And I loved doing it in the [Rosemary and Meredith Willson] black-box theater, where the audience is right on top of the singers. In Agrippina, I tried to direct lines to individual audience members—including them in her asides, as if to say, ‘Now you know what I’m plotting, too, and we are in this together. Got it?’ I know that made some audience members uncomfortable, because it was so intimate. But inclusion was one of the goals of that show—to take down the invisible wall between the audience and the opera!”
January 17, 2018
OPERAWIRE Q & A
"American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey recently won the Grand Finals at the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won First Prize winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Competition. Now after winning such prestigious competitions, she is slowly becoming one of the most acclaimed rising stars of the opera world.
'It was a dream of mine for many years. I tend to set goals for myself and I want to do certain things by a certain age. And I dreamed of doing the Met competition by 24. I think that feeling of being on the Met stage and working with all the different people at the Met leading up to the finals was a good way to finish my time in NYC as a student at Juilliard and also propel me into my career.'"
The Boston Globe | May 17, 2018
READY TO SOAR
"For someone who’s about to obtain her master’s degree, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey has a staggeringly long list of accomplishments. Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions win? Check. Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition first place? Check. Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship? Check. But underneath all the accolades, the Marshfield native is staying focused on her art.
'I’m not good with words as a person,' Hankey, 25, said from her New York apartment via phone. 'When I’m up onstage I’m able to pick repertoire that speaks to me, to find aspects of a character in an opera that I relate to that I wouldn't normally express in everyday life.'
Hankey’s voice is warm and mellifluous. In one video on YouTube, she spikes it with earthy mischief singing the famous Habañera from “Carmen” with the Nuremburg Symphony Orchestra. In another, she imbues it with innocent loneliness singing the Prince’s aria from Massenet’s “Cendrillon” in a Juilliard masterclass with superstar mezzo Joyce DiDonato. “If I were a few years younger, I could be your Cendrillon,” DiDonato sighed as she sidled across the stage to delve into the details with Hankey, visibly impressed."
May 11, 2017
THE PATRIOT LEDGER
"As a student at Juilliard, a prestigious music school in New York City, Marshfield native Samantha Hankey spent six years performing in five languages in four different states.
Now the opera singer is preparing to graduate with her second college degree and launch a professional music career. She has performances in San Francisco, Norway and Switzerland lined up.
'We don’t stay in one place for too long; it’s just the nature of what we do,” Hankey, 24, said. “It’s really inspiring to get to take different things from different experiences. You always learn something new from each production.'"
An Interview with Samantha Hankey
"How would you describe the process of learning, training, and becoming the “ingenious… square-shouldered beauty with a maple-flavored mezzo” as described by Opera News?
'Haha! While I was certainly not trained in the maple-flavored technique, I was grateful that my performance in Cavalli’s La Calisto was well received.
Training a voice is a very long process that requires a great deal of training, time, and dedication. To make it even more difficult, every singer’s experience is completely unique to the singer and every audience member’s perception of that sound is different. Some singers learn scientifically, while others think in colors or flavors. One teacher even encouraged us to use “wine terms” when describing the voices we heard.
There really is no one size fits all model to the training process, but I have found that, ultimately, you must train until you learn to trust that your instrument knows what it is doing. If that instrument is “maple-flavored,” then all the better!'"