The Boston Globe hails Michaela Martens for her "dense, color-saturated voice" and declares: "She is a passionate and sympathetic vocal actress." Ms. Martens is fast becoming known for her portrayals of some of the most difficult dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in the repertoire, beginning with a triumphant last-minute debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as die Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten, a role she repeated for the Oper Graz in a new production by the critically acclaimed director Marco Marelli.
Ms. Martens begins the current season with performances of Adelaide in Arabella with San Francisco Opera, followed by performances of Klytemnestra in Elektra with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and a return to the Met for Dialogues des
Last season, Ms. Martens saw a return to San Francisco Opera as Klytemnestra in Elektra, followed by performances of the same role with Houston Grand Opera. She returns to North Carolina Opera as Dalila in a concert performance of Samson et Dalila, and sings Susan B. Anthony in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY.
In 2016-2017, she was heard as Martha in John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the St. Louis Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Freia in a concert performance of Das Rheingold with North Carolina Opera, Herodias in Salome with Pittsburgh Opera, and debuted with Washington Concert Opera in the title role of Hérodiade. In the 20152016 season, Ms. Martens performed the role of Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle in concert with the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo, Cassandre in Les Troyens with Geneva Opera in Switzerland, and Kostelnicka in Jenůfa with English National Opera.
Ms. Martens returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2014-2015 season as Marilyn Klinghoffer in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, and as Gertrud in Hänsel und Gretel - a role she reprised in her debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. With the Santa Fe Opera she performed Herodias in Salome, and
with San Francisco Opera she sang the role of Cassandre in Les Troyens. Ms. Martens opened the 2013-14 season with her return to Oper Graz singing the role of Ortrud in Lohengrin, a role she later reprised at the Vienna State Opera. Ms. Martens also made a return to the Opernhaus Zürich as Kostelnicka in Jenůfa, a role in which she made her triumphant debut last season.
A regular at the Metropolitan Opera, highlights of recent seasons include Kundry in Parsifal, the 2nd Norn in Götterdämmerung, the Contessa in Andrea Chenier, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, along with productions of Capriccio, Die Walküre, La damnation de Faust, The First Emperor, Il trittico, and Jenůfa. In previous seasons with English National Opera, she was heard as Gertrude in Hänsel und Gretel, Marilyn Klinghoffer in Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, Judith in Bluebeard's Castle, and Kostelnicka in David Alden's critically acclaimed production of Jenůfa.
Ms. Martens made her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra singing the difficult title role in Albéric Magnard's Berenice. Opera Today said, "...she can indeed sing softly, though clearly, when required...but it is the fierce and tireless, unwavering solidity of Martens' voice that Wagnerians will find exciting." Additional concert engagements include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony, and Verdi’s Requiem for the Grant Park Music Festival and Spoleto Festival U.S.A.