Born in Philadelphia, the American mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson graduated from Temple University and received her master’s degree in Music from SUNY in Binghamton, NY.
She is one of the most admired and sought-after mezzo-sopranos on the music scene today, and is greatly admired for the rich beauty of her deeply expressive voice. She has sung under many of the world’s great conductors and with leading symphony orchestras throughout the USA and Europe. She has performed at the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Tanglewood, Blossom, Glyndebourne in England, Bregenz in Austria, the Edinburgh Festival and New York’s Lincoln Center Arts Festival. Simpson has sung in Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, Milan’s La Scala, Houston Grand Opera and New York City Opera. She is an acclaimed recitalist and has given recitals in many major cities.
Her performances with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem have included concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Highlights of Simpson’s 2000–2001 season include performances with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle; the Los Angeles Symphony under Esa-Pekka Salonen in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; the Cleveland Orchestra under Jahja Ling in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Atlanta Symphony under Roger Norrington in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; Cincinnati Symphony under Robert Porco in Mozart’s Requiem and Houston Symphony under Claus Peter Flor in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater. Ms Simpson also performed in Boston’s Symphony Hall in Handel’s Elijah under Christopher Hogwood; in the Kennedy Center in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater under Robert Shafer, also recorded for Naxos; and at the Grand Teton Festival in Verdi’s Requiem under Eiji Oue. Simpson can be seen on Video Artists International’s complete version of Handel’s Messiah with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony, which has been shown on PBS national telecasts.
She has recorded for Telarc and EMI and is featured on The Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s releases of The Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) and Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) on the Dorian label.
In the spring of 1994, Temple University awarded her its Certificate of Honor as a distinguished alumnus, and Philadelphia’s National Political Congress of Black Women presented her with their second annual Chisholm Award as an outstanding AfricanAmerican woman in music.