“Her body filled with energy, her face and arms became remarkably expressive, and her voice rang out with beauty…Middleman gave strong indication that, as her voice continues to develop, we will be fortunate to hear more of her in the years ahead.”
Praised for her “expressive” and “persuasive” performances, mezzo-soprano Quinn Middleman is equally at home on the operatic and concert stages, and maintains a wide variety of repertoire ranging from early music to bel canto to world premieres. Her background as a professional orchestral and solo oboist adds to her musical integrity and interpretation on the operatic stage.
In the summer of 2017, Quinn was a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artist at Central City Opera in Colorado, covering the role of Dorabella in Così fan tutte, performing the role of Second Entertainer in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, and presenting a recital of art songs by women composers. In September of 2017, Quinn will make her debut with Haymarket Opera Company, singing the role of “Songe” in the modern-day premiere of Marin Marais’ Ariane et Bachus (tickets available here). She will also portray the Mother in Stravinsky’s Mavra with Chicago College of the Performing Arts in October (more information here).
Currently a Young Artist with Chicago Opera Theater, Quinn’s will sing the role of Doris/Witness 3 in the Midwest premiere of Kevin Puts’ Elizabeth Cree (tickets available here). In the 2016-2017 season, Quinn appeared with COT in Purcell’s Fairy Queen, in the Chicago premiere of Martin’s Le vin herbé and of Philip Glass’s The Perfect American. She also appeared in recital with the Musician’s Club of Women on May 22 in the Chicago Cultural Center, as a recipient of the Farwell Trust Award, was the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah conducted by Philip Bauman and in Mendelssohn’s Elijah conducted by Philip Simmons.
Quinn performed alongside Dawn Upshaw, Sanford Sylvan, John Harbison, Lucy Shelton, and Kayo Iwama as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in both 2015 and 2016. She received many accolades for singing the world premiere of Harold Meltzer’s Variations on a Summer Day for the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music in 2016, and in 2015 sang alongside Lucy Shelton in the premiere of Yehudi Wyner’s Sonnet: In the Arms of Sleep.
Quinn received her masters degree at Northwestern University, where she studied under W. Stephen Smith. At Northwestern, she was seen as Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti), and Sister Helen Prejean in the Chicago premiere of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. She co-founded the student opera company Chamber Opera Initiative, and performed the title role in Handel’s Ariodante with the company in 2015.
Quinn graduated from the University of Southern California in 2014, where she received Bachelor’s degrees in both Vocal Arts and Oboe Performance. In her time at USC, she sang the roles of Nerone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Mother Marie (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Third Spirit (Die Zauberflöte), and La India in the Los Angeles premiere of David Conte’s America Tropical. She was also a soloist in Philip Glass’s A Madrigal Opera with the LA Philharmonic’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival. Other operatic roles include La Zelatrice (Suor Angelica), Ottavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Sesto (Giulio Cesare), and Fidalma (Il matrimonio segreto).
Off the operatic stage, Quinn enjoys a fulfilling schedule of art song, concert work, and competitions. Most recently, she sang the solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14, Bach’s St. John Passion, Walton’s Façades, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat.
As a winner of Musicians Club of Women Edith Newfield Scholarship, she recently presented a recital of lesser-known Lieder alongside San Francisco Ballet Orchestra clarinetist Andrew Sandwick. In 2015, she won third place in the Ziering-Conlon Recovered Voices Initiative Competition, championing the music of composers suppressed during the Nazi regime. She recently appeared alongside composer Jake Heggie and flutist Carol Wincenc in the Music at Meyer concert series in San Francisco, in a recital featuring the composer’s music. Quinn currently studies with Judith Haddon.