Praised for her dark-hued voice and convincing characterizations, mezzo-soprano Brooke Larimer is emerging on the American opera scene as an intelligent singing-actress with a diverse repertoire. Her turn as the comedic Mistress Quickly in Boston Opera Collaborative’s Falstaff garnered critical acclaim as “the quintessential contralto-soubrette, Italian-American sexpot, with some of the most convincing physical realization of character in the whole production” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix praised for her ability to “…sing and chew gum at the same time.” For her portrayal as Carmen, she was hailed as “dark, husky…[and] rapacious” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).
Most recently, Ms. Larimer performed the role of Sadie in the European premiere of William Mayer's A Death in the Family produced by the Center for Contemporary Opera. The opera, directed by Róbert Alföldi and conducted by Sara Jobin, was awarded both Best Production and Audience Favorite in the international competition. Additionally, she returned to Connecticut Lyric Opera for her role debut as Mercédès in Carmen in October 2012.
Upcoming performances include a reprise of the Center for Contemporary Opera’s A Death in the Family as Aunt Sadie in Avignon, France (June 2013) and covering Flora in Hubbard Hall Opera Theater’s La Traviata (February 2013).
Ms. Larimer’s repertoire spans a wide range of comedic and dramatic roles including Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Carmen (Carmen) Bradamante (Alcina), Emilia (Verdi’s Otello), Ursule (Béatrice et Bénédict), Mrs. Soames (Rorem’s Our Town), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), and Jenny (The Threepenny Opera). She has performed with myriad venues such as Opera Boston, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, Commonwealth Opera, Natchez Festival of Music, Raylynmor Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, Longwood Opera, Granite State Opera and Lakes Region Opera Company.
Equally at home on the concert platform, Ms. Larimer brings an intelligent musicality to her oratorio performances. From 2008-2010, she served as Alto Artist-in-Residence at Brookline Chorus where she performed solos in Schütz’s Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. Ms. Larimer delighted audiences in Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Quincy Choral Society and Mozart’s Requiem with Harvard Pro Musica and Choral Art Society of the South Shore, Schubert’s Mass in E-Flat with Nashoba Valley Chorale, Handel’s Messiah with Commonwealth Opera and Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus with Music at St. Mary’s (Boston College) and St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Boston. More recently, Ms. Larimer returned to the Choral Art Society of the South Shore singing Haydn’s Mass in Time of War.
In addition to her extensive work in the standard opera and concert repertoire, Ms. Larimer is an ardent champion of the works of living composers. With the New York City-based Center for Contemporary Opera, she workshopped the roles of Constance in Mark Grant’s The Human Zoo and Shifra-Puah in Ben Moore’s Enemies, a love story. She performed the dual roles of Crito and Apollo in the world premiere of Peter McMurray’s A Rooster for Asclepius produced by Juventas! and OperaHub. With Quincy Choral Society, she performed the mezzo-soprano solos in the world premiere of Brandon Grimes’ Mass for a Dawning Age. As an ensemble member of the ambitious Lorelei Ensemble (under the baton of Mo. Beth Willer), Ms. Larimer performed works of young composers Erin Huelskamp (A Protest), Mary Montgomery Koppel (world premiere of At Dawn) Rudolf Rojahn (Eula), and Daniel T. Lewis (wrorld premiere of Into Hell), and with Boston Modern Orchestra Project sang in the North American premiere of John Foulds’ Three Mantras.
Brooke Larimer was a member of the Young Artist Program at Natchez Festival of Music in 2008 and 2010. She has become a regular contributor to the Indie Opera Podcast and sits on the board of directors of Boston Opera Collaborative as an artist-alumna. Ms. Larimer received her Masters in Music from The Boston Conservatory and her Bachelor of Music from Vanderbilt University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.