Audrey Babcock is an award-winning mezzo-soprano who has gained notoriety for her commanding, powerful performances as Carmen, her dark, hypnotic portrayals of Maddalena in Rigoletto, and her emotionally raw performances as Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha. As Carmen, Ms. Babcock made her French debut with the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer and has performed the role with companies such as Florentine Opera, Nashville Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, San Antonio Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera, Anchorage Opera, Dayton Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, and Utah Festival Opera and most recently with Bar Harbor Music Festival where she completed her 115th performance of the fiercest of the Femme Fatales.
“Audrey Babcock's performance as Carmen was a spellbinding tour de force...from the moment she took the stage her self-assured characterization was mesmerizing ...Babcock's caramel-hued mezzo was a pleasure…her supple tones caressed the notes, radiating earthy allure.”
- The Salt Lake Tribune
Widely recognized as a choice singer for new works, Ms. Babcock has premiered several new operas for stage including Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin (NY Premiere - Dicapo Opera), With Blood, With Ink (World Premiere - Fort Worth Opera), La Reina (American Lyric Theater, NY and Prototype Festival), The Poe Project (American Lyric Theater), and appeared as Mother in Winter’s Tale, written by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Ellen Reid and produced by Beth Morrison’s Prototype Festival in NYC. She was also featured as Mrs. Mister in the New Cast Recording of Marc Blitztein’s The Cradle Will Rock.
The 2018-2019 season included three role debuts - the Mother in Hänsel und Gretel and Baba/Flora in The Medium with Victory Hall Opera and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible with Opera Santa Barbara. In the 2019-2020 season she returned to Opera Santa Barbara as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, brought her show Beyond Carmen to Opera Delaware, and makes her Seattle Opera debut as Baroness Nica in Yardbird.
An active producer, Ms. Babcock has garnered much acclaim for her Choreopoem, Carmen: Shadow of My Shadow. This work utilizes flamenco dance, re-purposed songs from southern Spain, moments of Bizet’s Opera Carmen, as well as vocal and physical improvisation to break down the façade of the impenetrable femme fatale represented by the image of Carmen and the Flamenca. The work seeks to uncover the messy, human center; the woman who is both vicious and vulnerable, terrified and terrifying, desperately shattered and yet completely whole. Ms. Babcock’s first piece, Lily; her life, his music is a bold one-woman tour-de-force multimedia production featuring the music of Kurt Weill. The work follows the fictional cabaret singer Lily Weiss as she claws her way through the seedy cabarets of Berlin, to the brothels of Paris and finally on a ship bound for America in the thick of World War 2.
Ms. Babcock discerns her research focuses along two tracts; the physical mechanisms of the breathing apparatus as pertains to the act of singing and specific arenas of musical history. To the singing mechanism, Ms. Babcock’s research pertains to the pelvic floor, pelvic health, and its tangible use in partnership with the deconstruction of breath. She is unpacking the relationship of the pelvic diaphragm to the global singing instrument from laryngeal stabilization to simultaneous neurological calm and full-bodied sonic vitality.
Embodying these tools, Ms. Babcock’s Masterclass series, The Full-Bodied Voice, has brought her to colleges and Young Artist programs across the US and abroad from Fort Worth Opera to California Institute of the Arts. The series, from inspiration to creation, directly addresses how life and society has retrained the perfect breath we were born to take. From the ancient traditions of Kundalini Yoga and other kinesthetic practices she takes these tools from practice to performance.
Ms. Babcock’s other arena of research involves bringing historical music and language into a modern context investigating Sephardic music, the Ladino language, and music created prior to and through the diaspora (post expulsion from Spain). The cross pollination of Arabic (Moorish), Catholic, and Jewish art and culture in Spain circa 1400 A.D., as well as the following aurally transmitted diasporic song tradition, are her specific focuses. Having spent much time under the tutelage of the late Nico Castel (who wrote the first book of ladino songs widely available to the public), her first album, Songs for Carmen, was born. SFC, a concept album, recorded under her Hebrew name, Aviva, hinges on the legend that the original Carmen may have been a Sephardic Jew and not a Gypsy. Ms. Babcock’s concert series, Beyond Carmen, her work with the ensemble Flamenco Sephardit and her Choreopoem - Carmen; Shadow of my Shadow, are all beneficiaries and extensions of this life-long pursuit.
Ms. Babcock received her undergraduate training from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and she earned her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. She is the recipient of a number of awards including Artist of the Year for her portrayal of Jo in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, the George London Award, the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation award, and the Opera Index and Sullivan Foundation Encouragement Award. She was also a Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalist two years in a row. She is a first-place winner in the Friday Morning Music Club Washington International Voice Competition and placed in the Florida Grand YPO Voice Competition, Palm Beach Opera Voice Competition, and the Liederkranz Foundation Scholarship Award. Her television credits include performances for PBS' Crossing Borders, a three-part series with Regina Resnik based on composers in and around the Holocaust.
Audrey Babcock is a member of AGMA, SAFD (Society of American Fight Directors), NATS, SAG/AFTRA Eligible, and a former member of AEA.