The Scene


Peabody Southwell

Peabody Southwell

Actor, singer, designer, writer

American artist Peabody Southwell has been recognized for her “stylistic mastery and ripe, sensual sound” (Opera Magazine UK) in an unconventionally versatile range of mediums and styles, she has worked in the past three years as an acclaimed actor, singer as well as visual and costume designer, curator, and writer. Current season engagements as a performer include her return to LA Opera as La Ciesca in Woody Allen’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and a reprisal of her role as the Third Lady within Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute. She sings the principal role in the world premiere of David Lang’s Anatomy Theater at LA Opera with Beth Morrison Projects, makes a return to the dual roles of Juno and Ino in Semele with Opera Omaha and will perform with John Adams conducting BMP’s Liederabend 21c with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a designer, she costume designs the US staged premiere of Jonathan Dove’s L’Altra Euridice for the Bay Chamber Festival in Maine and designs costumes for WIFE in the first iteration of the three year Pelleas project with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Recent work includes her Carnegie Hall performance debut with Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style led by Robert Spano, a return to San Francisco Symphony in Pulcinella conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, a debut performing Handel’s Messiah with Seattle Symphony and appearances with Los Angeles Opera as Flora in La Traviata and in the new production of The Ghosts of Versailles, both conducted by James Conlon. As an actor, she also recently completed filming for a role within the new feature The Disappointments Room produced by Relativity Media. As a designer and director in the past season, she co-directed and costume designed new productions of La voix humaine and Il segreto di Susanna for Opera San Antonio featuring soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, severed as the curator and co-designer wildUp’s Pulp in Santa Barbara, and designed costumes (with Emily Anne MacDonald) for Daphne with the Cleveland Orchestra.

Other recent season highlights as an actor, mezzo soprano and contralto include debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic narrating Philip Glass’ The Civil warS, a tour with the New World Symphony and Tilson Thomas in Chicago and Miami, performances as the Third Lady in Barrie Kosky’s production of Die Zauberflöte for LA Opera, an acclaimed role debut as the title role in Handel’s Agrippina for Opera Omaha, the title role in La Tragèdie de Carmen for Des Moines Metro Opera, Juno and Ino in Semele for Seattle’s Pacific Musicworks with Stephen Stubbs, Omar in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer for Long Beach Opera, a multi-media recital and accompanying short film featuring Schoenberg’s Das Buch der hängenden Gärten with Mark Robson at Boston Court, the world premiere of Kamran Ince’s The Ghosts of Crosstown for Opera Memphis and the world premiere of Stucky and Denk’s The Classical Style for The Ojai Festival in California with subsequent performances at Ojai North in Berkeley.

A Los Angeles native, Peabody made her LA Opera debut in the world premiere of Holdridge’s Dulce Rosa conducted by Plácido Domingo. She has appeared as Anna in Kurt Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden for Central City Opera, The Woman in Green in San Francisco Symphony’s genre-bending Peer Gynt and The Rape of Lucretia with James Conlon as part of the Britten 100/LA festival. Immediately after completing her Master’s degree from UCLA in 2009 she made her professional debut with Long Beach Opera as the Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen. She subsequently performed more than ten principal roles with LBO including the title role in Piazzola’s María de Buenos Aires, which she reprised as her debut with Chicago Opera Theater. With repertoire stretching from early music to modern, and encompassing mezzo soprano and contralto, she also has upcoming premieres for composers David Lang with Beth Morrison Projects and Nathaniel Stookey. She was a two-time Los Angeles district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, a winner of the Kent Atwater Concerto Competition, a Lotte Lenya Competition finalist and was recently named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month for May 2014. She trained at NYC’s Herbert Berghof Studios, and her work as a voiceover actor can also be heard on PBS.

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