Soprano Mary Hegarty’s early studies at the Cork School of Music led to a place at the National Opera Studio in London and masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Sir Peter Pears. She represented Ireland at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and subsequently built an impressive career throughout Europe on the operatic stage, concert platform and in regular broadcasts with RTE and the BBC.
Since making her professional debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, under the baton of Bernard Haitink, Mary has sung principal roles with English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Opera Northern Ireland, City of Birmingham Touring Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Garsington Opera, D’Oyly Carte, Reisopera, La Monnaie, Vlaamse Opera, Adelaide Festival, Opera Zuid, Athens Festival, Bilbao Opera, Opera Theatre Company, Castleward Opera, the Dublin Grand Opera Society and R&R Musical Society. Oratorio and concert appearances include the BBC Proms, many performances of Messiah, Handel’s Creation, Carmina Burana, Maritana, La Bohème (at the RTE Proms), and the Irish premieres of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio.
She has graced the stages of the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall, National Concert Hall and others, with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Ulster Orchestra, the Orchestre Nationale de Belgique, and the Black Dyke Mills Band.
Mary Hegarty’s recordings include her solo album A Voice is Calling, and CD recordings of Patience and Orpheus in the Underworld with the D’Oyly Carte (Sony), also Silver Tassie (ENO) and Carmen (Chandos) with Glyndebourne Opera. Mary played Gilda in Woody Allen’s movie Matchpoint and appeared in special BBC TV broadcasts and DVD recordings of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince.
Since returning to live in Cork, Mary has been a lecturer in vocal studies at the MTU Cork School of Music; her students have performed at English National Opera, Garsington Opera, the BBC Proms, and with Celtic Women. One of her students featured in the final stages of BBC TV series The Voice UK – mentored by Sir Tom Jones. Mary was recently the voice and language coach for a British Youth Opera production of Riders to the Sea. She has also developed duo partnerships for recital work with Ciara Moroney and Gabriela Mayer, specialising in German and French song.
Mary was nominated for an Opera Bear Award for her portrayal of Miss Wordsworth in Opera North’s acclaimed production of Britten’s Albert Herring, repeating the role at Buxton Festival Opera. Recent projects have included concerts of the Jazz Songbook with her own quintet and a large-scale Christmas show, Mary Hegarty’s Big-Band Christmas. She has also developed a solo musical theatre cabaret with Cathal Synnott, alongside their work on the new BA in Musical Theatre at MTUCSM.