Vivien Shotwell

Canadian-American mezzo-soprano Vivien Shotwell recently joined the RAI National Symphony Orchestra of Turin, Italy, for Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, under the direction of James Conlon; GB Opera wrote, “The luminous song Urlicht, which constitutes the fourth movement, flowed easily, full of charm, from the voice of mezzo-soprano Vivien Shotwell.”

In the 2020-2021 season, canceled due to COVID-19, she was to have performed in Mahler’s Third Symphony with the same orchestra. She made her L.A. Opera debut as the Second Lady in The Magic Flute, for which she was praised as being “a real stand-out for volume and vibrancy of tone” by the online magazine Parterre Box. Of her Ottone in Bare Opera’s Poppea, Opera News wrote, “Shotwell’s portrayal was gripping, her voice rich in its lowest reaches and projecting just enough gender ambiguity.”

She received an artist diploma from the Yale School of Music, where she performed Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi under Speranza Scappucci, and sang the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, for which she was described by the Hartford Courant as being “filled with intensities … like the ringing of a haunted bell.”

She has received grants from the Olga Forrai Foundation, Early Music America and the Canada Council for the Arts. She was twice a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; at Yale, she was awarded both the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize and the Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize. Shotwell has given visiting artist recitals and led master classes at Williams College and the University of Iowa School of Music.

Her debut novel, Vienna Nocturne, about an English singer who loved Mozart, was a Globe & Mail best seller, and has been translated into seven languages:German, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Turkish, Hungarian and Bulgarian. It is also available in large print, and as an e-book and audiobook. 

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.