About


Mezzo-soprano, Margaret Lias, has been celebrated for her “warm,” “arresting,” and “rich-toned” singing. Since her Boston Symphony Hall debut in 2011 with Handel and Haydn Society (Handel, Israel in Egypt), Margaret has been a frequent soloist under the baton of Harry Christophers. In 2015, Margaret received praise for her Lincoln Center solo debut singing Mozart’s Requiem. Select solo appearances in 2017 and 2018 include Portland Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, Choral, in D minor, op.125), Handel and Haydn Society (Bach, Mass in B Minor), Masterworks Chorale (Beethoven, Mass in C, Op. 86), the Cleveland Orchestra (Stravinsky, Threni: id est Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae), Back Bay Chorale (Mozart, Requiem), and Emmanuel Music (Bach, Christmas Oratorio).

A passionate supporter of Anglican liturgical music, Margaret has been a sought-after cantor for events such as bishop consecrations, priest ordinations, and Holy Week services in major cathedrals and churches in the US (St. John the Divine, New York, NY, Trinity Church in the City of Boston, MA, and Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, GA) and abroad (Westminster Abbey (The Collegiate Church of St. Peter), London, England, and Coventry Cathedral (St. Michael’s Cathedral), Coventry, England.). Presently, Margaret is a staff singer with Emmanuel Music, ensemble-in-residence at Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA.

Margaret’s versatility as a singer allows her the opportunity to collaborate with other soloists to perform master choral works at a very high level easily transitioning from medieval and baroque music to classical, romantic, and contemporary repertoire. Margaret was a founding member of The Skylark Vocal Ensemble under Matthew Guard. She has performed frequently with Seraphic Fire under Patrick Dupré Quigley, Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman, Voices of Ascension under Dennis Keene, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space under K. Scott Warren, Emmanuel Music under Ryan Turner, and Musica Sacra New York under Kent Tritle.  

Sought after for her administrative talents, Margaret was named chorus representative for Handel and Haydn Society in 2009 and served on the Board of Directors for Lorelei Ensemble. Additionally, Margaret is deeply honored to serve as Associate Director, Development, of Emmanuel Music.

Margaret began vocal studies at the age of 13 but had already been a student of the Royal School of Church Music curriculum from age 7. As a teenager, Margaret participated in community education studies at Eastman School of Music and eventually went on to collegiate coursework there as well. Presently, Margaret studies with Rebecca Folsom. 

Recent Reviews

As soloist in Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Seraphic Fire
"The mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias brought a plush but focused tone to her expression of the words of Mary Magdalene.” South Florida Classical Review (2017)

As soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Emmanuel Music
"Alto Margaret Lias shaded her performance of “Buß und Reu” with effective vocal tremors to conjure feelings of repentance.” Boston Classical Review (2017)

As soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Emmanuel Music
"Margaret Lias brought a balanced gravity to Buß und Reu.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer (2017)

As soloist in Stravinsky’s Threni: Lamentations of Jeremiah with The Cleveland Orchestra
"The six vocalists who sang the solo roles helped elevate what could have been a drab and brutal reading of a 12-tone rite into a surprisingly listenable and spellbinding experience.” "They did what so few singers can: make serialism sound natural. Theirs was the rare 12-tone performance that transcended technique and operated solely on the level of real music.” The Plain Dealer (2017)

As soloist in Stravinsky’s Threni: Lamentations of Jeremiah with The Cleveland Orchestra
"The difficult phrasing, awkward pauses and octave leaps were handled with impressive aplomb by Margot Rood, Margaret Lias, Brian Giebler, Steven Soph, James Bass and Charles Wesley Evans.” Bachtrack Ltd. (2017)

As soloist in Stravinsky’s Threni: Lamentations of Jeremiah with The Cleveland Orchestra
"The performance was ritualistic, riveting, and thoroughly impressive. The six singers from Seraphic Fire (Margot Rood, Margaret Lias, Steven Soph, Brian Giebler, James K. Bass, and Charles Wesley Evans), prepared by founder Patrick Dupré Quigley, were in complete command of their vocal roles, plucking entrance notes seemingly out of thin air.” ClevelandClassical.com (2017) 

The American Prize winner: "OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE in Art Song & Oratorio”
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award (professional division) (2016)

As soloist in Duruflé’s Requiem with Seraphic Fire
"Mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias was full-bodied of tone in...the “Pie Jesu,”” Washington Classical Review (2016)

As soloist in Duruflé’s Requiem with Seraphic Fire
“Mezzo Margaret Lias sang the “Pie Jesu” with an endearing tone quality that lifted the music out of its somewhat lugubrious coloring.” Palm Beach Arts Paper (2016)

As soloist in Corigliano’s Fern Hill with Princeton Pro Musica
"The featured mezzo-soprano soloist in this piece was Margaret Lias, who possessed a free and relaxed voice well-suited to Dylan Thomas’s text. Ms. Lias easily maneuvered the lower passages of Corigliano’s melodic passages, gently accompanied by the horn and winds of the orchestra.” Town Topics (2016)

As soloist in (a reconstruction of) Bach’s St. Mark Passion with Emmanuel Music
"Altos Margaret Lias and Deborah Rentz-Moore and bass David Tinervia were among the standouts for carrying power and interpretive nuance.” Boston Classical Review (2016)

As soloist in (a reconstruction of) Bach’s St. Mark Passion with Emmanuel Music
"Aria soloists highlights: ...intense resounding of “your flattering kisses/are poison” from Margaret Lias built over orchestral pedal…” The Boston Musical Intelligencer (2016)

As soloist in Muhly’s Bright Mass with Canons and Dvořák's Mass in D with Oratorio Chorale
"The Sanctus includes gracious solo lines...which were sung elegantly here by soprano Deborah Selig and mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias.” Portland Press Herald (2016)

As soloist in Duruflé’s Requiem with Back Bay Chorale
"In the Sanctus, a huge goose-bump engendering “Hosanna in excelsis” from the throng of singers burst forth, only to be countered with an openly touching, soul-searching Pie Jesu from mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias, whose vast tone-scape compels a listener’s total vigilance.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer (2015)

As soloist in Duruflé’s Requiem with Back Bay Chorale
“Mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias sang the “Pie Jesu” with a dark and affecting voice that lent a sense of longing to the music.” The Boston Classical Review (2015)

As soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Seraphic Fire and The Sebastians
"Then shall the eyes of the blind” followed, sung by Margaret Lias’ fine mezzo-soprano. [In] “He shall feed his flock,” Lias’s decorations were lovely.” Palm Beach Arts Paper (2015)

As soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with New Bedford Symphony Orchestra
“...Lias sang in an impressive high mezzo with solid diction.” SouthCoast Today (2015)

As soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with True Concord Chorus and Orchestra
“Special mention must be made of...the vocal soloists, soprano Megan Chartrand, mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias, tenor Charles Blandy, and bass Paul Max Tipton, for their excellent work.” New York Concert Review, Inc. (2015)

As soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Seraphic Fire and The Sebastians
“Margaret Lias’ mezzo was secure at the highest and lowest extremes, her burnished tone consistently arresting.” South Florida Classical Review (2015)

As soloist in Bach’s Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40 with Handel and Haydn Society
“The rich-toned alto Margaret Lias proclaimed comfort to the “grieving sinner” with vocal power in reserve.” Boston Classical Review (2014)

As soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio with Princeton Pro Musica
“…with mezzo-sopranos Margaret Lias and Luthien Brackett providing the most dramatic performances of the evening.” Town Topics, Princeton, NJ (2014)

As soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria with Handel and Haydn Society
“Margaret Lias’ singing was both warm and haunting in the “Agnus Dei.” The Boston Classical Review (2014)

As soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Handel and Haydn Society
“The oboe and oboe d’amore wove sweet countermelodies with Margaret Lias’s lovely alto voice.” The Boston Classical Review (2013)

As soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Handel and Haydn Society
“Alto Margaret Lias was arresting in the Qui sedes ad dexteram solo.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer (2013)

© Margaret Lias 2017