Bio

Angela Young Smucker has earned praise for her “rich, secure mezzo-soprano” (Chicago Tribune) and her "powerful stage presence" (The Plain Dealer). Her performances in concert, stage, and chamber works have made her a highly versatile and sought-after artist.

Highlights of the 2015-16 season include debut performances with Spire Chamber Ensemble in the Duruflé Requiem and Handel’s Messiah, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), and with the San Diego Pro Arte Voices as mezzo-soprano soloist in Copland’s In the Beginning. Ms. Smucker will make return appearances with Haymarket Opera Company in the dual role of Diana/Jove as Diana in Cavalli’s Calisto; Newberry Consort’s presentation of the newly-edited Juan de Lienas Vespers; Bach Collegium San Diego in Handel’s Messiah and Monteverdi’s Vespers; Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra under the baton of new conductor Matthew Kraemer; and Chicago Bach Ensemble lead by Baroque specialist Rubén Dubrovsky.

As a concert artist, Ms. Smucker has been recognized for her fine artistry in the repertoire of J.S. Bach: “Her discerning interpretation of the texts matched her creamy alto sonority and perceptive traversal of Bach’s serpentine vocal lines… Smucker demonstrated how astutely Bach fused such rhetoric into his music” (SanDiego.com). She has performed all of his major works, as well as numerous cantatas, and has been a regular soloist with the Bach Collegium San Diego and the long-standing Bach Cantata series at Grace Lutheran Church (Chicago). She has been a featured soloist under the direction of Bach scholars Helmuth Rilling and Hermann Max, and has performed at Leipzig’s St. Thomaskirche with the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra. Ms. Smucker was also a Virginia Best Adams Master Class Fellow (Carmel Bach Festival), where she worked closely with Bach and early music experts David Gordon, Michael Beattie, Robin Blaze, Thomas Cooley, Kendra Colton, and Andrew Megill. She has been a featured soloist for the Oregon Bach Festival Discovery Series and also served as a frequent soloist in the OBF Master Class in Conducting. 

Concert work from past seasons includes Mozart’s Coronation Mass (Music of the Baroque), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival), Haydn’s Creation (Oregon Bach Festival), Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience under the baton of Philip Brunelle, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and Duruflé’s Requiem. She has been a featured artist in the U.S. premieres of Robert Kyr’s O Word of Light and Thunder (Evangelist), Francis Grier’s The Passion (Herod), and Siegfried Matthus’ Te Deum (Mezzo Soloist). Ms. Smucker has also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, WFMT’s Impromptu, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.

The Haymarket Opera Company, Chicago's 17th and 18th century opera troupe, burst onto the scene in 2011 to great critical acclaim. As a founding member, Ms. Smucker has appeared in productions of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Galatea) and Clori, Tirsi e Fileno (Fileno); Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Sorceress); and Charpentier’s Actéon (Hyale). Other stage productions include Suor Angelica (La zia Principessa), Così fan tutte (Dorabella), Le nozze di Figaro (Marcellina), and Iolanthe (Queen of the Fairies).

Ms. Smucker’s work as a chamber artist has also earned high praise. Her debut performances with French Baroque ensemble Les Délices were chosen as a 2013 “Cleveland Favorite” by The Plain Dealer. She has also worked with Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire and Grammy-winning ensembles: Chicago Symphony Chorus, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Conspirare. Other choral work includes the Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, Chicago A Cappella, VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Heartland Chamber Chorale, and Festival Ensemble Stuttgart. 

Ms. Smucker holds degrees from Valparaiso University and the University of Minnesota and was awarded acceptance into the 2015 NATS Intern Program while serving as an adjunct voice instructor at Valparaiso University (2008-2015).
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