Mhairi Lawson

Soprano

"Mhairi Lawson sang with precision and agility, injecting colour and weight into her soprano with expressive thoughtfulness"

OperaToday

"True Handelian style surfaces in the voice of Mhairi Lawson"

The Times

"…a crystal stream of pure, limpid soprano sound…"

The Sunday Times

"Soprano Mhairi Lawson proves as unfailingly beautiful in tone as she is neat in execution"

BBC Music Magazine

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Mhairi Lawson has performed in opera houses and concert halls worldwide. In the UK, she has regularly collaborated with such companies as The Gabrieli Consort & Players, The Academy of Ancient Music, English National Opera, The Early Opera Company and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and with many leading conductors such as William Christie, Sir Charles Mackerras, Paul McCreesh, Jane Glover and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, in repertoire ranging from traditional folksong to opera.

This season, Mhairi sings Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bach’s B minor Mass with the Bath Bach Choir, Haydn’s Creation with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, and performances of Purcell’s King Arthur on tour with the Gabrieli Consort.

Recent highlights include performances of Purcell Songes & Ayres and Handel’s Messiah with the Dunedin Consort, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with BBC NOW, Haydn’s Creation with the Arctic Philharmonic, regular residencies at the Carmel Bach Festival in the USA, and Mhairi continues her recital collaboration with Eugene Asti.

A keen recitalist, engagements have included songs from the British folksong tradition and Lieder by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss and Wolf with appearances in the Edinburgh Festival, Newcastle and York Universities, recordings for BBC Radio 3, and a recital with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny as part of the St Magnus International Festival.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Handel Messiah, Dunedin Consort, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh

(December 2021)

It was a directness mirrored in his quartet of soloists’ contributions. Mhairi Lawson’s I know That My Redeemer Liveth, for example, was a simple, sincere expression of faith, and all the more powerful for that, delivered with her exquisite silvery soprano.

David Kettle, The Scotsman*****

CD: Chisholm: Songs, Delphian DCD34259

(October 2021)

A rather different style of humour is on display in Glances, which John Purser aptly sums up as “highly suggestive and harmonically coquettish”. Mhairi Lawson and Iain Burnside deliver this with a definite twinkle in the eye. …Diarmait's Sleep, sung by Mhairi Lawson, is a touching lullaby to a sleeping lover. This is beautifully performed, as is Lament, which is all the more affecting on account of the restraint of the setting. Right at the end of the programme Ms Lawson gives us Home Sickness. This is very beautiful. …The penultimate song, ‘Innocence’ has Ms Lawson back in front of the microphone. This may well be my favourite among the set; its simple eloquence touches the heart and the fragile delicacy of Mhairi Lawson’s singing is just right. …Their voices sound extremely pleasing and the clarity of voice and of diction that each of them brings to their respective performances is very welcome.

John Quinn, MusicWeb International

Reflective prayers and laments are given a spring-water freshness by Lawson’

David Patrick Stearns, Gramophone

Handel Brockes-Passion, Arcangelo, Alpha Classics

ALPHA644 (March 2021)

Mhairi Lawson’s shining soprano excels in her reflective arias towards the end of the work (the assuaging ‘Was Wunder, dass der Sonnen Pracht’, softly coloured by bassoons, is one of several foretastes of Acis and Galatea).

Gramophone

Purcell: Songs & Ayres, Dunedin Consort at the Lammermuir Festival

(September 2020)

Dunedin programmes are always inventive affairs, and this one showed not just a creative choice of repertoire, but joy taken in the variety of what was on offer, crowned by Mhairi Lawson’s shining soprano which gave the songs star quality that they probably didn’t have when they were first performed.

Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard International

Purcell King Arthur 1691, Gabrieli Consort & Players

Signum Classics SIGCD589 (October 2019)

Nine singers shared the songs and choruses between them, a flawless ensemble of equals, though Anna Dennis and Mhairi Lawson stood out as a seductive pair of sirens.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian*****

​ Purcell King Arthur, Gabrieli Consort & Players, St John’s Smith Square

(October 2019)

Overall, this is a cultivated performance, well sung and played …First-rate voices are onboard, including Anna Dennis, Mhairi Lawson…

Richard Fairman, The Financial Times****

​ Purcell King Arthur, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Auditorio Baluarte

Pamplona (October 2019)

The most important sopranos were Anna Dennis and Mhairi Lawson, who among other pages offered a delicious duet, in which the two shone in their own light.

José M. Irurzun, Beckmesser

It is important to mention the other three vocal soloists, the soprano Mhairi Lawson, the tenor Jeremy Budd and the bassist Robert Davies (replacing Marcus Farnsworth), who in all their solo interventions were singing at a high tessitura.

Enrique Bert, Platea Magazine

Handel and the Rival Queens, Early Opera Company, St John’s Smith Square

(April 2019)

Lawson delivered Bordoni’s florid numbers with neat technical fluency.

Hugh Canning, The Times

Purcell King Arthur, Gabrieli Consort & Players

Melbourne Recital Centre (February 2019)

All six of Gabrieli’s high-calibre soloists brought something special, including soprano Mhairi Lawson and bass-baritone Ashley Riches injecting gentle fun into the masque led by Cupid and the Cold Genius.

Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine

Soprano shepherdesses Anna Dennis and Mhairi Lawson blended marvelously … The final duet of this act was a beautifully engaging parley between Riches and Lawson, both blending, matching so engagingly, leading everyone to join in a rousing “'Tis Love that has warm'd us”. It was an uplifting way to end. Even the conductor joined in.

Brian Angus, Bachtrack

Handel The Triumph of Time and Truth, Instruments of Time and Truth

King’s Place (October 2018)


…as her carpe diem aria swings into “Life consists in the present hour”, Handel at his finest blazes through with a bravura flame, tended by an accomplished soprano who knows exactly how to project every subtle touch of warmth, wit and grace into this music.

Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk****

Mhairi Lawson’s Operatic Repertoire

Albinoni

Il Nascimento dell’Aurora (Zeffiro)

Blow

Venus and Adonis

Cavalli

La Didone (Cassandra, Junone)

Charpentier

Actæon (Junone, Diane)
La descent d’Orphée aux enfers (Daphne, Proserpine)
David et Jonathas (Premier Berger)

Handel

Acis and Galatea (Galatea)
Aci, Galatée e Polifemo (Aci)
Agrippina (Nerone)
Alcina (Morgana)
Ariodante (Ginevra)
Clori, Tirsi e Fileno (Tirsi)
Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra)
Hercules (Їole)
Saul (Michal)
Semele (Semele)
Xerxes (Atalanta, Romilda)

Hasse

Antonio e Cleopatra (Cleopatra)

Landi

Il Sant’Alessio (Curtio)

Menotti

The Consul (Anna Gomez)

Monteverdi

L'Orfeo (la Musica, Speranza, Proserpina)
L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Drusilla)

Pergolesi

La serva padrona (Serpina)

Poulenc

Dialogues of the Carmelites (Madame Lidoine)

Puccini

Suor Angelica (Genevieve)
Gianni Schicchi (Nella)

Purcell

Indian Queen (God of Dreams)
Fairy Queen (All female roles)
King Arthur (All female roles)
Dido and Aeneas (All female roles)

Scarlatti

La gloria di Primavera (Primavera)

Sullivan

Iolanthe (Phyllis)
HMS Pinafore (Josephine)

Vivaldi

La fida ninfa (Morasto)
Giustino (Arianna)
Tito Manlio (Lucio)
La Senna Festeggiante (L’Età dell’Oro)

Weill

Threepenny Opera (Polly)

Mhairi Lawson’s Concert Repertoire

Bach

B minor Mass
Cantata 51 ‘Jauchtzet Gott’
Cantata 211 'Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht'
234 Kyrie-Gloria Mass in A major
Christmas Oratorio
Easter Oratorio
Magnificat
Passions of St John and St Matthew

CPE Bach

Magnificat

Brahms

Ein Deutsches Requiem

Charpentier

Te Deum

Dvorak

Stabat Mater

Fauré

Requiem

Handel

Apollo e Dafne
Athalia
Brockes Passion
Deborah
Esther
La Resurrezione (Angelos)
Messiah
Jephtha
Joshua
Samson
Solomon
The Triumph of Time and Truth (Deceit)

Haydn

The Creation
Harmoniemesse
Il ritorno di Tobia (Sarah)
The Seasons

Mendelssohn

Elijah

Mozart

C Minor Mass
Davide Penitente
Exsultate Jubilate
Mass in C KV317
Requiem
Vespers KV339

Pergolesi

Magnificat
Stabat Mater

Orff

Carmina Burana

Vivaldi

Gloria and Introduzione
Various Motets, including ‘Nulla in mundo pax sincera’

Wilby

An English Passion According to St Matthew

'Love and Dreams' - with Eugene Asti (piano)

Lawson Asti Love And Dreams

'It Fell on a Summer's Day' - with Elizabeth Kenny (lute)

Lawson Kenny It Fell On A Summers Day

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