Proclaimed “world-class in every aspect,” Gigi Mitchell-Velasco is among international artists of the world’s opera and concert stages. Protégée of Christa Ludwig, with a voice ideally suited to the German romantic repertoire, she has been praised by critics, colleagues, and public alike for her interpretations of Mahler, Strauss, and Wagner. Of her Mahler Kindertotenlieder, The New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini wrote that she sang with a “dark-hued sound and elegance,” and The Wall Street Journal called her “the most finished artist, sensitive to every nuance of the text.” Her most recent performance last September of 15 of the songs of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco in an international conference on his life and works at Providence's Brown University drew worldwide attention and praise, as well as her performance in a silent movie viewing of Alexander Nevsky, where she sang "Field of the Dead" from Prokofiev's film score at the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts this November. Her most recent visit to the Philippines with concerts and voice masterclasses with her husband, tenor Noel Espíritu Velasco, as well as a Duo Recital at St. John's Concert Series in Beverly Farms, MA were received with accolades and standing ovations.
Her extensive concert engagements include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde; Des Knaben Wunderhorn; Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and Second, Third, and Eighth Symphonies; Verdi’s Requiem; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. Matthew Passion; Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Mozart’s Requiem; Elgar’s The Music Makers; Dvořák’s Requiem and Stabat Mater; Duruflé’s Requiem; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Missa Solemnis, and Mass in C; Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and Arias and Barcarolles; Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette and L’Enfance du Christ; Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabeus; Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Chansons Madécasses; de Falla’s El Amor Brujo and Siete canciones populares españolas; Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky; Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder, and Wagner’s Wesendoncklieder.
In opera, she has portrayed Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Carmen, Brangæne (Tristan und Isolde), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos), Witch and Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Fricka (Das Rheingold), Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus), Federica (Luisa Miller), Parséïs (Esclarmonde) and Suzuki (Madama Butterfly). She has performed with such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Helmut Rilling, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jaap van Zweden, Hans Graf, Andrew Litton, Sarah Caldwell, Dimitrij Kitaenko, Eiji Oue, Andreas Delfs, Jahja Ling, Eve Queler, Joseph Rescigno, David Stahl, Gisèle Ben-Dor, Richard Buckley, Michael Christie, Andrew Clark, Thomas Conlin, Grant Cooper, John Daly Goodwin, Daniel Hege, Scott Allen Jarrett, George Kent, Fabio Mechetti, Robert Page, Vjekoslav Sutej, Yoav Talmi, Julian Wachner, Antony Walker, and Benjamin Zander, in Carnegie Hall and Weill Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Konzert-Haus, Prague’s Dvořák and Smetana Halls, with the symphony orchestras of Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Florida, San Diego, Charleston, West Virginia, Syracuse, Honolulu, San Jose, and Calgary; Prague Radio; Orchêstre symphonic de Québec; Boston Philharmonic; Ural State Philharmonic, and Martinú Philharmonic; the opera companies of Boston, Houston, Minnesota, Brauschweig (Germany), Prague, Florentine, Toledo, Providence; Opera Orchestra of New York, and Washington Concert Opera; the music festivals of Newport, Wolf Trap, Prague Autumn, Grant Park, Colorado and Snowshoe, and the choruses of New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, and Westerly.
Well-versed not only in German but in many other languages, she has sung many song recitals in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Filipino from New York to Manila and Singapore to Russia, including a number of them with Noel. Summer 2003 saw her debut at Newport Music Festival in Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and 14 other concerts of various works, mostly by Poulenc. She has given master classes at Columbus’s Ohio State University, Binghamton University (NY), and the Bob Taylor Choral Festival in Little Rock (AR), and adjudicated the 2004 Canadian Music Competitions in Toronto and the 2006 Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Awards. Ms. Mitchell-Velasco can be heard singing E. Wolfgang Korngold’s Tomorrow, Einfache Lieder, and Abschiedslieder on the ASV label, as well as in Lukas Foss’s The Prairie with the Providence Singers on the BMOP/sound label. A BMOP/sound recording of Virgil Thompson's Four Saints in Three Acts is forthcoming after a concert this November.