MARCIA GRONEWOLD SLY, mezzo-soprano, is a versatile artist whose repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the avant-garde. Ms. Gronewold Sly has appeared as a soloist with organizations that include San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Bangor Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Oakland Symphony, and the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic, working with such esteemed conductors as Kent Nagano, Joanne Falletta, Stewart Robertson, and William McGlaughlin.
Ms. Gronewold Sly’s opera credits include the West Coast premiere of Judith Weir’s King Harald’s Saga, a work for unaccompanied soprano portraying eight characters, with Marin Contemporary Opera. She has sung principal roles with Berkeley Opera, Oakland Opera, Pocket Opera, and the American Opera Festival of the Sierra.
A founding member of two vocal ensembles dedicated to contemporary music, Modus Novus and Ariel, Ms. Gronewold has sung in premiere performances and recordings of numerous works, and has been featured with Composers Inc., San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the Kronos Quartet.
As an ensemble singer, she has appeared with American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and San Francisco Opera.
A graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music who began studying music and theater at University of Illinois, Ms. Gronewold Sly also holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Music Performance and Literature from Mills College. While at Mills, she studied in London with soprano Jane Manning, and received a scholarship to attend West Dean College in Sussex, where she worked with Ms. Manning and with composers Anthony Payne and Judith Weir. Ms. Gronewold Sly’s master’s thesis and recital focused on the use of Sprechstimme in the compositions of British composer Alison Bauld. Other important influences in her singing have included teachers Jane Randolph, Dickson Titus, and Dame Donna Peterson. She has studied repertoire with John Wustman, Blanche Thebom, and at Gunther Schuller’s Festival at Sandpoint with Louis Krassner.
Founder and executive director of Blue Hill Bach, she has worked as a writer and arts administrator with organizations that include San Francisco Opera, Northeast Historic Film, and the Young Musicians Program of U.C. Berkeley. She has taught voice for University of Maine, Orono, the Young Musicians Program, and San Francisco Community Music Center, and now teaches at her private studio.