A critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano of Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations, English, Irish and Scottish heritage, Marion Newman is sought-after as one of Canada’s most accomplished singers in works ranging from Vivaldi to Vivier, and operatic roles including Carmen and Rosina in The Barber of Seville. Nominated for a Dora Award for her leading role in the world premiere of Shanawdithit (Nolan/Burry) with Toronto’s Tapestry Opera, Ian Ritchie wrote “she invests her character with towering dignity and courage”.
Marion is a guest curator at University of British Columbia’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts for a new series of concerts featuring the work of Indigenous artists, and the new host of CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
Marion portrayed Dr. Wilson in the premiere of Missing (Clements/Current) with Vancouver City Opera/Pacific Opera Victoria, which gives voice, in English and Gitxsan, to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women, and starred as Tsianina Redfeather in Jani Lauzon’s music-drama I Call Myself Princess at Regina’s Globe Theatre.
On the North American concert stage, Marion has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Emily Carr String Quartet, Continuum Contemporary Music, Elora Festival Singers, Elmer Iseler Singers, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Montreal’s Chœur St- Laurent.
Concert highlights for Marion this season include Mozart’s Requiem, a co-production with Canadian Opera Company and Against the Grain Theatre, the livestream/workshop presentation of The Echoes Project with Gryphon Trio, and the string quartet version of Five Orchestral Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont (Cusson) with the New Orford String Quartet for Cecilia Concerts in Halifax.
In 2022, Marion debuts with Anchorage Opera as Dr. Wilson in a new production of Missing, and creates the role of Dawn with Welsh National Opera in the upcoming world premiere of Migrations, with stories by five writers based on their personal experiences of migrations and working with refugees.
Most recently, Marion curated and performed in What is classical Indigenous Music? with Toronto’s Confluence Concerts and debuted with Rhode Island Symphony in Handel’s Messiah.
In addition to her extensive performing career, she is a co-founder of Amplified Opera and has worked in many facets of the performing arts as a curator, arts administrator, speaker, and teacher. Marion is the dramaturge for Namwayut/We Are All One, a new opera in creation with IBPOC artists and Calgary Opera.
Marion has performed in many works that speak to her First Nations identity, including Ancestral Voices (Tovey) with the Vancouver Symphony, Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx–Singing the Earth (Höstman) with the Victoria Symphony, and Five Orchestral Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont (Cusson) with the Regina Symphony Orchestra.