Marcia Swanston


Marcia Swanston

Phone: 902.494.3727
Fax: 902.494.2801
Mailing Address: 
Room 101, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Performance
  • Opera
  • Voice


  • BMus (Lethbridge)
  • PGDipMus (Guildhall School of Music & Drama)
  • Opera Program (Guildhall)

Research & creative activity

Marcia Swanston, mezzo-soprano, has enjoyed a long and critically acclaimed career, lauded for her vocal beauty and technical ease, as well as her wide-ranging acting ability and dramatic musical interpretations. She has performed more than 50 operatic roles with opera companies across Canada and the U.S., as well as the significant orchestral works for mezzo with this country's major symphony orchestras. 


  • Voice I - IV, including Performance stream
  • Director of Dalhousie Opera

Selected performances

  • Selected performances with the Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, L’Opèra de Montréal, Pacific Opera Victoria, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera, include Azucena (Il trovatore), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Madame Larina and Filipyevna (Eugene Onegin), Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), Mrs. Sedley (Peter Grimes), Cipra (Der Zigeuner Baron) and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro).
  • Representative orchestral performances include Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Passions of St. Matthew, St. John, Mass in B minor, Mozart’s Requiem, Davide Penitente and Missa Solmenis and the orchestral works of Mahler, Symphony numbers 2, 3 and 8, Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen and locally, with Symphony Nova Scotia, Das Lied von der Erde.
  • Ms. Swanston has premiered and performed in a number of new Canadian works including Mario and the Magician and Serinette (Harry Somers), Nosferatu (Randolph Peters) and Florence the Lady with the Lamp (Timothy Sullivan). 
  • Last May in Halifax’s ScotiaFestival she premiered John Plant’s riveting concert opera, I will fly like a bird, a recounting of the tragedy of Robert Dziekanski who died at the Vancouver Airport in 2007.