Mary made her debut with English National Opera as Wood Nymph Rusalka, followed by Amor Orpheus and Eurydice and Belinda Dido and Aeneas
An ENO Company Principal from 1999 to 2004 subsequent roles included Susanna, Pamina, Dalinda Ariodante, Atalanta Xerxes, Trash The Fairy Queen (with performances in the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona), and Lucia The Rape of Lucretia for ENO and the Aldeburgh Festival, also broadcast on BBC TV and Radio 3.
Other roles include Carolina The Secret Marriage (Opera North), Gilda Rigoletto, Micaela Carmen (Castleward Opera) Piacere in Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Early Opera Company), Ismene Mitradate (Classical Opera Company) and Echo in a concert performance of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Barbican with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox. She also sang Poulenc’s Gloria and Faure’s La Fête Étrange at the Royal Opera House. She recently made her role debut as Nedda (Stanley Hall Opera).
An experienced oratorio and concert soloist, her many performances include Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the City of London Sinfonia at the Barbican, Vivaldi’s La Senna Festeggiante with The King’s Consort in The Netherlands and Spain, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Handel’s Gloria with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Nicholas McGegan), Bach’s St. John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Britten’s Les Illuminations and Handel’s Gloria for the Israel Camerata, and Brahms’ Requiem with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with conductors including Christian Curnyn, Jane Glover, Thierry Fischer, David Hill, Richard Hickox, John Nelson, Kenneth Montgomery and Takuo Yuasa with orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, BBC Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. Her international engagements include appearances with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Camerata, Music of the Baroque (Chicago), La Serenissima, and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra.
She has also sung Sandman Hansel and Gretel and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the BBC Proms. Her recordings include Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2 (Naxos), Georg Schumann’s Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt (Guild Music) and Vivaldi Cantatas (Gaudeamus). On the recital platform she has given concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge), the Honiton, Chester, Gower, Cambridge festivals and Queen’s Festival, Belfast. She also recently undertook a recital tour of Argentina to great critical acclaim.
Some recent engagements include Faure’s Requiem with Thierry Fischer and Northern Sinfonia, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with John Nelson and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Creation with the Prague Philharmonic and Jakub Hrusa, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Ulster Orchestra, the role of Arbace in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica with La Serenissima in Venice and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Irish Baroque Orchestra.
In recent seasons Mary Nelson has performed Haydn’s Scena di Berenice,Poulenc’s Gloria and Finzi’s Dies Natalis with the Ulster Orchestra, Handel’s Gloria with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Brahms German Requiem with the Midland Festival Chorus and Messiah with the Bristol Choral Society.