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ABOUT

Recognized as a "gorgeous-voiced mezzo-soprano," (Broadway World), Hailey McAvoy is a versatile performer of opera, song, and cabaret who uses her voice to connect with audiences and amplify voices of living and lesser-known composers.
 
In spring of 2022, McAvoy made her operatic debut as the Page of Herodias in Strauss’s Salome at the
Fisher Center of Performing Arts. Other roles in her repertoire include Blaze in the modern premiere of Gluck's L'arbre Enchanté at Hogfish Regenerative Arts Festival, The Taller Daughter (Mazzoli, Proving Up; Aspen Music Festival), Zosha (Heggie, Out of Darkness; Eastman Opera Theater), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro; Aquilon Music Festival), and Carmen in a world premiere production of Rest in Pieces, a modern-day pastiche devised and performed by singers of Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and directed by Stephanie Blythe. 

Equally active as a concert performer, McAvoy has recently appeared as guest soloist in Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra and as a soloist in the Seattle-based concert series
Byron Schenkman & Friends, where she performed chamber music of Brahms and the world premiere of “Nor Shape of Today” by Jonathan Woody. In summer of 2021, she appeared as a soloist alongside pianist Kayo Iwama as part of Bard Music Festival’s summer concerts celebrating the life and work of Nadia Boulanger; in Fall 2019, she worked with colleagues at Bard to present A Question of Love: Exploring Queer Identity and Faith in collaboration with the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center and the Old Dutch Church in Kingston. While studying at the Eastman School of Music, she was introduced to the music of little-known American song composer George Hubbard Miller (1934-1982); she subsequently produced and performed in The Hub Miller Experience, a concert featuring Miller’s songs, readings from letters and journals, interviews with his family and friends. McAvoy has appeared in concert at National Sawdust (New York, NY) and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room (New York, NY), as a guest recitalist at the historic Beattie Powers Place Mansion (Catskill, NY) , as a Colburn Fellow at Songfest (Los Angeles, CA) as a guest artist with the LYNX Project Artsong Initiative. 

Future engagements include McAvoy’s debut performance with the
Metropolitan Opera Guild, in which she will sing Octavian in scenes from Der Rosenkavalier. She will also return to Downtown Music at Grace with pianist Bethany Pietroniro for a song recital in spring 2022.

As a performer with the neurological condition Cerebral Palsy, McAvoy is committed to amplifying the discussion around disability in the arts in order to make the performing arts more inclusive for all. She has a forthcoming essay exploring disability in the performing arts which will be published through
Our Singing Bodies in 2022. She has done interviews on disability in the arts with Seattle Public radio and with AGMA magazine, and she has appeared as a panelist on accessibility forums with such organizations as Opera NexGen. To learn more about McAvoy's experiences with Cerebral Palsy, keep scrolling! 


Sept 2022

Recognized as an “excellent performer” (Millbrook Independent) and a “gorgeous-voiced mezzo-soprano,” (Broadway World), singer Hailey McAvoy is committed to sharing authentic performances, whether she brings an operatic character or a poem to life. As a singing artist with mild cerebral palsy, McAvoy’s authenticity includes embracing physical disability in her life onstage and off.

SINGING WITH 

CEREBRAL PALSY

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some thoughts on singing with Cerebral Palsy. For as long as I have been singing, I’ve been engaged in conversations around navigating physical disability onstage. When I was younger, I received many different messages, ranging from, “You can do anything!” to, more or less, “You should hide your disability because no one will hire you if they think you can’t move.” At this point, my greatest source of anxiety around my Cerebral Palsy is not the way it actually affects me and my singing, but rather the ways people might assume it affects me and my singing. In creating this page, I hope to offer some background information about what cerebral palsy is, as well as dispel myths around what it implies, or not, for me as a performer.

 

More than simply clarifying what my experience with disability really looks like, I hope that my decision to include this discussion of Cerebral Palsy on my website will encourage other performers to speak openly about their own experiences with disability. In my experience, acknowledging my disability and asking for help when I need it has served as a way to cultivate love and trust between myself and others. It is my firm belief that including disability in narratives onstage is a way to cultivate authenticity in our society. By acknowledging disability and inviting it to be present in the narratives we present onstage, we more truly reflect the diversity of the world in which our art exists, and we harness the connective power of art to include a wider perspective in the stories we tell.

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