Praised by Opera News for her "relish and energy," mezzo-soprano MAX POTTER is an engaging artist known for her warmth of tone and dramatic presence.
The 2022–2023 season features Max's role debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier with Pacific Northwest Opera. She returns to Salt Marsh Opera for double bill performances of Gianni Schicchi & Trial by Jury and to The American Opera Project for world premieres of opera excerpts by emerging and established composers. In concert, Max makes her company debut with the Pacific Opera Project; she joins Opera Santa Barbara for performances of opera’s greatest hits, after performing as Flora Bervoix in the company’s production of La Traviata earlier this year. Her 2021–2022 season culminated in a return to Chautauqua Opera for their summer festival, which included performing numerous recitals, making her company mainstage debut as Jenny Reefer and covering Anne in The Mother of Us All, and joining the workshop cast of Derek Bermel and Sandra Cisneros’ new opera, The House on Mango Street.
In the 2020–2021 season, Max was featured in the world premiere recording of Constantine Carvasilis’ song cycle, “Epiphany,” and appeared as a soloist in concerts with The Muses Project. As a member of the 2021 Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman Studio Artist Program, she made her company and role debut as Flosshilde in Das Rheingold, covering the role of Fricka. She also debuted Berlioz's beloved “Les nuits d'été” in an innovative staging by Sara E. Widzer. COVID-19 cancellations during the 2020–2021 and 2019–2020 seasons included her role debut as Meg in Adamo’s Little Women, a company debut with Maryland Lyric Opera as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, and her feature film debut performing La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, with Mark Delavan in the title role.
Max made multiple role and company debuts during the 2018–2019 season, beginning with featured performances as Clarina (Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio) and Dritte Edelknabe (Ortrud cover; Wagner's Lohengrin) with Opera Southwest. She then joined Salt Marsh Opera for performances as Second Lady and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), followed by the world premiere of "City Life," a collection of songs by New York-based composer and poet Steve Bloom. She made her company debut with Bare Opera as Damigella (L'incoronazione di Poppea) and her role debut as Dorabella (Così fan tutte) with North Shore Music Festival. Previous notable roles and partial roles include Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), L’enfant (L’enfant et les sortileges), Zerlina and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Meg Page (Falstaff), Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd), Tebaldo (Don Carlo) Charlotte (Werther), Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Mercedes (Carmen), Concepcion (L’heure espagnole), and Zita (Gianni Schicchi).
With a natural affinity for new works, Max has collaborated with The American Opera Project as part of their Composers & the Voice series since 2021, making her company debut in AOP’s “First Glimpse” concert series in the 2021–2022 season. She was featured in “The Sacred Feminine,” an innovative performance piece celebrating the work of Emily Dickinson through spoken word and art song, with New Camerata Opera. At Des Moines Metro Opera, she sang Heggie’s “The Breaking Waves” in recital for the composer.
As a soloist, Max has appeared at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Festival of the Arts BOCA, and the Oklahoma International Mozart Festival. Most recently, she made her symphonic debut as the alto soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Washington National Cathedral. Additional concert credits include Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Mozart's Requiem and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Haydn's Sancti Nicolai Messe, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, and Carissimi's oratorios, Jepthe and Jonas; concert performances cancelled due to COVID-19 include a return to The Phoenix Ensemble for Ned Rorem's song cycle, “Ariel,” and Elgar’s “Sea Pictures” for the Duban Recital Series.
Max is an alumna of The Aspen Opera Center, Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Program, CoOPERAtive, and The Opera Southwest Apprentice Artist Program, among others. She has been named a semi-finalist for the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, Premiere Opera International Vocal Competition, Paris Opera Competition, Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, and MIOpera Vocal Competition. She is a recipient of awards from the Young Musicians Foundation, CoOPERAtive, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
A bi-coastal resident of California and the New York City area, Max holds a Master of Music degree from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and did her undergraduate work at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.