“Splendid supporting performance by Donna Olson as David’s Sweetheart, Magdalena in Berkeley Opera’s Die Meistersinger” SF Chronicle
“Olson’s Mistress Quickly was a comic and vocal delight” SF Classical Voice
“They were Excellent…Olson, as Butterfly’s faithful servant Suzuki, won richly deserved ovations second only to Makerov’s Butterfly.” San Jose Mercury
“Olson’s attempted theft of ‘All That Gold’ seethed with passion.” Stockton Record
“Olson used her rich voice to dramatic effect in Mad Bess…” Oregonian
“…Vashti was so sensational. Olson was wonderful. Her voice, theatricality and musicality were indeed a triumph…she sang and acted out the seven roles with humor, vocal strength and warmth.” Oregonian
“…Olson brought a subtlety and tonal beauty to all she sang…” Nevada Review
Most recently Donna sang the roles of Mother and Grandmother in Seymour Barab’s (Little Red Riding Hood) with Merced Opera. She has been invited back for the 2010 Mendocino Music Festival to sing the role of Mercedes (Carmen). In 2009 Ms. Olson sang Marcellina with both Sacramento and Livermore Operas. Ms. Olson’s most recent roles include Marcellina (Figaro) and Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) with Mendocino Music Festival, Mary (Flying Dutchman), Mrs. Peachum (The Threepenny Opera) and Mamma Lucia (Cavalleria) with West Bay Opera, Public Opinion (Orpheus in the Underworld) with Pocket Opera and her first Verdi Requiem with Tulare County Symphony. She sang Flora (La Traviata) with Sacramento, Martinez and Nevada Opera Companies, and Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) and Magdalena (Die Meistersinger) with Berkeley Opera. Donna recently sang with RuthAnn Swensen on the 30th Anniversary Fund Raising Program for the Berkeley Opera doing scenes from Die Meistersinger and Tales of Hoffman.
Ms. Olson was a resident artist with Opera San José for two seasons; she sang the roles of Meg Page (Falstaff), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Rosette (Manon, Tisbe (La Cenerentola), Siébel (Faust), and Second lady (Die Zauberflöte). In the same season she sang Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera) and a solo engagement at the Star Fundraiser Concert with West Bay Opera.
To critical acclaim, Ms. Olson sang the seven roles in David Schiff’s Vashti, with The Old Church Opera where she both staged and came up with the creative concepts. With Washington East Opera, she sang Second Lady (The Magic Flute) and was invited back to perform in their “Greatest Hits” concert, singing excerpts from Carmen, Rigoletto, Werther, and La traviata, under the baton of Dean Williamson. Ms. Olson has performed Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) with the Columbia Symphony, Marquise of Berkenfeld (The Daughter of the Regiment and Flora (La Traviata) with the Nevada Opera, where she was invited back for their “Members’ Choice” concert, singing excerpts from Rigoletto and Tales of Hoffman. With the Portland Chamber Orchestra, she performed the role of Ramiro (La finta giardiniera). Ms. Olson made her Northwest debut with the Portland Opera as Karolka (Jenufa); Eugene Opera as Third Lady (The Magic Flute); and with Opera Idaho as Mercédès (Carmen).
A popular “artist of great expression” in recital as well as opera, Ms. Olson is a frequent performer of oratorio and recital work. She performed with the Fremont Symphony’s production of Handel’s Messiah, and two performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the San Francisco Midsummer Mozart Festival under the Baton of George Cleve. Ms. Olson sang Duruflé’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with both the Seattle Northwest and Bravo Vancouver Symphonies, performances that she repeated with the Los Gatos Symphony in California. Soon after arriving in Portland, she worked with the Oregon Symphony performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Handel’s Messiah, the Portland Chamber Orchestra in de Falla’s El amor brujo, the Newport Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem; and the Bravo Vancouver Symphony in Handel’s Messiah (cd). With the Portland Orchestra, Ms. Olson sang the world premier of local composer Jim Day’s From the Heart of the Artist.
Ms. Olson was the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Winner and Regional Finalist. She won finalist position in the Ellen Faull Gordon Vocal Competition. Ms. Olson has also performed with Boston Children’s Opera, Boston Conservatory Opera Theater, Pioneer Opera, Stockton Opera, Sierra Opera, and Auburn City Opera singing roles in La nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute, Help! Help! The Globolinks, Il signor Bruschino, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and L’enfant et les sortilèges. In addition to performing, Donna currently enjoys teaching voice at her own studio in Berkeley and at the Pease Conservatory in Sacramento.