|Mary is increasingly in demand as a broadcaster on TV and radio. She gained an unexpected following after she appeared as panellist, vocal coach and judge on the award-winning Channel 4 series Operatunity, and has since been invited to appear in a wide range of TV and radio programmes.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
Since 2005 Mary has been a guest expert for BBC TV's internationally famous biennial Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. This involves analysis and discussion of the contestants at each round of the competition. Mary's role has increased over the years, including making short preview films for the competition, discussing the key repertoire and performance challenges of each round.
Considered to be the premier showcase for opera and concert singers at the outset of their careers, the competition has launched the careers of major stars including Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros and Jamie Barton.
Click here for more on the 2017 Competition.
BBC Choir of the Year
Since 2006 Mary has been on the judging panel (and in 2010 and 2012 also the chair) for the category finals and the Grand Final of BBC Choir of the Year.
In 2003 Mary was involved with a ground-breaking television series called Operatunity which brought together Channel 4, Diverse TV and English National Opera. The programme charted the search for operatic stars, and was in four episodes.
From 2,500 video applications the panel short-listed one hundred contestants who were then given live auditions. Twenty of those went through to the next round, from which came six finalists. After a rigorous summer school, the two winners were chosen, who shared the role of Gilda in ENO’s acclaimed Jonathan Miller production of Rigoletto recorded live for the final episode. The programme won a host of awards, including two from the Royal Philharmonic Society and the prestigious Prix Italia. It has subsequently been broadcast internationally, and has been replicated in further competitions across the world.
Channel 4 then commissioned a second programme from Diverse TV, called Musicality, which charted the progress of hopefuls in the very different world of musical theatre. Mary was one of the three core team of panellists, the others being Gareth Valentine and Stacey Haynes. There was a similar selection process and the final show was the West-End phenomenon Chicago. The six winners have all gone on to work professionally in the industry.
Mary's current radio work includes presenting BBC Radio 3's Opera on 3 as well as programmes on subjects including the anatomy of the voice and castrati. Previously, she deputised for Iain Burnside's Sunday morning programme for Radio 3 and regularly presented programmes including Radio 3's The Choir and In Tune, and Radio 4's Midweek.