Mary Plazas studied at the RNCM as a Peter Moores Foundation Scholar and the National Opera Studio, where she won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship in 1991. She is a former Company Principal for ENO, where her roles have included Cio-Cio San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème, Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Leila in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Oscar in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera.
Other appearances include Italian Soprano in Strauss’s Capriccio (Royal Opera, London), Mimì (Opera North, Bregenz Festival, West Australian Opera), Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress (Bavarian State Opera, Israeli Opera), Donna Elvira (Glyndebourne on Tour), Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Salud in Falla’s La vida breve, and Juanita in Weill’s Der Kühhandel (Opera North), Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, the title roles in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Maria di Rohan (Buxton Festival), and Mrs Coyle in Britten’s Owen Wingrave (Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam).
She created two roles in operas by Jonathan Dove, Tina in Flight (Glyndebourne) and Blue Fairy in Pinocchio (Opera North), sang Karin in the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (RTÉ NSO), performed the title role in Peter Ëotvös’s Lady Sarashina (Opéra de Lyon/Opéra Comique), and Duchess in Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face (Aldeburgh, London Symphony Orchestra, NI Opera and Channel 4, also released on DVD). She is making her Irish National Opera debut in Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face.