Mary King's career has encompassed a wide range of roles, including that of performer, teacher, coach, broadcaster and writer. A popular and highly experienced mezzo soprano, Mary has worked with leading conductors and numerous orchestras across the world and has made a particular feature of the contemporary classical repertoire. Highlights of her performing career include numerous collaborations with Oliver Knussen, including performances and two recordings of his Where the Wild Things Are as well as pieces by Henze, Britten, Birtwistle and Stravinsky. With Sir Simon Rattle she has performed Beethoven 9, The Cunning Little Vixen (ROH), The Seven Deadly Sins and L’enfant et les Sortileges; amongst her many Proms performances Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures with Peter Eötvös was a standout.
Mary has had a long involvement with outreach and teaching, working with all the major companies in the UK as well as running training programmes both at home and abroad. During Mary's long association with English National Opera, she devised and ran a highly successful performance skills course, 'The Knack', for eleven years, and between 2004 and 2006 she was also an Artistic Associate for the company.
Between 2007 and 2013 she created and led Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, a role which embraced everything from casting professional projects to creating and training numerous choirs and small ensembles. From 2013 onwards she has taught regularly at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth. Currently she teaches at the Royal Academy of Music on the Musical Theatre course, (and where she also runs an annual programme: Vocal Workout Weekend) and the Arts Educational School (ArtsEd).
In 2017/18 Mary worked as Vocal Coach for the Actors Touring Company on their acclaimed production of Aeschyus’ The Suppliant Women at London’s Young Vic and was Vocal Director for performances of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Southbank Centre.
Mary is currently Vocal Talent Consultant at Glyndebourne where she has trained children for GFO performances of Carmen; The Cunning Little Vixen and The Damnation of Faust and where she is director of the Glyndebourne Academy – a biennial programme for talented singers who have faced barriers to their progression as professionals of the future. She also works privately as a vocal coach for a number of West End shows and offers 1-1 vocal teaching for professional singers.
Mary is increasingly widely known through her work on television and radio. She was one of the driving forces behind Channel 4's award-winning Operatunity, and on Musicality, also on Channel 4. She has appeared on BBC TV as the expert analyst for the Cardiff Singer of the World competitions since 2003 and is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3.
She is also in demand as a writer. In 2007 The Singer's Handbook (Faber) was published, co-written with Anthony Legge. This has been followed by a series of selected vocal repertoire collections with coaching notes, The Boosey Voice Coach (Boosey & Hawkes). Mary is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, an Honorary Fellow of Rose Bruford College and a Fellow of the Northern College of Music.