PC: Kristin Hoebermann
“Known for long phrases with boundless colors, emotions and dynamics, Rae’s coloratura soared effortlessly with a glittery vibrato… But it was Rae’s subdued moments, where her voice shimmered so softly that one could hear the auditorium’s faintest rustle, that commanded attention throughout the concert.”
European Management: Harrison Parrott
American soprano Brenda Rae melds high-flying vocal pyrotechnics with keen emotional commitment, creating memorably detailed characters and irresistibly engaging performances.
Praised by Opera magazine as “virtuosic and sensual, capable of both power and nuance,” Brenda is a regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses in a portfolio of demanding principal roles. The 22/23 season features her return to Bayerische Staatsoper as the title role in Claus Guth’s new production of Semele and her return to Opernhaus Zürich as Maïma in Max Hopp’s new production of Offenbach’s Barkouf. She brings her “mesmerizing stage presence and crystal-clear voice” (New York Classical Review) to Paris, appearing at Opéra Bastille as Ophélie in Thomas’ Hamlet and as the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Brenda also returns to the Wiener Staatsoper stage in one of her signature roles, Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, and as Norina in Don Pasquale. She bookends her season with two one-night-only engagements: a tribute to Edita Gruberová at Bratislava’s Slovak National Theatre and a chamber recital in Germany at the Munich Opera Festival.
Honored by the Metropolitan Opera with the 2021 Beverly Sills Artist Award, Brenda has appeared at the Met as Ophelia in the company premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet, Poppea in a new David McVicar production of Agrippina, and as Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), with all three productions simulcast live in cinemas around the world. She made her much-anticipated Royal Opera House debut as Queen of the Night, and her debut at Teatro Real Madrid as Adina (L’elisir d’amore) was followed by immediate re-engagements as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and the title role in Christopher Alden’s Man Ray-inspired production of Partenope.
As a former member of the ensemble of Oper Frankfurt, Brenda amassed an impressive repertoire including Violetta (La traviata), Lucia, Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Amina (La sonnambula), Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Zdenka (Arabella), and Gilda (Rigoletto) which she added in Hendrik Müller’s new production. Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) has become one of her most celebrated roles, leading to house debuts at the Staatsoper in Berlin and Hamburg as well as further performances at Bayerische Staatsoper.
She has appeared at the Wiener Staatsoper as Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Opernhaus Zürich as Comtesse Adèle (Le Comte Ory), English National Opera as Berg’s Lulu in the William Kentridge production, Opéra national de Paris as Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Seattle Opera as Semele, and the 2011 Glyndebourne Festival as Armida (Rinaldo), which was part of the BBC Proms and released on DVD by Opus Arte. Further roles include Elvira (I Puritani) at Oper Frankfurt, and her first Amenaide (Tancredi) at Opera Philadelphia.
Brenda made her US operatic stage debut at Santa Fe Opera as Violetta and has since returned as Norina (Don Pasquale), Mme Vladimirescu, usually known as Mme Herz (The Impresario), Cunegonde (Candide) and Lucia. Brenda’s collaboration with Harry Bicket has brought her house debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Ginevra (Ariodante), and performances as Handel’s Semele on tour with The English Concert in London, Paris and New York.
On the concert platform, Brenda joined the orchestra of Teatro alla Scala on two occasions singing Mozart, most recently under Zubin Mehta. In recital, she is a regular guest of the celebrated Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg and Wigmore Hall in London. Brenda appears on several recordings including Wagner’s Die Feen and Ariadne auf Naxos (both on Oehms Classics), Milhaud’s The Oresteia of Aeschylus (Naxos; nominated for a Grammy award), Lowell Liebermann’s Little Heaven (Albany Records) and Offenbach’s Fantasio released by Opera Rara.