American soprano Brenda Rae is a highly sought after artist who regularly performs in many of the world’s leading opera houses, concert halls, and recital venues. At home in a wide range of repertoire, Brenda has been praised for her “tireless, golden soprano” (The Times), “dazzling, pinpoint coloratura” (Opera News), and “breathtaking mastery” (Frankfurter Rundschau).
Brenda begins the 2017/18 season as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte on tour with the Bavarian State Opera in Tokyo. Also with the Bavarian State Opera this season Brenda sings the title role in Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role she performs again at the newly renovated Berlin State Opera in January. At Oper Frankfurt Brenda returns to the roles of Gilda in Rigoletto and Amina in La Sonnambula, both of which she performed to critical acclaim during their premiere seasons. Over the summer Brenda makes her role debut as Cunegonde in Bernstein’s Candide at The Santa Fe Opera. In concert, Brenda sings arias by Rameau with the Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra in Melbourne, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and the first soprano solos in his Mass in C minor with Teatro alla Scala in Milan as part of their annual Christmas concert, and the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Last season Brenda took on a number of new roles: the title role in Berg’s Lulu for her debut with the English National Opera in the William Kentridge production, the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Bayerische Staatsoper, Amenaide in Rossini’s Tancredi with Opera Philadelphia and Gilda in a new production of Rigoletto as well as Zdenka in Arabella both with Oper Frankfurt. Over the summer she returned to the Santa Fe Opera to sing the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. In recital Brenda performed songs by Strauss, Schubert, Liszt, and Debussy at Carnegie Hall.
Other highlights from recent seasons include Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera), Fiordiligi in Così fan tutti (Oper Frankfurt, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Oper Frankfurt), the title role in Maria Stuarda (Oper Frankfurt), Norina in Don Pasquale (Santa Fe Opera), Violetta in La Traviata (Santa Fe Opera, Oper Frankfurt), Polissena in Handel’s Radamisto (The English Concert), the title role in Semele (Seattle Opera), Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Oper Frankfurt), and Aithra in Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena (Oper Frankfurt). In recital, Brenda has made frequent appearances in recent years at the Schubertiade Festival in Austria. Future projects include debuts with the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Oper Zurich, and Teatro Real Madrid.
Brenda is a Grammy-nominated artist who appears on several recordings including Offenbach’s Fantasio (Opera Rara), Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (Oehms Classics), Lowell Liebermann’s Little Heaven (Albany Records), Wagner’s Die Feen (Oehms Classics), Milhaud’s The Oresteia of Aeschylus (Naxos), and also on DVD in Handel’s Rinaldo from Glyndebourne (Opus Arte). Brenda earned an artistic diploma from the Juilliard Opera Center, a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.