Lyric Opera of Chicago

Amber Wagner to sing Richard Wagner in European debut

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Amber Wagner to sing Richard Wagner
in European debut!! 

Amber Wagner to make European debut May 20
as Brangäne in Richard Wagner’s
 Tristan und Isolde
at Prague State Opera in the Czech Republic

American soprano recently completed three-year tenure with
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
at Lyric Opera of Chicago


Less than two weeks after leaving Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, the world-renowned company’s acclaimed artist-development program, American soprano Amber Wagner has been invited by the Prague State Opera to portray Brangäne in four performances of a new production of Richard Wagner’s epic Tristan und Isolde, opening May 20. These performances comprise her European debut.


The Prague State Opera production of Tristan und Isolde is the company’s first in more than 75 years. The conductor is Jan Latham-Koenig, the stage director is Marcelo Lombardero, the set designer is Diego Siliano, and the costume designer is Luciana Gutman. (No information about the cast is posted on the company’s website.) Four previous productions of Tristan und Isolde have been seen at the Prague State Opera, in 1896, 1907, 1912, and 1934.

Amber Wagner drew critical acclaim for her performance in Lyric’s “Rising Stars in Concert” program April 3: In the Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein called Ms. Wagner a “standout whose performance realized the high hopes that have attended [her] from the outset of [her] training here. Wagner delivered her two Verdi scenes, especially Leonora’s aria, ‘Pace, pace, mio Dio’ (from La forza del destino), with the melting beauty, power and range of a true Verdi lyric-spinto soprano, the kind the opera world is waiting for. Here she took greater risks than I’ve heard from her before, all of them paying off.”

 “One soprano stands out as Lyric showcases opera’s future stars,” the Chicago Sun-Times declared in its headline. Wrote Andrew Patner, “It’s no insult to her colleagues to hail soprano Amber Wagner…as the program’s queen, great discovery and carefully guided product. Already a winner of Richard Tucker, Metropolitan Opera and George London competition awards, the Oregon native showed both vocal and stage maturity in two central excerpts from Verdi’s catalog -- Violetta’s Act II duet with the elder Germont from La traviata and Leonora’s great melodia ‘Pace, pace mio Dio,’ from La forza del destino. It is not just that her voice is rich and full and that she has great command of it across the dynamic and pitch range: Wagner also gives a sense of real personal investment from the moment she walks on the stage. There is no arrogance here; there is even humility. But there is presence. She’ll solo with Grant Park in the opening weekend concerts this summer and will sing Elsa in two performances of Lyric’s new Lohengrin next year. Don’t miss her.”


Ms. Wagner departs for Prague tonight for rehearsals and performances of Tristan und Isolde on May 20, 23, 27, and June 1. She will be a featured soloist with the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago June 18-19, along with fellow Ryan Opera Center alumni mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis and tenor Bryan Griffin. The program features Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, as well as Haydn’s Te Deum and Hindemith’s Nobilissima Visione.