Lyric Opera of Chicago

Soprano Amber Wagner to sing title role in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS

Press Release Letterhead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, July 18, 2011

Soprano Amber Wagner to sing title role in
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS  at Lyric Opera of Chicago,
replacing Deborah Voigt, who has withdrawn from the production

Soprano Deborah Voigt has withdrawn from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2011-12 season production of Richard Strauss’s  Ariadne Auf Naxos, the company’s general director William Mason announced today.

Voigt, who recently finished a successful run of performances as Brünnhilde in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of  Die Walküre, is focusing increasingly on dramatic soprano roles and has made the decision to remove the role of Ariadne from her repertoire for the time being.

“Deborah Voigt has a wonderful history with our company and we understand her decision,” said Mason. “Fortunately, the extraordinary Amber Wagner, who recently triumphed as Ariadne with the Canadian Opera Company under Sir Andrew Davis, will be able to take over the role for all our performances, which Sir Andrew will conduct. Amber, who is a Ryan Opera Center alumna, is rapidly establishing herself as one of today’s greatest hopes among sopranos singing the Verdi, Wagner, and Strauss repertoires.”

Voigt was to have appeared in Lyric’s revival of  Ariadne auf Naxos  between her role debuts as Brünnhilde in the Met’s upcoming new productions of  Siegfried  and  Götterdämmerung, which will complete the company’s new  Ring  cycle. “I am very grateful for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s understanding in this matter,” Voigt said.
Amber Wagner won tremendous acclaim singing in the April 30 opening performance of  Ariadne auf Naxos  in her Canadian Opera Company and role debut, stepping in for an ailing colleague on 24 hours’ notice. The  Toronto Sun  lauded her “touching, vocally thrilling performance.” The  Toronto Globe and Mail  praised her “rich dramatic soprano [and] expressive line, adding that “it is…a treat to encounter a gifted young singer before the whole opera world knows about her.” The  Toronto Star  declared Wagner “remarkable. Her ample voice has an edge to it that heightened the pathos.”

In March the soprano triumphed as Elsa in  Lohengrin  (role debut) at Lyric. She reprises the role in July for her debut at the world-renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland. Also this summer Wagner returns to the Grant Park Music Festival for Verdi’s  Requiem  and portrays Sieglinde in Act 1 of Wagner’s  Die Walküre  in concert with the Colorado Symphony.

Wagner will debut this season at Oper Frankfurt as Sieglinde/ Die Walküre, and will also debut at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2009-10 Wagner made her European debut with the Prague State Opera as Brangäne/ Tristan und Isolde  during her final season as a member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago,

Wagner is a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals and was featured in the documentary film “The Audition” which opened to audiences nationwide in 2009.  She has also won the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, Richard Tucker Career Grant Award, Kirsten Flagstad Award with the George London Foundation, and several other awards and competitions.