As Puccini Heroines Tosca and Girl of the Golden West, Deborah Voigt Opens Chicago’s Opera Season and Closes San Francisco’s

America’s Foremost Dramatic Soprano Returns to the Metropolitan Opera in Strauss’s Elektra as Chrysothemis and in Wagner’s Flying Dutchman as Senta

Deborah Voigt, America’s foremost dramatic soprano, begins and ends the 2009-10 opera season portraying Puccini heroines rather than her more customary Wagner or Strauss goddesses, princesses, and empresses, but she returns to them between the Puccini assignments. Before she opens Lyric Opera of Chicago’s season on September 26 in the title role of Tosca, she and conductor Edo de Waart open the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s season on September 4 with a concert of operatic scenes: Wagner’s “Dich, teure Halle ” and “Liebestod”, and Strauss’s final scene from Salome. At the end of the season, next June, Voigt sings her role debut as Puccini’s Minnie, the Girl of the Golden West at San Francisco Opera.

Voigt has performed Tosca to critical praise in New York, Vienna, and Florida , where she first performed it under the direction of an esteemed earlier Tosca, Renata Scotto. Beginning June 9, 2010, Voigt closes out the San Francisco Opera spring season with a role debut, as Minnie in The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West). After her first Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Times praised Voigt for her "vocal charisma and shimmering power”.

Falling between autumn in Hong Kong and Chicago and spring in San Francisco, Voigt’s engagements include a return to Munich for Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder in concert and broadcast with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under its music director, Mariss Jansons. Before returning home to the Metropolitan Opera she gives a post-Thanksgiving recital at Kansas City’s Jewell Theater . At the Met she returns to a signature role, Chrysothemis in Strauss’s Elektra, in December, and in the spring she returns to Senta in Wagner’s Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman). Between her two New York engagements she’s at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu for Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and makes her Zurich Opera debut in another signature role, that of the Prima Donna / Ariadne in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

Early next summer Deborah Voigt returns to the role of Salome for her debut at Switzerland ’s Verbier Festival. It is a role she will repeat at Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival under the conductor who led her debut in the opera: Seiji Ozawa conducted her first concert performance of Salome with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 2001, and the role has become one of her most illustrious since her first staged performances at Lyric Opera of Chicago in fall 2006.

At Lyric Opera of Chicago, on September 26, Voigt celebrates her second season-opening performance for the company. Sir Andrew Davis conducts Tosca, as he has her recent Lyric Opera of Chicago triumphs, including Tristan und Isolde, Salome, and Die Frau ohne Schatten.

In addition to her staged performances, Voigt will make special appearances this fall at WNYC’s annual fund-raising gala (Nov 2); as the headliner of a special gala concert for the Dallas Opera’s new home, the Winspear Opera House (Nov 7); and as a special guest at the fifth annual Opera News Awards (Nov 19), where she will present one of this year’s honorees, soprano Martina Arroyo, with an award. Voigt was honored with her own Opera News Award in 2006.

Last season, Voigt added Ponchielli’s La Gioconda to the long list of operas she has performed at the Met, and sang her first Chicago Isolde at Lyric Opera under Sir Andrew Davis. She also portrayed Amelia in Verdi’s Ballo in Maschera at the Opéra National de Paris, and – after their huge success together at an earlier Hollywood Bowl appearance – gave a joint concert with Barbara Cook at California ’s Orange County Performing Arts Center. In its December 08/January 09 issue, More magazine named Voigt – along with Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and other luminaries – one of the women who rocked the world in 2008. In March she was the subject of a television profile that aired in NY-1’s One On 1 interview series (shown here).

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