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 Rae makes a number of important debuts this season: first at the Teatro Real in Madrid for Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, then at the Metropolitan Opera as Poppea in the celebrated David McVicar production of Handel’s Agrippina (a Met HD broadcast) and finally at the Salzburg Festival as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. She returns to the Bavarian State Opera as Aminta in Die Schweigsame Frau and to the Vienna State Opera as the title-role in Lucia di Lammermoor. On the recital stage she will be heard at the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall and at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. Other appearances include a gala with Opera Philadelphia and a concert tour with the Mozarteum Orchestra singing Beethoven’s Ah perfido. Future engagements include a debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and returns to the Metropolitan Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Opera Philadelphia and Opera Frankfurt.
After performing Cunégonde in Bernstein’s Candide at The Santa Fe Opera over the summer, Brenda began the 2018/19 season portraying the title role in a new Laurent Pelly production of Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Philadelphia. In October she sang Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in her debut at the Zurich Opera House, followed by a new production of Bellini’s I Puritani at Opera Frankfurt. The new year took her to the International Music Festival of the Canary Islands for Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante, on tour with The English Concert singing the title role in Handel’s Semele, and to Teatro alla Scala in Milan for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Zubin Mehta. In recital Brenda made her debut at Wigmore Hall in London with songs by Strauss, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Liszt, Debussy, and Schubert.
A frequent performer in Germany, Brenda sang the title role in Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau, the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte on tour in Tokyo, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos all at the Bavarian State Opera last season. She also performed Zerbinetta at the Berlin State Opera, and Gilda in Rigoletto and Amina in La Sonnambula at Opera Frankfurt. In concert, Brenda made her debut at Teatro alla Scala in Milan singing Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and the first soprano solos in his Mass in C Minor. She also appeared with the Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra in Melbourne performing arias by Rameau, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and as a soloist for the annual German AIDS Gala at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf.
Other highlights from recent seasons include the title role in Berg’s Lulu (English National Opera), Amenaide in Rossini’s Tancredi (Opera Philadelphia), the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor (Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera), the title role in Maria Stuarda (Opera Frankfurt), Norina in Don Pasquale (Santa Fe Opera), Violetta in La Traviata (Santa Fe Opera, Opera Frankfurt), Polissena in Handel’s Radamisto (The English Concert), the title role in Semele (Seattle Opera), Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Opera Frankfurt), Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera), Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (Opera Frankfurt, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Opera Frankfurt), and Aithra in Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena (Opera Frankfurt). In recital, Brenda has been heard at Carnegie Hall and the Schubertiade Festival in Schwarzenberg, Austria.
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 on DVD in Handel’s Rinaldo from Glyndebourne (Opus Arte). She also appears on the 2018 documentary RBG about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 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.