Following Tanglewood Debut, Soprano Nadine Sierra Opens Mostly Mozart (July 25) and Paris Opera Seasons, Returns to Met and Zurich in 2016-17
On the heels of her Tanglewood debut in Carmina Burana with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, fast-rising soprano Nadine Sierra—who, after four major debuts last season alone, is quickly becoming a fixture at important houses around the world—returns to New York to debut at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival on July 25, in an all-star opening night “operatic fantasy” called The Illuminated Heart. After an auspicious debut as Gilda at the Met last season, she returns this fall for a house role debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and in the spring makes both her role and Live in HD debuts as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo under the baton of James Levine. Following last season’s Paris Opera debut, she opens the 2016-17 season at the Palais Garnier with the role of Flavia in a new production of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo. This is one of three Paris Opera productions to feature her this season: she also appears as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Gilda in Rigoletto at the Opéra Bastille, where she sang her first Zerlina last season. Other highlights in the new season include a return to Zurich Opera—where she won acclaim for her 2015 house and role debuts as the title character in Lucia di Lammermoor—to sing her first performances as Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani.
Sierra’s debut at Mostly Mozart, where she joins a cast of operatic luminaries that includes Christine Goerke, Matthew Polenzani, and Peter Mattei, launches an all-Mozart season of New York performances for the soprano. The Illuminated Heart combines selected Mozart arias and ensembles with installations and video projections by innovative opera director and video artist Netia Jones. Sierra returns to New York in November to sing Zerlina opposite celebrated bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov as the Don, under the baton of Fabio Luisi, before reuniting in the spring with Polenzani for a revival of the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Idomeneo, with the Met’s Music Director Emeritus James Levine on the podium. Her Met debut last season as Gilda was praised as “beguiling” in the New York Classical Review, which elaborated: “She sings with remarkable ease, no matter where she is in her range or what effect she is trying to achieve: the beautiful flow of her middle voice was matched by accurate, graceful high notes, none of them ever grabbed or forced.” Click here for a video of Sierra singing “Batti, batti, o bel Masetto” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni during a recent studio visit to WQXR.
Sierra’s astonishing string of debuts last season also included La Scala, where she sang Gilda, and the Berlin Staatsoper. At La Scala she performed opposite Leo Nucci as Rigoletto, and made headlines when, on opening night, they were prompted by the audience to encore the duet, breaking with a La Scala tradition prohibiting Verdi encores dating back to Toscanini. For her Berlin Staatsoper debut she sang Amor (Cupid) in a new Festtage-opening production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, directed by Jürgen Flimm with sets designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry, and with Daniel Barenboim on the podium. As the Financial Times glowingly reported, Sierra “gave a standout house debut as the playful but sinister Cupid, bringing lush ornamentation to her Act One aria ‘Gli sguardi trattieni.’” She opens this year’s Paris Opera season at the Palais Garnier in Cavalli’s last-known work, Eliogabalo. Written in 1667, it tells the story of the Roman emperor Heliogabalus who, like his predecessors Caligula and Nero (with whom he is often compared), lived a short, violent and decadent life in which sensual pleasure took center stage. The production is by young French theater director Thomas Jolly, with Argentinian conductor Leonardo García Alarcón – a specialist in finding neglected gems of the Baroque repertoire – leading the orchestra. Later in the year, when Sierra sings Pamina at the Opéra Bastille, the cast will include René Pape as Sarastro, and her Gilda at the same venue will be opposite Željko Lučić’s Rigoletto, just like when she made her Met debut last season.
The youngest winner to date of both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition, the now 28-year-old soprano made her professional debut as a teenager with the Palm Beach Opera in her native south Florida, and received her first national exposure at age 15 when she sang Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” on NPR’s young artist showcase, From the Top. After graduating from New York’s Mannes College of Music, she entered the Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, where she made her company debut in 2011, creating the dual roles of Juliet and Barbara opposite Thomas Hampson in the world premiere production of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier. Appearances soon followed with Boston Lyric Opera, Atlanta Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Israeli Opera, and Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.
In addition to her debuts last season, Sierra has appeared in recent seasons with the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, and the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. On the concert stage, she has been a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony, performed at the Arena di Verona and Vienna’s Musikverein, and been featured in televised concerts from Lincoln Center and Venice’s Teatro la Fenice. In recital, Sierra has appeared at venues ranging from Carnegie’s Weill Hall to the U.S. Supreme Court.
High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.
Nadine Sierra’s upcoming engagements:
July 25, 26
New York, NY
Mostly Mozart (festival debut)
“The Illuminated Heart” Opening Night Concert
Sep 16, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29; Oct 2, 5, 7, 11, 13, 15
Paris Opera—Palais Garnier
Cavalli: Eliogabalo (Flavia)
Nov 1, 4, 10
New York, NY
Mozart: Don Giovanni (Zerlina)
Dec 11, 14, 17, 22, 26
Bellini: I Puritani (Elvira)
Jan 23, 26, 29; Feb 1, 4, 7, 9, 16, 20, 23
Paris Opera—Opéra Bastille
Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (Pamina)
March 6, 10, 13, 21, 25
New York, NY
Mozart: Idomeneo (Ilia)
May 27, 30; June 2, 5, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27
Verdi: Rigoletto (Gilda)
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