This Month, Deborah Voigt Duets with Rufus Wainwright at Aspen, Sings Show Tunes with Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, and Gives Sold-Out Recital at Music Academy of the West

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This Month, Deborah Voigt Duets with Rufus Wainwright at Aspen, Sings Show Tunes with Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, and Gives Sold-Out Recital at Music Academy of the West




Deborah Voigt showcases her enviable range in a trio of major summer festival engagements this month. She duets with Rufus Wainwright (July 24) and sings scenes from the singer-songwriter-composer’s first opera, Prima Donna (July 30), at the Aspen Music Festival; for her return to the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, she presents “Something Wonderful: An Evening of Broadway,” with conductor Ted Sperling (July 13); and at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, she crowns her 2014 Mosher Guest Artist residency with a sold-out recital of songs by Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Amy Beach, Bernstein, William Bolcom, and Ben Moore (July 17).




With Rufus Wainwright at Aspen 


At this summer’s Aspen Music Festival, Voigt makes two appearances in collaboration with Rufus Wainwright, named “the greatest songwriter on the planet” by Elton John. After duetting with the Grammy-nominated singer at a special event, she sings arias from his first opera, Prima Donna (2009), in a recital program titled “The Beautiful Voice.” Voigt explains:




“This will be the first time in my career that I will be able to sing the operatic repertoire of a living composer. Not to mention the opportunity to appear in concert with that composer. The question is, who will be the bigger ‘prima donna,’ Rufus Wainwright or Deborah Voigt?”




One thing is certain, though: as the soprano quips, it is she who is “sure to have the better gown”! 




She rounds out her Aspen residency with one of her famed masterclasses on July 22.




Broadway hits with Chicago Symphony at Ravinia


When Voigt headlined Annie Get Your Gun at the 2011 Glimmerglass Festival, the New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini pronounced her “delightful,” and admired the way “her timorous sweetness and…spitfire sassiness [came] across as affectingly authentic.” Similarly, when she joined forces with Tony Award-winner Ted Sperling in New York, the New York Times hailed her as a “Broadway baby, [whose] vocal peaks [were] fiery blasts of triumph, commanding exhibitions of power.” For her upcoming appearance with the Chicago Symphony at its Ravinia summer home, Voigt once again channels this inner Broadway baby, reuniting with Sperling for a program of favorites from such American classics as Annie Get Your Gun, Porgy and Bess, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music.




Mosher Guest Artist residency at Music Academy of the West


As the New York Times remarks, “The first thing to be said about Deborah Voigt…is that she knows how to put together a compelling recital program.” For her sold-out Mosher Guest Artist Recital with pianist and “musician par excellence” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Warren Jones at Music Academy of the West, the soprano pairs her signature Strauss with songs by Amy Beach, Tchaikovsky, Bernstein, and living composers Bolcom and Moore.




She says,




“These are all songs that I’ve had in my repertoire for a long time, and I find they flow together really well. The Tchaikovsky songs are the ones I sang to win the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1990 – they’re little gems. Bernstein is an American treasure and Amy Beach is another treat – you don’t hear female composers as often as you should, and I love how lush her music is. I also have an especial affinity for the melodically driven music of Ben Moore, a composer I know personally. And, sadly, I can relate all too well to the Bolcom songs, like ‘At the Last Lousy Moments of Love.’”




As one of four distinguished 2014 Mosher Guest Artists at the California festival, Voigt’s residency also includes another public masterclass on July 18.




Judging Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki


After her three festival engagements, the soprano heads to Helsinki, where she serves on the jury of the seventh Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition, held every five years by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Among the most prestigious of its kind, the competition has helped launch the careers of such world-class singers as Olaf Bär, Elina Garanca, and René Pape. Voigt’s fellow 2014 jury members include Jorma Silvasti and Ben Heppner (Aug 3–13).




Hosting Strauss Celebration on WQXR/WNYC


A regular and beloved host of the Met’s celebrated “Live in HD” transmissions, Voigt may also currently be heard hosting WQXR/WNYC’s Music is a Holy Art: A Richard Strauss Celebration, a documentary that marked the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth on June 11 of this year. Featuring a wealth of musical excerpts – and appearances from special guests including Leon Botstein, James Conlon, Diana Damrau, Alan Gilbert, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Strauss scholar Bryan Gilliam – the documentary is available for online listening and free downloads on the WQXR and WNYC apps and websites, both as an hour-long version and as an expanded three-part series exploring The Tone PoemsThe Operas, and The Man. More information about these special commemorative broadcasts is available here.




Details of Deborah Voigt’s summer engagements are provided below, and more information is available at her web site:








Deborah Voigt: summer engagements




July 13


Highland Park, IL


Ravinia Festival


“Something Wonderful: An Evening of Broadway”


Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Ted Sperling




July 17


Santa Barbara, CA


Music Academy of the West


Mosher Guest Artist Recital


Songs by Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Beach, Bernstein, William Bolcom, and Ben Moore


With Warren Jones, piano




July 18


Santa Barbara, CA


Music Academy of the West






July 22


Aspen, CO


Aspen Music Festival






July 24


Aspen, CO


Aspen Music Festival


Performance with Rufus Wainwright




July 30


Aspen, CO


Aspen Music Festival


Recital: “The Beautiful Voice”


Scenes from Prima Donna (2009) by Rufus Wainwright




Aug 3–13


Helsinki, Finland


Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition


As Jury Member






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© 21C Media Group, July 2014



Louise Barder
21C Media Group
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