Brenda Rae, alumna soprano (2004), sings Reinhold Glière‘s Concerto for Coloratura Soprano (1943) with the UW Symphony Orchestra. Benefit for University Opera. The program also includes Symphonic Dances by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Scena ed Aria (La Traviada) by Giuseppe Verdi.
Master Class: Friday, September 25, Music Hall, 5 – 7 PM. Free.
Concert Sunday, Sept. 27, Mills Hall, 7:30 PM. Adult tickets $25. Students free. Meet Brenda at a reception after the concert, in Mills Hall lobby. Buy tickets here.
Special Dress Rehearsal & Reception with Brenda Rae at the University Club, Sat. Sept. 26: The School of Music invites opera lovers to sponsor our weekend events. Different sponsorship levels available. Click here to learn more!
About Brenda Rae
American soprano Brenda Rae, an Appleton native, 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).
The 2014-15 season begins at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich where Brenda performs the title role in Strauss’s Die schweigsame Frau. She then heads to Oper Frankfurt for a new production of Bellini’s La Sonnambula. In February, Brenda performs on the other side of the Atlantic, making a house and role debut at the Seattle Opera in the title role of Handel’s Semele. She then returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper for Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, a role she performs again in April at the Hamburgische Staatsoper. In early May she makes her role debut as Aithra in a concert performance of Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena at Oper Frankfurt before going to the Berliner Staatsoper in June to make another house debut singing one of her signature roles, Zerbinetta, in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Brenda rounds out the season in Munich with more performances of Die schweigsame Frau as a part of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s summer festival, and in August returns to the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Austria to perform a recital with renowned pianist Wolfram Rieger.
In the fall of the 2013-14 season, Brenda sang Zerbinetta in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos (live CD recording to be released fall 2014) at Oper Frankfurt, which was directed by Brigitte Fassbaender and conducted by Sebastian Weigle. Also at Oper Frankfurt that season, Brenda added two new Mozart roles to her repertoire: Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte and Donna Anna in a new production of Don Giovanni directed by Christof Loy. Read a New York Times review here. Performances outside of Frankfurt included Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Elsbeth in Offenbach’s Fantasio with Opera Rara and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (commercially released on CD), and a special gala concert in Carnegie Hall to celebrate Marilyn Horne’s 80th birthday. Brenda ended the season at the Santa Fe Opera with Madame Vladimirescu (Mme. Herz) in Mozart’s The Impresario and, on short notice, learned and performed the role of Norina in Don Pasquale.
At Oper Frankfurt during the 2012-13 season, Brenda performed the title role in Maria Stuarda in concert and Cleopatra in a new production of Giulio Cesare. Outside of Frankfurt, Brenda made house debuts with Opéra National de Paris (Anne Trulove in the The Rake’s Progress) and the Hamburgische Staatsoper (Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos). She also sang Polissena in Radamisto with The English Concert (conducted by Harry Bicket) in a concert tour that made stops in London, Birmingham, Paris, Ann Arbor, and Carnegie Hall. In the spring, Brenda returned to Opéra National de Bordeaux to sing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Shortly thereafter she went to Austria to perform at the renowned Schubertiade Music Festival. Finally, over the summer she made her hugely successful U.S. operatic stage debut at the Santa Fe Opera as Violetta in La Traviata. Read a New York Times review here.
Brenda began the 2011-12 season at Opera Frankfurt by making her role debut as Violetta in La Traviata. Later that season she made her house debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail before returning to Oper Frankfurt to sing Anne Trulove in a new production of The Rake’s Progress. She could be heard in concert that season performing the soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Elias at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona as well as Mozart Arias with the Rheingau Musik Festival. Over the summer, Brenda jumped in at the last minute to make her house debut at the Wiener Staatsoper singing the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Later that summer she returned to Munich for the Bayerische Staatsoper’s summer festival to sing Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
Brenda appears on several recordings including Offenbach’s Fantasio (Opera Rara), Lowell Liebermann’s Little Heaven (Albany Records), Wagner’s Die Feen (Oehms Classics), Milhaud’s The Oresteia of Aeschylus (Naxos), and also on DVD/Blu-ray in Handel’s Rinaldo from Glyndebourne (Opus Arte). 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.
Read “Sound Bites: Brenda Rae” in Opera News magazine, published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, 2014.