American soprano Mimmi Fulmer performs repertoire ranging from early music to premieres of works written for her. Her distinguished career in new music includes premieres of nine roles in eight operas. An expert on Nordic repertoire, she is the editor of a three-volume anthology of songs from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Her discography includes six CDs of American music and a CD of songs from Finland, Sweden and Norway, and she has been included in the Fulbright Specialist Roster in American music.
The granddaughter of immigrants from Finland and Sweden, Ms. Fulmer is an advocate for making Nordic songs accessible to American singers. She has presented programs of this repertoire throughout the United States, including Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, Raleigh, Tucson, Taliesin, Minneapolis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, OutrSpaces (Omaha) and North Dakota State University, as well as at the 2015 International College Music Society Conference in Stockholm, the 2013 International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisbane, the 2019 Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study Conference in Madison, and the 2018 and 2014 Hawaii University International Conferences. She was a guest artist at FinnFest in Tucson (2012) and Minneapolis (2014). Her CD “Voyage Home: Songs of Finland, Sweden and Norway” was released on Centaur Records, and is available on iTunes as well as at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Arkiv.com. She is the editor of a three-volume anthology of Nordic songs, (including music, phonetics, translations, and recordings of the texts), published by Subito Music. She serves on the board of the Edvard Grieg Society of the Great Lakes, and performed at conferences in Indiana in 2017 and 2019. She co-presented a lecture-recital at the 2017 International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm and performed recitals in Madison and Minneapolis in honor of the Finnish centenary of independence.
Ms. Fulmer’s undergraduate studies at Princeton University and fellowships at Tanglewood were the springboard for her work in contemporary American music. Her solo CD, “About Time,” was called “a gratifying testimony to …composers in America” by Opera News online and “a spectacular show” by American Record Guide. She premiered a one-woman multi-media opera written for her at the University of Michigan, and can be heard on CDs of music by David Dies (Albany Records), Joseph Dubiel (Centaur Records), Edward Cone (CRI), and Hans Sturm (Innova). She has been a featured soloist at festivals including Aspen and Bang on a Can, and in programs at the Kennedy Center, CAMI Hall, Princeton University, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Milwaukee, the Walker Art Center, Bath Fringe Festival and in Costa Rica and Kyoto. She premiered a chamber work written for her by Les Thimmig in fall, 2014.
Her opera roles include Cherubino, Despina, Galatea, Poppea, The Woman in “Erwartung,” and Schubert’s Helena, as well as premieres of roles written for her. In 2018 she performed the role of Nutrice in UW-Madison’s production of Lincoronazione di Poppea. She appeared as soloist with the Sheboygan Symphony in songs of Canteloube, and her oratorio roles include major soprano solos of Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel. Early music has been a significant part of her career, and she performs regularly with the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble. She has presented recitals around the US, most recently at the Meadowlark Festival in Nebraska, the University of Tampa, and Meredith College in North Carolina.
In addition to her Nordic anthology, Ms. Fulmer’s publications include a book on “Vision and Prayer” by Milton Babbitt, published by Subito Music in 2016. Selections from her translations of “Pierrot Lunaire” (with Ric Merritt) appear in “Anthology of Music in Western Culture” (Prentice-Hall), “A History of Music in Western Culture” (Pearson Education, Inc.), and on Coursera in the Curtis Institute of Music online course, “From the Repertoire: Western Music History through Performance.” These translations are also used by performing organizations worldwide.
Critical praise for Ms. Fulmer includes notice by the Washington Post for her “really beautiful soprano” and by Gramophone for her “warm and natural interpretations.” The NATS Journal of Singing notes her as singing “with joyous ease” in her CD, “Voyage Home: Songs of Finland, Sweden, and Norway” (Centaur Records). Her CD “American Vistas,” with flutist Leone Buyse (Albany Records) was called “superb” by American Record Guide, and NATS Journal notes “…her technique enables her to sing even the most intricate of these songs with assured ease.” 21st Century Music wrote of her as “… the glowing and smoky soprano…” for her work in the CD “Fireflight”, and the Milwaukee Journal of her singing with fortepiano: “…(she) deftly created the illusion of speaking to you alone…The warmth and purity of her lyric soprano sounds…enhanced the illusion of intimacy.”
Ms. Fulmer is professor of voice and opera at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has received both the Vilas Associate and Chancellor’s Awards. Her students are enjoying success around the world with companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Vienna State Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne, Mainz Oper, Los Angeles Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Washington National Opera, El Paso Opera, Opera Tampa, and Opera Australia. Alumnus Nathaniel Stampley sang the title role in “The Lion King” on Broadway and the role of Porgy in the national tour of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”; Brenda Rae is enjoying an international operatic career, including debuts with the Vienna State Opera in the title role in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and the Lyric Opera of Chicago in “Ariodante”, with an upcoming 2020 debut at the Metropolitan Opera; Gregory Schmidt is on the roster at the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Fulmer’s students have participated in fellowship/young artist programs at Tanglewood, Chautauqua, Crested Butte Festival, and Merola, and are pursuing careers as educators at the school and university levels, including University of Tampa, Wingate University, and Roberts Wesleyan University. Other alumni have pursued careers on cruise ships, in contemporary music, and in music management. Ms. Fulmer has presented numerous master classes, including at University of Tampa, Ball State University, University of California-Riverside, Milwaukee High School for the Arts, and with the Currents Ensemble to rural Virginia schools.
Professor of Voice and Opera, Voice Area Chair
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