American soprano Amber Wagner is a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals and was featured in the documentary film The Audition, which opened to audiences nationwide in 2009. Chosen by Opera News as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in classical music in the coming decade, she has been praised for her “gleaming, ample and effortless sound,” and “gorgeous, creamy tone… This is one remarkable voice” (Chicago Tribune).
Highlights of Amber Wagner’s 2015–2016 season include a debut at Minnesota Opera in the title role of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Michael Christie, a role she will reprise later in the season for her company debut with Palm Beach Opera. She performs Verdi’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico, and with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Asher Fisch, as well as a concert of select Wagner works with the Minnesota Orchestra, also conducted by Asher Fisch. Finally, Ms. Wagner appears in recital with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton under the auspices of the Tucson Desert Song Festival and Arizona Opera.
In the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Wagner returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for a role debut as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore conducted by Asher Fisch, and as Elisabeth in Wagner’s Tannhäuser conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and she also returned to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. Highlights of her orchestral engagements included Verdi’s Requiem for her debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice conducted by Philippe Auguin, and the Houston Symphony conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada, an all-Wagner program with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Russian National Orchestra at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole, and Senta in a concert performance of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, conducted by James Conlon.
Highlights of Ms. Wagner’s recent operatic engagements include her European debut with the Prague State Opera as Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde conducted by Jan Latham Koenig; appearances as Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin with Lyric Opera of Chicago conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; her company debut as Elsa and a role debut as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer with the Savonlinna Opera Festival; a role and house debut as Leonora in Verdi’s La forza del destino at Washington National Opera in a new production directed by Francesca Zambello; her Metropolitan Opera debut as Anna in Verdi’s Nabucco, followed by her return as Amelia in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera conducted by Fabio Luisi; the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos at Lyric Opera of Chicago and in concert performances at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, both conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, as well as with the Canadian Opera Company; and Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Oper Frankfurt conducted by Sebastian Weigle.
Symphonic highlights include Verdi’s Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis, as well as with the Taipei Symphony, Pacific Chorale, Kansas City Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and Grant Park Music Festival; Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco, Spokane Symphony, and Oregon Symphony conducted by Carlos Kalmar; a concert of Strauss songs with L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice conducted by Philippe Auguin; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Aspen Music Festival conducted by Robert Spano; Sieglinde in Act 1 in concert performances of Die Walküre with the Colorado Symphony conducted by Christian Arming; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Grant Park Music Festival and Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Oregon Symphony, both under the baton of Carlos Kalmar. Ms. Wagner also participated in the Metropolitan Opera’s summer concert series in Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City, and in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Millennium Park concert, where she sang excerpts from Cavalleria Rusticana.
Ms. Wagner is a winner of the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, and recipient of the Richard Tucker Career Grant Award, Kirsten Flagstad Award from the George London Foundation, and Sullivan Foundation Career Grant. She is also the first place winner of the Palm Beach Opera and Palm Springs Opera Guild Competitions, winner of the Lynne Harvey Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women, and winner of the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition. Ms. Wagner is a native of Oregon.