Soprano Christine Goerke has been one of the opera singers in the past year to create the most buzz. She's Musical America's Vocalist of the Year for 2015, has performed in major opera houses across the world, and has a Grammy under her belt! Read on to learn more about her amazing career thus far.
What she’s doing with us: Christine stars in Die Walküre as Brünnhilde, a goddess and daughter of Wotan, ruler of Valhalla. This marks her much-anticipated debut in a fully staged production of the opera. She will also be returning to sing as Brünnhilde in the COC's upcoming productions of Siegfried in 2016 and Götterdämmerung in 2017.
Where you might have seen her: Christine has appeared in all of the major opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Opéra national de Paris; Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse; Teatro alla Scala; Teatro Real in Madrid; Deutsche Oper Berlin; San Francisco Opera; Santa Fe Opera; Washington National Opera; Houston Grand Opera; Seattle Opera; Opera Philadelphia; Pittsburgh Opera; New York City Opera; Glimmerglass Opera; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Teatro Municipal de Santiago; and the Saito Kinen Festival.
She has received critical acclaim for her portrayals of the title roles in Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Norma, and Iphigénie en Tauride; Kundry in Parsifal, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Leonore in Fidelio, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites. Last season, she appeared as Brünnhilde in concert performances of Die Walküre with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her live performances, Christine's recording of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance!
What the critics have said:
"In a revival of Herbert Wernicke's 2001 production of Die Frau ohne Schatten, the soprano Christine Goerke gave a career-transforming performance as the Dyer's Wife, displaying the kind of vocal stamina that Wagner-Strauss fanciers have been awaiting since Birgit Nilsson delivered her last "hojotoho!" "…she can create a character as she sings, linking musical phrases to form dramatic paragraphs.
- The New Yorker (reviewing Christine as the Dyer's Wife at the Metropolitan Opera)
"The American soprano... proved nothing short of sensational. Imposing of figure and expansive of voice, Christine Goerke.. has everything this killer role requires - an Olympic Gold level of stamina, absolute security of pitch, a rich middle voice, diamantine top register, crisp clarity of diction and the intelligence to paint all the colours of the character’s mercurially psychotic personality. "
- The Telegraph (reviewing Christine as Elektra at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden)
"The Elektra was Christine Goerke, in her Lyric debut. Goerke sang the unhinged Greek princess to great acclaim in Madrid last season; she had quite a night in Chicago on October 6. Goerke's "Allein, weh ganz allein" revealed a colossal dramatic soprano of an incisive, intensely feminine quality that remained gleaming and voluptuous despite the force required to crest the monumental orchestral waves Strauss sets against his protagonist. She consistently won the audience's empathy, even when her obsessive vengefulness became more than a little frightening. Her formidable stamina was the more impressive given her clever employment of dynamics—particularly the fining away of tone in a recognition scene that tore one's heart out. Goerke was rewarded in her solo call by a rapturous standing ovation that emerged viscerally from the house as an organic reaction to her tour de-force performance."
- Opera News (reviewing the Lyric Opera of Chicago production)
"Christine Goerke's Brünnhilde was the most subtly characterized role, moving from a devoted, almost kittenish daughter to a tragic, broken spirit; a great journey undertaken in full and glorious voice."
- The New Zealand Herald (reviewing the New Zealand Symphony production)
"A voice like hers comes once in a generation, and I am sure Ms. Goerke will be the next great Dramatic Soprano."
- Houston Examiner (reviewing Christine as Ortrud in Wagner's Lohengrin at Houston Grand Opera)
See Christine as Brünnhilde in the COC's production of Die Walküre. For more information and to buy tickets, visit here.
You can also follow Christine Goerke on Twitter at @HeldenMommy
Photo credit: Arielle Doneson
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By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager
For Episode 30, the “Renewal, Rejection, Regieoper” edition, we welcome back opera journalists Joseph So, Catherine Kustanczy and Jenna Douglas. Gianmarco Segato, the COC’s Adult Programs Manager is your host.
•To ring in the New Year, two North American companies – Portland Opera and Opera Lyra Ottawa – radically change the look of their seasons…is this the way of the future?
•Recently defunct New York City Opera may be revived, prompting our panel to question the “where” rather than the “why”
•Opera Australia sets the twitter-verse on fire once again, this time for striking two critics off their complementary media ticket list citing dissatisfaction with recent stories about the company
•“Should an opera production be changed if audiences dislike it?” – DISCUSS!
Are you listening? Let us know your thoughts, opinions and suggestions by commenting here or on Facebook, Twitter (@CanadianOpera) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001