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21C Media Group Welcomes American Soprano Kathryn Lewek, Now Poised to Sing First Juliette, Premiere New Aucoin Commission, Headline Offenbach at Salzburg & Take Signature Role to Cleveland Orchestra

“Singing like Lewek’s is what the magic of opera is all about.” – New York Times, Dec 2023

21C Media Group is thrilled to announce that it now represents American soprano Kathryn
Lewek. Already the toast of leading opera houses and concert halls worldwide, over the coming
months, Lewek continues to expand her range with new roles, repertoire and challenges. This
Friday, she makes her professional title role debut in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette opposite her husband, tenor Zach Borichevsky, at Ohio’s Toledo Opera, where the two are firm audience
favorites (Feb 16 & 18). She then creates the soprano role in the world premiere of Music for
New Bodies by Matthew Aucoin and Peter Sellars at Houston’s Rice University (April 20),
before revisiting Mozart’s Queen of the Night – the signature coloratura role with which she has
repeatedly broken records – in the Cleveland Orchestra’s staged new production of The Magic
Flute (May 16–26). Finally, she returns to Austria’s Salzburg Festival to portray all Four
Heroines in a new summer production of Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann (Aug 13–30).
This tour-de-force of singing, acting and storytelling is very much in Lewek’s wheelhouse; she
says: “The reason I do this art is to communicate.”

Title role debut in Roméo et Juliette in Ohio (Feb 16 & 18)
It was at Ohio’s Toledo Opera, where she has long enjoyed “local fandom” (Toledo Blade), that
Lewek sang her first Zerlina in Don Giovanni, her first Rosina in The Barber of Seville, her first
Violetta in La traviata and her first Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. This last prompted the Toledo
Blade to marvel:

“With a rounded yet clear tone, a silvery upper register, incredible flexibility, and never-fail
control, Lewek is a natural fit for the role. Moreover, her acting matches her wondrous voice –
lots of physicality, strong stage presence, an ability to go the dramatic distance.”

This Friday, the soprano returns to the Ohio house for another key operatic first, making her
professional title role debut in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. For maximum romantic chemistry,
she stars opposite her real-life husband, tenor Zach Borichevsky, a top prizewinner at Plácido
Domingo’s Operalia Competition. Toledo’s cinema-inspired new production is by director James
Kenon Mitchell, with Virginia Opera Artistic Director Adam Turner leading from the pit (Feb 16
& 18). As Lewek recently confided to OperaWire:

“Juliet … feels as natural as breathing to me, and I’m so delighted to debut yet another role at my
favorite regional opera company in Toledo, Ohio, surrounded by friends, and singing opposite my
favorite tenor – my husband!”

World premiere of Music for New Bodies by Matthew Aucoin in Texas (April 20)
Best-known for her portrayals of canonical roles, Lewek also enjoys expanding the operatic
repertoire. When she starred in the International Opera Award-winning world premiere
production of André Tchaikowsky’s The Merchant of Venice at Austria’s Bregenz Festival, Der neue
Merker praised her “charming and beautiful voice” and London’s Telegraph reported that
“Lewek’s Jessica helped to make this a restitution to remember.”

This spring, the soprano’s first engagement is in Houston, Texas, at Rice University’s Shepherd
School of Music, where she takes part in the world premiere of Music for New Bodies. This
major new work is from the creative team of MacArthur award-winning composer Matthew
Aucoin, whose commissioning credits include the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and Lyric Opera of Chicago, and director Peter Sellars, celebrated for his operatic collaborations with John
Adams, Tyshawn Sorey and the late Kaija Saariaho. Inspired by the writings of American poet
Jorie Graham and pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson, Aucoin and Sellars’s new work
offers an immersion in vast planetary processes. They explain:

“We follow the migration of eels to the depths of the Atlantic Basin; we hear the voice of the ocean
floor itself, speaking with superhuman pressure and force; we experience humankind’s impact on
our planet, and we also sense the presence of cycles so immense that they are beyond human

A co-commission of the DaCamera ensemble, Shepherd School of Music, LA Opera, AMOC
(American Modern Opera Company) and Aspen Music Festival & School, Music for New Bodies is
scored for five vocal soloists and an 18-piece instrumental ensemble. For its first concert
performance, Lewek will be joined under the composer’s leadership by soprano Meryl
Dominguez, mezzo-soprano Rachael Wilson, tenor Brenton Ryan, bass-baritone Cory McGee,
and musicians from both the Shepherd School and the DaCamera Young Artists program (April

New staged production of The Magic Flute with Cleveland Orchestra (May 16–26)
Later this spring, Lewek reprises her star turn as Mozart’s Queen of the Night in a new, staged
production of The Magic Flute for the Cleveland Orchestra by Nestroy Award-winning
Austrian director Nikolaus Habjan. Presented as a centerpiece of the orchestra’s 2024 Jack,
Joseph & Morton Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival, the production will also feature the
“sonorous baritone” (Der Standard, Austria) of Ludwig Mittelhammer as Papageno, Orphée
d’Or-winning tenor Julian Prégardien as Tamino, “outstanding” soprano Christina Landshamer
(Fanfare) as Pamina and bass Tareq Nazmi – “a revelation” (Seen and Heard International) – as
Sarastro, under the baton of music director Franz Welser-Möst (May 16–26).

Since making her first appearance as the Queen in 2011, Lewek has sung the formidably
challenging role more than 300 times with leading companies worldwide, including London’s
Royal Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Festival
d’Aix-en-Provence, Lyric Opera of Chicago and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where she has
performed it a record-breaking 64 times. The New York Times finds her portrayal of the Queen
“utterly enthralling…, bringing thrilling drama to a coloratura showpiece so fiendish that
sopranos are lucky to get through it.” The New Yorker’s Alex Ross observes, “she executes this
stratospherically difficult role better than anyone alive.” As OperaWire puts it, “Lewek IS the
Queen of the Night.”

New production of Les contes d’Hoffmann in Salzburg (Aug 13–30)
The soprano returns to Austria’s Salzburg Festival after her U.S. engagements. Following the
resounding success of her Salzburg debut opposite Cecilia Bartoli in Handel’s Ariodante, Lewek
was invited to star in the festival’s original treatment of Orpheus in the Underworld, directed by Barrie Kosky. As Offenbach’s Eurydice, she impressed BBC Music magazine with her “jewel-like
coloratura”; in a five-star review, BachTrack declared: “With the role as ravishingly sung as it
was here by American coloratura Kathryn Lewek, Eurydice is without a doubt the
operetta’s leading character.”

After giving her first performances as the same composer’s Four Heroines at Deutsche Oper
Berlin last season, this summer Lewek returns to Salzburg for a new production of Les contes
d’Hoffmann from the OPER! Award-winning creative team of director Mariame Clément and
designer Julia Hansen. About their vision for the production, dramaturge Christian Arseni

“Clément will explore the relationship between art and real life by linking the three ‘tales’ with
individual stages of Hoffmann’s biography as an artist. This has decisive consequences for the
female figures, or rather for the way we perceive the images that Hoffmann projects onto Stella. …
It is crucial to give these figures independent life, real identities and thus the potential to challenge
the images of femininity imposed on them.”

This is in keeping with Lewek’s own understanding of the opera. She says:

“I’m drawn to the mystery and complexity of the women. I see Olympia, Antonia and Giulietta as
three aspects of the same woman – Hoffmann’s opera-singer lover, Stella. There are many sides to
Stella. If you ask me, one of the key messages of the opera is: ‘Women contain multitudes.’”

Lewek will be joined in Salzburg by the Hoffmann of Benjamin Bernheim, who boasts “the most
beautiful tenor voice since Luciano Pavarotti” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Hailed as a “force of nature”
(San Francisco Classical Voice), mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey plays the The Muse / Nicklausse,
with bass-baritone Christian Van Horn reprising his performance of the Four Villains, to which
he brings “resonant vocalism and suave, menacing presence” (Opera News). Led by Marc
Minkowski, Artistic Director of Les Musiciens du Louvre, they will be supported by the Vienna
Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Chorus (Aug 13–30).

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.

Kathryn Lewek: upcoming engagements
Feb 16 & 18
Toledo, OH
Toledo Opera
GOUNOD: Roméo et Juliette (Juliette; title role debut)

April 20
Houston, TX
Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
Matthew AUCOIN & Peter SELLARS: Music for New Bodies (soprano; world premiere; concert

May 16, 18, 24 & 26
Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Orchestra / Franz Welser-Möst
MOZART: The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night; staged production)

Aug 13, 16, 21, 24, 27 & 30
Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg Festival
Vienna Philharmonic / Marc Minkowski
OFFENBACH: Les Contes D’Hoffmann (Stella / Olympia / Antonia / Giulietta; new production)

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© 21C Media Group, February 2024

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