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Christine Brewer sings with top orchestras, makes L.A. Opera debut, & more

After Christine Brewer opened her season in a program of Wagner and Beethoven with the Atlanta Symphony, the Atlanta Journal Constitution marveled, “Brewer’s soprano is an instrument of rare luxury and power, at once silken, roaring, luminous,” and compared her to “the great Wagnerians from legend.” Now the Grammy Award–winner, voted one of the top 20 sopranos of all time by BBC Music magazine, returns as soloist in Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas (Oct. 29) and in excerpts from the Ring with the San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen (Dec. 8 – 10). She also returns to Beethoven for five performances of his Missa solemnis with the Boston Symphony and Kurt Masur next spring, culminating in a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall (March 6). In another highlight of her 2011-12 season, the “superlative Strauss singer” (New York Times) undertakes the Four Last Songs by the great German late Romantic with the St. Louis Symphony and David Robertson (Jan. 13 & 14). She will make her Los Angeles Opera debut (March 14 & 17) starring in the hit Santa Fe Opera production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, which she headlined last season. On Mother’s Day, she presents a recital of music by Strauss, Marx, Thomson, Ives, and Smith with her regular collaborator pianist Craig Rutenberg at New York’s Alice Tully Hall (May 13). In the concert hall, the opera house, and on the recital stage, Brewer demonstrates once again why she is, as the New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini attests, “one of the best in the business.”
When Santa Fe Opera debuted its new staging of Britten’s comic opera Albert Herring in 2010, it was “the hit of the season,” and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch praised the production’s “first-rate cast,” naming Brewer the standout star who “gave a terrific performance in every particular.” The Santa Fe New Mexican confirmed that although “the Santa Fe Opera fills the leading roles with a cast that spills into the realm of the starry … the show is stolen by the soprano Christine Brewer.”
For her much-anticipated Los Angeles Opera debut, Brewer will be joined, as in Santa Fe, by tenor Alek Shrader in the title role, under Paul Curran’s direction. James Conlan, the company’s Music Director, will conduct.
Her dominance in the concert hall reflects the unique nature of her voice; as Tommasini recently explained, “Ms. Brewer is the uncommon singer of her vocal type whose voice can slice through a thick orchestra while still sounding lustrous” (New York Times). In addition to her appearances with the orchestras mentioned above, Brewer’s 2011-12 season finds her in collaborations with the Cleveland Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem (May 31), the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (Jan 20), and the Pasadena Symphony (April 28).
As in previous seasons, Brewer looks forward to numerous engagements overseas. In London alone, she will be making high-profile appearances, joining the London Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin as soloist in Bruckner’s Te Deum (Feb. 4) and engaging audiences for two concert performances of Weber’s Der Freischütz with the London Symphony and Sir Colin Davis at the Barbican Hall (April 19 & 21).
Closer to home, Brewer enters her seventh year offering “Opera-tunities” – an educational outreach program – to the sixth grade students of Marissa Elementary School, where she herself once taught, in Marissa, IL. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes the program as “an excellent lesson in music-making.” Brewer explains: “Having the kids at rehearsal after working with them this past school year and getting to know them through their e-mails was very rewarding for me … I am receiving such joy from this program!”
Further details are available at the artist’s web site (, and a list of her upcoming engagements follows below.
Christine Brewer, 2011-12 engagements
Oct 13 & 14
Munich Philharmonic / Jansons
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (soprano 2)
Oct 22–24
Santa Cecilia Orchestra / Pappano
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (soprano 2)
Oct 29
New World Symphony / Tilson Thomas
Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
Dec 8–10
San Francisco Symphony / Salonen
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (excerpts)
December 13
International Women’s Brass Conference, St. Louis, MO
Adam: “O Holy Night”; Schubert: “Ave Maria”
Jan 13 & 14, 2012
St. Louis Symphony / Robertson
Strauss: Four Last Songs
January 20
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra / Fisch
Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Beethoven: “Ah! perfido”
Jan 26
Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
Verdi: Requiem
Feb 4
London Philharmonic / Nézet-Séguin
Bruckner: Te Deum
Feb 19
Norwegian Opera
Recital with pianist Craig Rutenberg
Feb 23, 24, 25, & 28
Boston Symphony / Masur
Beethoven: Missa solemnis
March 6
Carnegie Hall, New York City
Boston Symphony / Masur
Beethoven: Missa solemnis
March 14 & 17
Los Angeles Opera / Conlon
Britten: Albert Herring
March 24
Kean University, Union, NJ
March 27
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
March 28
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
Master class
April 19 & 21
London Symphony / Davis
Weber: Der Freischütz
April 28
Pasadena Symphony / DePriest
Strauss: Four Last Songs
May 13
Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, New York City
Mother’s Day recital with pianist Craig Rutenberg
May 31
Cleveland Orchestra
Verdi: Requiem
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