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Deborah Voigt Makes Title Role Debut in Michigan’s New Merry Widow Next Month

Internationally renowned … for her unique combination of exquisite singing and hilarious comic acting” (Vanity Fair), Deborah Voigt turns her talents to operetta next month, when she makes her title role debut in Lehár’s The Merry Widow. In a new production from award-winning director Kelly Robinson at Michigan Opera Theatre, the soprano will head a cast that also features Roger Honeywell, Amanda Squitieri, Aaron Blake, and Richard Suart as Baron Mirko Zeta, with Gerald Steichen leading from the pit (April 11–19). This engagement marks Voigt’s return to the opera house after a pair of major successes beyond it: HarperCollins’s publication of her candid, funny, soul-baring, and utterly compelling memoir, Call Me Debbie, and the New York City premiere of her confessional one-woman show, Voigt Lessons.

Looking forward to her first appearances as Lehár’s Hanna Glawari, Voigt comments: “This is one new role I’m really excited about! After all those years spent deep in the exploits of the Valhalla gods, taking a break to work on my Merry Widow waltz should be a blast.”

After her headlining run at the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Grammy Award-winning soprano joins Petula Clark, Michael Ondaatje, Jay Hunter Morris and others as a member of the international jury panel for the Eleventh Glenn Gould Prize. Dubbed the “Nobel Prize of the Arts,” the Glenn Gould Prize is awarded biennially to a living individual who has made a unique lifetime contribution to the arts; past laureates include Robert Lepage, Leonard Cohen, Dr. José Antonio Abreu, Pierre Boulez, Yo-Yo Ma, Oscar Peterson, and Lord Yehudi Menuhin. This year’s jury convenes in Toronto on April 12 & 13 to deliberate and choose between nominees drawn from a broad spectrum of creative disciplines that include music, theater, writing, film, video, radio, television, recording, technology, architecture, and design. The winner will be announced at a news conference on April 14 at Toronto’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. More information is available here.

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Voigt shook the rafters at the 92nd Street Y when she debuted Voigt Lessons there in February. As Broadway World put it,

“There was a seismic event and emotional roller coaster onstage Thursday night at the 92nd Street Y. … She is immediately likable and is funny and heartbreaking, all at once. … This show is a thoroughly engaging hybrid of entertainment and an extraordinary opportunity to see a big star in an intimate setting. … It is definitely worth seeing and spending 90 minutes with this unique woman.”

Voigt’s literary debut – Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva (HarperCollins) – hit bookstores in January, after which she embarked on a successful U.S. book tour. The soprano gave interviews on NBC’s TODAY show and NPR’s Weekend Edition, as well as to such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian (UK), and  People magazine, all of which carried feature reviews. The Associated Press called Voigt’s memoir “a startlingly frank look at the life of one of her generation’s most prominent operatic stars.” The Buffalo News declared it “a page turner,” the San Jose Mercury News proclaimed it “a bombshell,” and, in the Boston Globe, Daphne Kalotay explained: “It’s like your best girlfriend talking to you and telling you her story.” More information about Call Me Debbie is provided at HarperCollins and at the artist’s website:


Deborah Voigt: upcoming engagements

April 11, 15, 18 & 19
Detroit, MI
Michigan Opera Theatre
Lehár: The Merry Widow (title role debut)

April 12- 14
Toronto, Canada
Glenn Gould Competition (Jury Member)

April 25
Hattiesburg, MS
University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra / Jay Dean
Season finale: “An Evening with Deborah Voigt”
Strauss: “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome
Ben Moore: Three American Songs (world premiere of orchestral version)
Works by Wagner and popular Broadway selections

May 11–17
Washington, DC
Washington National Opera

June 11–13
Santa Ana, CA
Pacific Symphony Orchestra / Carl St. Clair
Wagner: Selections from Götterdämmerung

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© 21C Media Group, March 2015


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