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. The Chicago Tribune said of her 11/12 season triumph in Ariadne auf Naxos, “Amber Wagner's opulent Ariadne was one of the central attractions of the hugely enjoyable revival of the Cox production Lyric presented.”
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, Amber Wagner begins the 2012/13 season with a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera conducted by Fabio Luisi. Ms. Wagner will also return to Lyric Opera of Chicago for a “stars of lyric” program featuring excerpts from Cavalleria Rusticana. Symphonic engagements include Mahler’s 8th Symphony with the Aspen Music Festival conducted by Robert Spano, Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Oregon Symphony conducted by Carlos Kalmar, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Verdi’s Requiem with both the Tucson Symphony and the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal.
This past season, Amber Wagner triumphed in the title role in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. While covering this same role with Canadian Opera Company earlier in the year, Ms. Wagner gained special notoriety by replacing an ailing colleague on only 24 hours notice, to great acclaim. Debuts for the 2011/12 season included concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia under Sir Andrew Davis, Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Oper Frankfurt conducted by Sebastian Weigle, and her Metropolitan Opera debut as Anna in Verdi’s Nabucco. Ms. Wagner also added the role of Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer to her repertoire, performing the role with the Savonlinna Opera Festival conducted by Philippe Auguin.
Highlights from past operatic seasons included Ms. Wagner’s European debut with the Prague State Opera performing Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with conductor Jan Latham Koenig and performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Elsa in Lohengrin conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; she performed the same role for her debut at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Symphonic highlights included a return to the Grant Park Music Festival for Verdi’s Requiem, Sieglinde in Act 1 of Wagner's Die Walküre in concert with the Colorado Symphony conducted by Christian Arming, and debut symphonic appearances in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Grant Park Festival and with the Oregon Symphony performing Rossini’s Stabat Mater, both under the baton of Carlos Kalmar.
As a member of the Patrick G. and Shirley Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Amber Wagner made her debut as an Unborn Child in Paul Curran’s production of Die Frau ohne Schatten; sang the roles of Feklusa in Katya Kabanová conducted by Markus Stenz and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly; understudied the roles of Elvira in Ernani conducted by Renato Palumbo, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana; and performed in the student matinees of Il barbiere di Siviglia as Berta.
Miss Wagner is a force on the competition scene as well, recently winning the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, Richard Tucker Career Grant Award, and Kirsten Flagstad Award with the George London Foundation as well as being the recipient of a 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.