Brenda Rae

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Brenda Rae
OccupationOperatic soprano
OrganizationFrankfurt Opera

Brenda Rae is an American operatic soprano who has performed leading roles in opera houses internationally. She has been a resident artist at the Frankfurt Opera since 2008.[1] She is a featured performer on the Naxos Records 2015 recording of Milhaud's L'Orestie d'Eschyle which was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Rae is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (Bachelor of Music, 2005) and the Juilliard School (Master of Music, 2008).[3][1] While a student at Juilliard she portrayed roles in several productions of the Juilliard Opera Center, including Mary Shrike in the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann's Miss Lonelyhearts (2006), Eurydice in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld (2006), Arminda in Mozart's La finta giardiniera (2007), and the Countess Adele in Rossini's Le comte Ory (2007).[4][5][6][7] In 2013 she made her debut at Carnegie Hall as Polissena in Handel's Radamisto with David Daniels in the title role and conductor Harry Bicket leading The English Concert orchestra.[8] That same year she made her debut at the Santa Fe Opera as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata.[9] She returned to Santa Fe in 2014 as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and The Cook in Le Rossignol.[10] In 2015 she portrayed the title role in Handel's Semele at the Seattle Opera.[11] In 2017 she sang the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Santa Fe.[12]

Rae has performed in many operas at the Frankfurt Opera, beginning with her debut there in 2008.[1] Her other performances there include Aithra in Die agyptische Helena by Richard Strauss (2015), Amina in Bellini's La sonnambula (2014-2015), Angelica in Vivaldi's Orlando furioso, Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (2012), Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare (2012-2013), Eternità and Giunone in Cavalli's La Calisto (2011-2012), Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte (2014), Helmwige in Wagner's Die Walküre (2012), Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (2011), Lora in Wagner's Die Feen (2011), Musetta in Puccini's La bohème (2012), Olympia in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman (2011), Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (2011), Servilia in his La clemenza di Tito (2011), Violetta in Verdi's La traviata (2011), Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss (2013-2014), and the title roles in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda (2012) and Lucia di Lammermoor (2015-2016), among others.[1][13]

Rae's other European performances include appearances at the Bavarian State Opera (debut as Konstanze, 2012), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Arminda in Handel's Rinaldo, 2011), Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux (Zerbinetta, 2011), and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (debut as Polissena in Handel's Radamisto, 2013) among others.[1] In 2017, she appeared as Amenaide in Rossini's Tancredi with Opera Philadelphia.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e F. Paul Driscoll (June 2014). "Sound Bites: Brenda Rae". Opera News.
  2. ^ "Grammys 2015: Complete list of winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2015.
  3. ^ Gayle Worland (September 4, 2015). "Dollars bring new era to University Opera". Wisconsin State Journal.
  4. ^ "A Nathanael West Novel Gets Its Turn on the Opera Stage". The New York Times. April 28, 2006.
  5. ^ Bernard Holland (November 18, 2006). "A U.P.S. Man Joins Offenbach's Gods and Goddesses". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Vivien Schweitzer (April 27, 2007). "Young Mozart, Classically Serious and Silly". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Anne Midgette (November 16, 2007). "Tomorrow's Opera Singers Today". The New York Times.
  8. ^ James R. Oestreich (February 25, 2013). "Giving Voice to a Tale of Pursuit and Desire". The New York Times.
  9. ^ James R. Oestreich (August 7, 2013). "Nature's Power Meets Star Power in Santa Fe". The New York Times.
  10. ^ George Loomis (May 22, 2014). "A Reflective Giovanni, Facing Up to His End". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Johann Van Niekerk (February 27, 2015). "Divas Rule The Stage at Seattle Opera's "Semele"". Vanguard Seattle.
  12. ^ Crafts, D. S. (July 3, 2017). "'Lucia di Lammermoor' full of style and passion". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  13. ^ "Brenda Rae". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Opera Philadelphia's 2016-17 Season to Feature World Premiere of Mazzoli's Breaking the Waves, Reimagined Macbeth and Blythe as Tancredi". Opera News. February 16, 2016.