Amber Wagner

Soprano

Biography

American soprano Amber Wagner has been featured in Opera News as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in classical music in the coming decade. In a recent review of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Times described her as possessing a “powerful, gleaming and richly expressive voice [which] was ideal for the music.”

In the 2017-2018 season, Amber Wagner will reprise the role of Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre in concert with Sir Andrew Davis at the Edinburgh Festival in summer 2017. Again under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, she will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of Turandot, a role she will debut with Vancouver Opera earlier in the season. She will also make her debut in the title role of Aida with Opera Australia and reprise Senta in Der fliegende Holländer in Rome with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Mikko Franck conducting, as well as in Turin with the National RAI Symphony Orchestra with James Conlon. In addition, she will return to the Oregon Symphony to sing Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Carlos Kalmar.

In the 2016-2017 season, Amber Wagner made her Australian debut with Opera Australia as Sieglinde and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Senta conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin to great critical acclaim. Ms. Wagner also made her New York recital debut with the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library. Finally, she returned to the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico for her first recording of select Wagner works.

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Reviews

“[As Elisabeth in Tannhäuser]…she produced a gleaming, ample and effortless sound that also was warm and womanly when it needed to be. This is a great role for Amber Wagner and she, too, scored a triumph.”

John von Rhein

Chicago Tribune

“As if to prove that one can have sound and dramatic intent, Amber Wagner sings Elisabeth with a gorgeous, pearly-yet-warm sound that alternately conveys worry, pride and even faintness of spirit. These states are part of the sound, mind you: when Elisabeth is anxious, for example, Wagner’s voice pairs a quick vibrato with an attack that is never late, capturing a mind that’s spinning faster than her words. And while Botha livens up a little in the later acts, finding moments of urgency, it is Wagner who really shines as this opera progresses. In the third act, her already exemplary voice seems to enter a new zone of relaxation and openness. She sings with a deepened command and an access to a horizon of sound that make it seem as though her throat had found six more inches of release. It’s a phenomenal performance.”

Dan Wang

Bachtrack

More Reviews

“As Leonora, soprano Amber Wagner spun reams of gorgeous, creamy tone… This is one remarkable voice.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune 

“The music just poured naturally from her at all times, whether in mournful or soaring sections. Like her character at opera’s end, she is going places, and currently they appear to have no limit.”

Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times 

“… Amber Wagner’s soprano has a radiant lyrical sensitivity and large volume of glowing power. She gave the performance a beautiful longing and pure voice.”

Elsa in Lohengrin, Savonlinna Festival, Helsingin Sanomat, Kavela Newspaper 

“…throughout the evening Wagner displayed the presence and command of an artist of twice her experience. Her voice poured forth rhapsodically in exquisitely phrased lines while she more than matched the intensity of the formidable Botha as Lohengrin, the Swan Knight who comes to rescue her.Brava to Miss Wagner; even Schuster, as the show-stopping villainess Ortud, pulled her aside for a special ovation during the final bows.”

Elsa in Lohengrin, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Laura Emerick, Chicago Sun Times 

“Although one would have liked to hear more from her, Amber Wagner sang splendidly, her large, voluptuous voice easily riding the choral crests in the “Easter Hymn” from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana.” If Lyric is looking for a Santuzza when it revives this verismo warhorse, it need look no further.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune 

“But most memorable was soprano Amber Wagner, who sang two Wagnerian death arias, matching the orchestra not only in volume level, but in passion. Opera excerpts can feel out of place at an orchestra concert, but Amber Wagner’s were deeply involving. Each aria was the finale from a landmark work in which a grieving heroine mourns beside the hero’s corpse before choosing to join him in death. The first was from “Tristan and Isolde,” the second Brunnhilde’s immolation scene from “Gotterdammerung,” a scene that brings Wagner’s massive “Ring” cycle to a close. As Isolde, the soprano’s spine-tingling high notes were complemented by heart-melting evocations of desire and loss, while Brunnhilde’s fiery climax demonstrated her velvety low range to be almost equally powerful. And that’s saying something when the orchestra is unleashing its forces to such a degree. ”

Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press