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.”

Amber Wagner’s 2018-2019 season begins with a return to the Metropolitan Opera, for her role debut as Giorgetta in Il Trittico, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. She returns to Opera Australia to sing the title role in Puccini’s Turandot, and later reprises the role of Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Oper Frankfurt, conducted by Sebastian Weigle.

In the 2017-2018 season, Amber Wagner made her role debut as Aida with Opera Australia. With Sir Andrew Davis, she returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of Turandot, a role she debuted with Vancouver Opera earlier in the season. Also with Sir Andrew Davis, Ms. Wagner reprised the role of Sieglinde in concert at the Edinburgh Festival and reprised Senta in Der fliegende Holländer in Rome with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia conducted by Mikko Franck, as well as in Turin with the National RAI Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Conlon. In addition, she returned to the Oregon Symphony to sing Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Carlos Kalmar.

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Reviews

“The euphoria was justified. As was the rapturous applause for the American soprano Amber Wagner in her UK operatic debut. Her house-filling Sieglinde–ample in tone, even in timbre, seamlessly phrased, intelligently charachterized — never sounded less than beautiful, ratcheting up the goosebump factor throughout her Act 1 solos and again at ‘O hehrstes Wunder’.”

Andrew Clark

Opera Magazine, UK

“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 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 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