Soprano Chen Reiss has established a strongly acclaimed and distinctive career, enchanting audiences with “one of the most perfect Strauss voices one could wish for” (Classical Source), “a voice of silver brightness and clarity” (Bachtrack) with “immaculately produced and enticing tone matched by superb musicianship” (Opera News, USA).
Born in Israel, she came to prominence as a member of the ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera under the music directorship of Zubin Mehta and was subsequently resident artist at the Vienna State Opera. She has also performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Teatro alla Scala, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Netherlands Opera, Wiener Festwochen, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Israeli Opera, in leading roles ranging from Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Ilia(Idomeneo), and the title role in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, to Gilda (Rigoletto), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Aennchen (Der Freischutz), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) and Zdenka (Arabella). Her repertoire also encompasses the title role in Cavalli’s La Calisto (Teatro alla Scala, Milan), Ginevra (Ariodante) (Royal Opera House Covent Garden), Mozart’s Zaide (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma), Donna Anna and Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), Anne Trulove (The Rakes’s Progress), Liu (Turandot), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea.Read more
In the 2023/24 season Chen Reiss will be Artist in Residence at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, performing a range of repertoire from Mozart and Lehar to Richard Strauss and Korngold. She also will be the featured soloist in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s Christmas Day concert, rejoining conductor Klaus Mäkelä to sing music by Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn. The season will see her performing for the first time with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse, and making return visits to the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Lucerne Symphony, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, collaborating with conductors including Lahav Shani, Tarmo Peltokoski, Alain Altinoglu, Hannu Lintu and Mikko Frank. She makes her debut in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Wiener Akademie and also Le Cercle d’Harmonie at the Festival de Paques in Aix en Provence, sings Bach Cantatas at Vienna’s Musikverein, and brings her programme of Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn with the Jewish Chamber Orchestra of Munich to the Geroge Enescu Festival in Bucharest.
On the concert stage in recent seasons she gave her first performances of Strauss’s Four Last Songs, Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Mahler Festival, Bruckner’s Mass in F minor and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, and appeared in signature repertoire including Mahler’s Second and Fourth symphonies with the Munich Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Lahav Shani, Beethoven’s 9th symphony with the Israel Philharmonic, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Christoph Eschenbach.
She toured Mahler’s Symphony No.4 with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony to the Colmar, Gstaad and Grafenegg Festivals, sang Berg’s Sieben fruhe lieder with the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart under Vasily Petrenko, and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC under the baton of Simone Young. She debuted with the Berlin Radio Symphony under Vladimir Jurowski (Haydn Die Jahreszeiten), the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano (Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem), the Berlin Philharmonic under Semyon Bychkov (Mahler Symphony No.4) and the Filarmonica della Scala (Mozart arias with Zubin Mehta). With the Vienna Philharmonic she was the guest soloist at a gala concert for the 30th anniversary celebrations of Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and with the Orchestre National de France she took part in the 2019 Bastille Day ‘Concert de Paris’, televised live from Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower. In December 2014 Chen Reiss was invited to sing for Pope Francis during the Christmas Mass, which was broadcast worldwide. Accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, she sang the soundtrack to Tom Tykwer’s film “Perfume: the Story of a Murderer”.
Recent recordings include Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov (Pentatone), Schreker’s ‘Vom ewigen leben’ with Christoph Eschenbach and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.(for Deutsche Grammophon), a disc of orchestral lieder and scenas of Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn with the Jewish Chamber Orchestra of Munich, and ‘Immortal Beloved’ a recording of Beethoven arias and scenas with the Academy of Ancient Music for Onyx Classics. She has recorded a wide range of recital repertoire as well as roles in complete recordings of Die Fledermaus (Capriccio), Don Giovanni and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem (Helicon) and Lehar‘s Das Fürstenkind (CPO), and DVD releases of Fauré’s Requiem with Orchestre de Paris conducted by Paavo Järvi, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Forthcoming releases include Mendelssohn’s ‘Lobgesang’ with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich and Paavo Jarvi.
Chen Reiss is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the next generation of singers and musicians. She is a guest professor at Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater, and regularly gives masterclasses for institutions such as the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, the Schlossakademie Hamburg, Triomphe de l’Art in Brussels and the Masterclass Media Foundation. In 2022 she founded the association Sourire Music, dedicated to supporting and promoting young musicians by offering them training and performance opportunities. In 2023 she established the Holistic Voice Academy – a special training programme for singers addressing their vocal, physical and mental well-being.
Soprano Chen Reiss and countertenor Christophe Dumaux take to the legendary stage of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala on 30 October for the premiere of La Scala’s first ever production of Francesco Cavalli’s exuberant baroque masterpiece La Calisto, in a new staging by...
Soprano Chen Reiss managed to complete five of the planned six performances as Mozart’s Zaide at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma before new regulations forced theatres across Italy to close again last weekend. Earlier in the year it looked as if her scheduled debut with...
The Royal Opera House has announced a thrilling an wide-ranging new line-up for its autumn programme. The performances will be performed in front of a live, socially-distanced Covent Garden audience and live streamed to audiences at home. Soprano Chen Reiss and...
“The wonderfully smiling Chen Reiss delivers a thrilling interpretation of this song evoking the joys of heavenly life. Her limpid soprano with a luminous treble register restored all the poetry and the tenderness of this piece which aims to carry the listener to the sky and towards happiness.”
“In the first movement of the motet Exsultate, jubilate Reiss displayed flawless runs and trills, brilliant virtuosity capped by an extravagant cadenza flowing up to a bell-like high note. At the end of the “Alleluia” finale, lithe and vivacious, Reiss interpolated a shimmering high C. In two opera arias, Reiss showed great dignity in her stage presence […] In “Dove sono,” from Le Nozze di Figaro, her Countess sighed with almost fragile delicacy, especially in the very soft repeat of the main melody. More sparkling runs proved the highlight of “Non mi dir,” from Don Giovanni…”
“The Last four Lieder by Richard Strauss were premiered in Valencia in 1960, only 12 years after its creation, by the Afro-American soprano Theresa Coleman and the Valencian José Ferriz. On Thursday they were recreated again by Chen Reiss, an Israeli lyric soprano already heard at the Real and the Liceu. Hers was a highly emotional, generous and even moving delivery, accompanied by the chief and artistic director Alexander Liebreich.
The wide vocal range of these pieces was presented by the invited soprano, with an absolute respect for the intensity of the text. She effortlessly added endless nuances, managing to create a magnetic connection with the audience that was on board with her from the very first bars.
It was a splendid debut.”
“Both eyes and ears are captured by soprano Chen Reiss. With her luscious voice and warm spirit she brings a firm clarity to the songs, sensitively orchestrated by Tal-Haim Samnon, and displays her delicious timbre in piece after piece with a conviction and a sense of drama that find their peak in a superb “Die frühen Gräber” and especially in “Hero und Leander”. This dramatic scene opens a window onto what an opera composed by Fanny could have been. History decided otherwise, alas!”
“The symphony ends with the luminous contribution of Chen Reiss , quite at ease in the scholarly naivety of “Das Himmlische Leben”. With her pure voice, her superb diction and her truly angelic phrasing, she brought to a beautiful conclusion this evening, performed, decidedly, under the sign of happiness.”
“In the keystone finale, Chen Reiss brings to the child’s vision of heaven a reading as searchingly poignant as it is sweetly pretty with an appreciable lightness of touch and due sense of wonder.”
“Soprano Chen Reiss brings vocal radiance, elegance, compelling emotional commitment, and stunning technique to Stravinsky’s magical (but also fiendish) vocal writing.”
“Chen Reiss brought us all the accuracy and purity of her singing. Very flexible and lyrical throughout the range, she showcases her colours at the highest end of the vocal spectrum, always with excellent command of the text, impeccably pronounced, traced perfectly towards the final phrases of the song.”
The Israeli soprano Chen Reiss takes on the role of the protagonist with sensuality and grace. Her light soprano voice resounds exquisitely and with a beautiful clear and luminous timbre, silvery and bright in the high notes; her interpretation is sympathetic and sensitive, credibly outlining a heartfelt nymph and, when necessary, in love.
“Chen Reiss declaims Mahler 4 with all the poetry and irony necessary. The voice has a communicative warmth. The timbre, like a ripe vintage, blessed with a perfect balance of sweet and sharp. Her technique and breath control allows her detailed attack and phrasing, and high-lying pianos with the most beautiful effect.”
“Despite the complexity of the expanded harmonic language and their technical difficulty, Chen Reiss’s performance [of Berg’s Sieben fruhe lieder] was sublime from the first to the last piece. With a timbre both powerful yet soft at the same time, her voice was full of liveliness and a nuanced pliancy ideal for the repertoire, perfect German diction and a magnificent expressive articulation of the text. Chen Reiss’s voice shone on stage and enhanced the beauty of these songs even more. Particularly beautiful were ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘The Loving Ode’, in which she demonstrated a great melodic sense put at the service of the poet’s lyrics.”
“Chen Reiss was a Calisto of lyrical voice with airiness at the top, singing with intelligence and a richness of inflection and accent, giving full characterization of the character in the arias.”
“Soprano Chen Reiss pleased us with a middle register characterized by a beautiful lyrical colour, which expands with softness and naturalness in the high register, well supported and ringing. The voice is expressive and bends well to the interpretative needs of the character of Calisto, a role that passes from the initial imperturbability of the nymph, to the joys of the discovery of love, to then arrive at the sad and dignified resignation in accepting her celestial destiny.”
“The performance of Israeli soprano Chen Reiss, whose interpretation of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, conducted by John Axelrod, rates as the best I have ever heard. […] Chen Reiss’s voice exactly met Bernstein’s demands – she sounded innocent, heavenly, pure, and very youthful. Chen Reiss acted as if praying while singing, and phrased beautifully with her beautiful voice.”
“Chen Reiss, making her Royal Opera debut at this performance, made Zerlina a character of both charm and guile, matched by a voice of silver brightness and clarity.”
“Here it was the Israeli soprano Chen Reiss, making her house debut in this role (she is a regular with the Vienna State Opera). Here is a Zerlina that is no innocent, stripping for the Don and realizing the power she has over the male libido. The duet ‘La ci darem’ was all the more delicious for Reiss’ slight depth to her voice: this is no soubrette Zerlina.”
“Chen Reiss fields a supple, vernal lyric-coloratura that soars without strain or hardness into the stratosphere. […] she can spin a pure legato and always phrases musically, with rubato growing naturally from the curve of the line and the flux of the harmony. The florid melismas and high tessitura of Krenek’s ‘Die Nachtigall’ – and the tricky, vaulting leaps of the Berg songs are negotiated with effortless grace.”