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 has for a number of years been a resident artist at the Vienna State Opera. She has also performed leading parts at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Teatro alla Scala, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, Netherlands Opera, Wiener Festwochen, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Israeli Opera.Read more
In 2018 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Zerlina in Kasper Holten’s production of Don Giovanni conducted by Marc Minkowski, and her debut at Teatro Real in Madrid and Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona as Ginevra (Ariodante) under William Christie, a role she also performed at the Vienna State Opera in David McVicar’s new production. In 2017 she performed in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 at the BBC Proms, Lucerne Festival, George Enescu Festival and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam under the baton of Daniele Gatti, made her debuts with the Chicago Symphony under Charles Dutoit, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Lahav Shani and sang Liu (Turandot) with the Israel Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta, and in 2016 she sang Morgana (Alcina) under Marc Minkowski at the Vienna State Opera, and with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta, she was the guest soloist at a gala concert for the 30th anniversary celebrations of Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
She is a frequent presence on the concert stage, and a regular guest with distinguished ensembles and institutions including the Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Ludwigsburg, Rheingau and Lucerne Festivals, the Vienna Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Concerto Köln, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Pittsburgh Symphony and Dallas Symphony, and London’s Philharmonia and BBC Symphony Orchestras, as well as in Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Wigmore Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Laeiszhalle Hamburg and Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. She counts among her collaborators such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Mark Minkowski, Donald Runnicles, Christian Thielemann and Franz Welser-Möst.
Highlights of this season and beyond include her debuts as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) and Aennchen (Der Freischutz) at the Vienna State Opera, where she also will return in signature roles including Zdenka (Arabella), Marzelline (Fidelio) and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Munich Philharmonic and on tour across Europe under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, Haydn’s The Seasons with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski, the solo roles of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in the opening season concerts of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’ with the Israel Philharmonic and Ilan Volkov.
Her operatic repertoire includes: Gilda (Rigoletto), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Amina (La Sonnambula), Nannetta (Falstaff), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Marie (La fille du régiment), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Ilia (Idomeneo), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Konstanze (Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), Adele (Die Fledermaus), and the title role in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Her concert repertoire includes the sacred works, concert scenes and arias of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Christus am Olberge, the Requiems of Brahms and Fauré, Rossini and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, and the songs of Mahler, Zemlinsky, Berg and Richard Strauss.
In December 2014 Chen Reiss was invited to sing for Pope Francis during the Christmas Mass, which was broadcast worldwide. She has recorded a wide range of repertoire including a disc of Mozart, Salieri, Haydn and Cimarosa arias, and a recital “Le Rossignol et la Rose” presenting a romantic compilation of songs with distinguished pianist Charles Spencer (both for Onyx Classics), 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. Accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, she sang the soundtrack to Tom Tykwer’s film “Perfume: the Story of a Murderer”.
Michail Jurowski conducts the Polish Sinfonia Juventus, Warsaw Philharmonic and Artos Children’s choirs and an exceptional cast for the world premiere recording and performance of Anton Rubinstein’s monumental opera Moses. The cast features baritone Stanislaw Kuflyuk...
“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. […]”Markéta Vejvodová
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.Matthew Rye
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.Colin Clarke
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.Richard Wigmore
Royal Festival Hall – Philharmonia Orchestra/ Lahav Shani
Strauss – Orchestra Lieder.
Mahler – 4th Symphony
“The sequence of six Richard Strauss songs was drawn from right across his career. Quite frankly Chen Reiss has one of the most perfect Strauss voices one could wish for – think Lisa della Casa – conveying that radiant, soaring ecstasy so characteristic of the composer’s love-affair with the female voice. ‘Morgen!’, topped and tailed by superb violin solos, was especially memorable.
When we reached the concluding child’s vision of Heaven Chen Reiss – now in the simplest gown rather than the sumptuous one she had worn for the Strauss – rose from within the orchestra, a particularly elegant solution to introduce the singer without disrupting the music’s flow. Reiss’s voice may be almost too beautiful and sophisticated for this faux-naif music but far better that than some less-impressive vocalists one has heard.”
Vienna State Opera: Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie)
The dark-haired, distinctively beautiful young singer never offers the flittery, breathy soprano, which one often hears as Sophie; she presents a substantial, radiant, bright voice with the necessary heavenly high notes in Piano and in Forte. Linguistically perfect, she plays Sophie as confused, yet sympathetic, lively and with a strong personality.
Der neue Merker
Bayerische Staatsoper – Rigoletto (Gilda)
Chen Reiss was a stunning Gilda, her immaculately produced voice and enticing tone matched by her superb musicianship; she was able to reach out emotionally to the audience.
Opera News Online, USA