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In Conversation with Stephanie Blythe
Stephanie Blythe, Marc A. Scorca
Making Connections1/4/2012

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed opera artists of our time. She has performed at major opera houses all over the world in repertoire ranging from Handel to Wagner and this season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda, Aida and the complete Ring Cycle. Join us as this singular artist discusses her craft and career with OPERA America President & CEO Marc A. Scorca.

About the Author:

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is considered to be one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation.

Blythe has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the U.S. and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Opera National de Paris. Her many roles include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila, Orfeo ed Euridice, L'italiana in Algeri, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon and Guilio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa and Zita in Il trittico; Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Azucena in Il trovatore, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress, Jezibaba in Rusalka, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Ino/Juno in Semele and Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus.

Blythe has also appeared with many orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Minnesota Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Ensemble Orchestre de Paris and the Concertgerbouworkest. She has also appeared at the Tangelwood, Cincinnati May and Ravinia festivals, and at the BBC Proms. The many conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Nelson, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers and Michael Tilson Thomas.

A frequent recitalist, Blythe has been presented in recital in New York by Zankel Hall; Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall and its American Songbook Series at the Allen Room, the 92nd Street Y; Town Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also been presented by the Vocal Arts Society and at the Supreme Court at the invitation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Washington, D.C.; the Cleveland Art Song Festival, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Shriver Hall in Baltimore.

A champion of American song, she recently premiered Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, by the late James Legg, in Town Hall. She also premiered Vignettes: Ellis Island, a song cycle written especially for her by Alan Smith which was featured in a special television program entitled Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. Her most recent collaboration with Smith was Covered Wagon Woman, a piece commissioned for Blythe’s residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recorded with the ensemble on its own label, CMS Studio Recordings.

Blythe starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts of Orfeo ed Euridice and Il trittico. Her recordings of works by Mahler, Brahms and Wagner, and of arias by Handel and Bach, are available on the Virgin Classics label.

This season, Blythe returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda, Aida and the complete Ring Cycle, and appears with the New York Philharmonic and with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at Cal Performances. She also makes her debut at the Deutscheoper Berlin in concert performances of Il trovatore.

Blythe was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 2009. Her other awards include the 2007 Opera News Award and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award.

 

Marc A. Scorca joined OPERA America in 1990 as president and CEO. Since that time, the OPERA America membership has grown from 120 opera companies to nearly 2,500 organizations and individuals. An additional 16,000 subscribers now receive a variety of free and fee-based services. Under his leadership, OPERA America has administered two landmark funding initiatives in support of the development of North American operas and opera audiences and launched an endowment effort in 2000 to create a permanent fund dedicated to supporting new works and audience development activities. OPERA America’s relocation from Washington, D.C. to New York City in December 2005, the first step in the construction of a National Opera Center scheduled to open in 2012, has increased communication and collaboration with and among members both locally and nationally. Scorca has led strategic planning retreats for opera companies and other cultural institutions internationally, and has participated on panels for federal, state and local funding agencies, as well as for numerous private organizations. He also appears frequently in the media on a variety of cultural issues. A strong advocate of collaboration, Scorca has led several cross-disciplinary projects, including the Performing Arts Research Coalition and the National Performing Arts Convention (2004 and 2008). He is currently a member of the US delegation to UNESCO, and serves as an officer of the board of the Performing Arts Alliance and the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as on the Music Advisory Board of Hunter College (CUNY). Scorca attended Amherst College where he graduated with high honors in both history and music.


Spring 2014 Magazine Issue
  • From Gold Rush to Google
  • Before, After and During Opera Conference 2014
  • OPERA America's New Works Forum Expands and Explores
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