Deborah Voigt Opens Her Season with Haiti Benefit in San Francisco October 2, Fall Schedule Announced
Superstar soprano Deborah Voigt opens her fall season on October 2, hosting a benefit concert for the Sing With Haiti project at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; a live webcast will be available here. The same week, she returns to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise her role as host for their popular "Live in HD" series, hosting the worldwide broadcast of a new production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (Oct 5). On October 26, Florida Grand Opera will celebrate the soprano with a season-opening gala dinner in Miami honoring Voigt's history with the company. Also in October, Voigt becomes the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, in which she will give individual coaching sessions, present group classes on a wide range of repertoire and lead career roundtable discussions. And Voigt will perform a series of recitals across the U.S. - in Indiana (Oct 19), Texas (Oct 22), Missouri (Oct 25) and Miami (Nov 15). About her charms on the recital stage, the New York Times says: "The first thing to be said about Deborah Voigt...is that she knows how to put together a compelling recital program." The singer also revisits her Voigt Lessons, a one-woman show she developed with playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello, at Boston's Wimberly Theatre (Nov 21 & 22). Across the Atlantic, Voigt gives orchestral concerts in Switzerland with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under the direction ofNeeme Järvi, singing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder in Geneva (Nov 27), Lausanne (Nov 28) and at Zurich's Tonhalle (Nov 29). As the winter season approaches, Voigt heads to Utah for four holiday concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Dec 12-15).
Voigt gave the debut of Voigt Lessons at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2011. The Albany Times-Union called Voigt Lessons "a daring revelation of Voigt's deepest self," noting further: "Sure, she sang plenty - renditions of 18 different selections. But it was what she said that touched the audience in deep and unexpected ways. ... Knocking down barriers seems to be Voigt's greatest role these days." The New York Times reported, "In 'Voigt Lessons,' she gives a chatty, witty and sometimes painfully poignant account of her life, starting with her childhood as a daughter of devout Baptist parents in Wheeling, Ill., weaving in performances of inspirational songs, art songs, show songs and bits of arias."
The soprano's major spring event is her role debut as Marie in Berg's Wozzeck at the Met Opera, alongside Thomas Hampson making his own debut in the title role (March 6-22). Last season at the Met, Voigt sang the role of Brünnhilde in Wagner's complete "Ring" cycle. A Blu-ray disc recording of Robert Lepage's staging of the cycle for the Met won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013, showcasing Voigt in a role that she made "exciting and expressive" (New York Times) with a voice that "blazed with passion" (New York Daily News). On May 14, she returns to the Met to host the "Live in HD" broadcast of Rossini's La Cenerentola.
Reflecting on Voigt's ever-expanding appeal, critic Fred Plotkin, writing for WQXR's Operavore, has said: "Deborah Voigt's triumphs and troubles are well known, but she does not project the frailty or falseness that some divas do. Her hearty humor, ready smile and willingness to scale steep musical mountains and take us with her are endearing traits. There are many opera singers who are more willful than courageous, but Voigt is one of the latter. She also has a great temperament (fiery and lovable all at once) that rings true because there is no pretense. It also helps that she is a superb musician with flawless diction in German and English who is always 'in the moment' no matter what she is performing. If she occasionally loses her vocal footing on the lofty peaks she climbs, that too is in the moment and we share it with her and love her for trying. "