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At A Glance

 Photo by Andrew Finden

Photo by Andrew Finden

2017/18 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

  • Return to Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung

  • Artist Residency at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada

  • Mescalina in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre at Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg

 

BIOGRAPHICAL INFO

  • Born in Spokane, Washington, on 18 September 1981

  • Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Eastman School of Music

  • Master of Music in Opera from Curtis Institute of Music

  • Former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow

  • Splits her time between native USA and adopted home city of Berlin

 

 Photo by Falk von Traubenberg for Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

Photo by Falk von Traubenberg for Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bayreuth debut as Sieglinde in Die Walküre in 2016

  • Performing Brünnhilde's "Immolation Scene" with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Musikverin and Carnegie Hall

  • Mariisnky Theatre debut as Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, under the baton of Valery Gergiev

  • BBC Proms debut as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser with Donald Runnicles conducting

  • Berliner Philharmoniker debut with Sir Simon Rattle in the Peter Sellars production of Le grand macabre

  • Recording Die Walküre and Siegfried with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, led by Jaap van Zweden

  • Third Norn in the new Metropolitan Opera Ring Cycle

 

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

  • "The crown belongs to Heidi Melton as Brünnhilde, who never loses lyrical intensity even in her most dramatic outbursts. With her warm, deep soprano, she creates every single phrase with luminosity and still has plenty of reserve for the big showdown at the end." (Badisches Tagblatt)

  • “Heidi Melton sang Brünnhilde with the aplomb of a great Wagner heroine – not one that is singing it for the first time. One must travel very far to hear Wagner of this quality.“ (Die Rheinpfalz)

  • "Melton's voice is only comparable to the young prewar Kirsten Flagstad and that of Birgit Nilsson – she acts and negotiates the depths and the tops of this, the most difficult of the written tessituras for dramatic soprano." (Mundo Clásico)

  • “Heidi Melton is phenomenal – a fluid voice without limitation.” (Mitteldeutsche Zeitung)

  • "The Wagnerian voice we have been waiting for since Flagstad and Nilsson." (La Presse)

  • "Breathtaking... Melton's seamless lyricism floated effortlessly over the molten restlessness of Berg's golden orchestrations.” (The Scotsman)

  • "A revelation: she possesses a powerful voice from one end of the tessitura to the other...her luminous ‘Dich teure Halle’ was exciting from the first note.” (Forum Opéra)

  • "Magical and memorable... What made Melton's singing wonderful was not volume — though her voice is by no means small — but freshness and feeling. From the moment she opened her mouth, she was artlessly moving, actually communicating." (Washington Post)

 

 Photo courtesy of artist

Photo courtesy of artist

ANECDOTES

  • Worked as a bridal seamstress – often makes or tweaks her own concert gowns, can sew a score in a pinch

  • Stumbled into singing as a backup hobby after not making the cut for a premier soccer team – after a reasonable amount of locked-in-her-room teenage despair

  • Her grandma was her favorite person – she gave Heidi the love of music by teaching her to play the piano

  • Loves all power ballads and will sing along shamelessly with full vibrato

  • Bakes intuitively – without measuring cups!

  • Knows every word in the movie Moonstruck and the television series Arrested Development, and every song lyric by the band Heart

  • Guest faculty at the University of British Columbia School of Music Summer Vocal Workshop

  • Active board member of Bay Area Vocal Academy, which prepares talented young singers for careers in classical music by partnering with world class solo artists for mentorships in all areas of the field

  • Has 8 brothers and sisters; her grandfather's first cousin was operatic legend Jussi Björling