Soprano

Heidi Stober

Stunning audiences with her sterling lyric soprano voice and incisive stage personality, American soprano Heidi Stober has established herself as a house favourite at leading companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

© Simon Pauly

Introduction

Since her critically acclaimed debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the autumn of 2008 Heidi has cultivated a long-standing relationship with the company, appearing in a variety of leading roles including Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Micaëla Carmen, Susanna Le nozze di Figaro, Adina L’elisir d’amore, Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, Oscar Un ballo in maschera, Nannetta Falstaff, Zerlina and Donna Elvira Don Giovanni and Princess Ninette in Robert Carsen’s new production of L’Amour des Trois Oranges. She also performs frequently at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia and Semperoper Dresden.

Highlights of the 2018-19 season include Heidi’s return to San Francisco Opera to sing Zdenka Arabella and Angelica Orlando, a return to Lyric Opera Chicago for Dalinda Ariodante, her house debut for Dutch National Opera as Antigone in George Enescu’s Oedipe and performances at Deutsche Oper Berlin as Pamina Die Zauberflöte and Micaëla Carmen. On the concert platform Heidi will sing Stravinsky’s Cantata with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Heidi’s professional training took place at the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and she holds degrees from Lawrence University and the New England Conservatory.


Performance Schedule

14 Apr 2019 14:00
Walt Disney Concert Hall, LOS ANGELES

IGOR STRAVINSKY Requiem Canticles
IGOR STRAVINSKY Introitus
IGOR STRAVINSKY In Memoriam Dylan Thomas
IGOR STRAVINSKY Mass (1944/48)
IGOR STRAVINSKY Elegy for JFK
IGOR STRAVINSKY Chorale Variations on “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her”
IGOR STRAVINSKY Cantata

Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Soprano: Heidi Stober
Mezzo Soprano: Kelly O’Connor
Tenor: Andrew Staples
Bass Baritone: Davone Tines
Ensemble: Los Angeles Philharmonic

09 Jun 2019 14:00
San Francisco Opera, SAN FRANCISCO

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Orlando

Orlando: Sasha Cooke
Angelica: Heidi Stober
Dorinda: Christina Gansch
Medoro: Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen
Zoroastro: Christian Van Horn
Conductor: Christopher Moulds

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    14:00 14 Apr 2019 Walt Disney Concert Hall, LOS ANGELES

    IGOR STRAVINSKY Requiem Canticles
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Introitus
    IGOR STRAVINSKY In Memoriam Dylan Thomas
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Mass (1944/48)
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Elegy for JFK
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Chorale Variations on “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her”
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Cantata

    Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Soprano: Heidi Stober
    Mezzo Soprano: Kelly O’Connor
    Tenor: Andrew Staples
    Bass Baritone: Davone Tines
    Ensemble: Los Angeles Philharmonic

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    14:00 09 Jun 2019 San Francisco Opera, SAN FRANCISCO

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Orlando

    Orlando: Sasha Cooke
    Angelica: Heidi Stober
    Dorinda: Christina Gansch
    Medoro: Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen
    Zoroastro: Christian Van Horn
    Conductor: Christopher Moulds

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    19:30 15 Jun 2019 San Francisco Opera, SAN FRANCISCO

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Orlando

    Orlando: Sasha Cooke
    Angelica: Heidi Stober
    Dorinda: Christina Gansch
    Medoro: Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen
    Zoroastro: Christian Van Horn
    Conductor: Christopher Moulds

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    19:30 18 Jun 2019 San Francisco Opera, SAN FRANCISCO

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Orlando

    Orlando: Sasha Cooke
    Angelica: Heidi Stober
    Dorindo: Christina Gansch
    Medoro: David Daniels
    Zoroastro: Christian Van Horn

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    19:30 21 Jun 2019 San Francisco Opera, SAN FRANCISCO

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Orlando

    Orlando: Sasha Cooke
    Angelica: Heidi Stober
    Dorindo: Christina Gansch
    Medoro: David Daniels
    Zoroastro: Christian Van Horn

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    03 Mar 19 HANDEL Ariodante (Dalinda)
    Chicago Lyric Opera

    “The best singing among the women in the cast came from Heidi Stober as Dalinda. She was a compelling dramatic presence throughout and brought some much-needed verve and panache to her showy arias, tossing off the coloratura in fleet, vivacious style while bringing expressive depth to the conflicted character.”

    Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, 03 March 2019

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    18 Oct 18 Strauss: Arabella (Zdenka) San Francisco Opera
    Opera Today

    “Von Hofmannstahl twisted the swain from pastoral poetry into a cross dressed soprano, here San Francisco Opera house soubrette Heidi Stober who gave a quite effective account of Zdenka who loves Arabella’s rejected suitor Matteo, however Zdenka is first known as the boy Zdenko who is Matteo’s best friend (you had to be there). Mme. Stober’s charming trouser role presence abetted by fine singing well matched the maestro’s need for a big house, tongue-in-cheek shepherd/ess. ”

    Michael Milenski, Opera Today, 18 October 2018

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    06 May 18 VERDI 'Un ballo in maschera' (Oscar)
    Semperoper Dresden

    “Soprano Heidi Stober, as Oscar, was excellent. She was a true Puck, darting around the stage while singing and smiling and conning and coining a fresh thread among the others. She did the job the libretto asked for and more, mainly because her presence on the stage kept us aware of the structural cohesion. She sustained the narrative in the first act by convincing Gustavo not to banish Ulrica, and then in the final act by providing the clue to Gustavo’s disguise. Her voice reached high amplitude, and she came across as cherished.”
    Lois Silverstein, Opera Wire, 8 May 2018

     

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    26 Jan 18 BIZET 'Carmen' (Micaëla)
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “American soprano Heidi Stober is a self-confident Micaëla, with dulcet tones.”

    Zenaida des Aubris, Backtrack, 23 January 2018 

    “The remainder of the cast reflected the high standards of the house.  Heidi Stober was a very musical Micaëla, phrasing her music with love and affection. ”

    Opera Traveller, 21 January 2018 

     

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    27 Oct 17 HANDEL 'Giulio Cesare' (Cleopatra)
    Houston Grand Opera

    “There may not be an exact vocal parallel to platinum blonde, but soprano Heidi Stober’s mix of silvery gleam and a tinge of warmth came close. The sleekness and lilt she gave “V’adoro, pupille” projected the temptress’s allure beyond the footlights. And the surges of fervor Stober lavished on the serious moments–such as Act 3’s “Piangerò”–showed that Cleopatra had a heart.”
    Steven Brown, Texan Classical Review, 29 October 2017

    “As Cleopatra, soprano Heidi Stober reigned supreme with a strapping timbre you can obsess over but wouldn’t want to cross. … In this lead role, she does not disappoint.”
    Sydney Boyd, Houstoniamag.com, 30 October 2017

    “But our honors and huzzahs must fall on soprano Heidi Stober, as Cleopatra. If this isn’t a star turn, I don’t know what is. This HGO Studio alumna has been a favorite since her feisty Norina in HGO’s Don Pasquale (2006) and her Lucille Ball blond in Abduction from the Seraglio (2008). We knew she had it in her to do almost anything, but who knew she had Cleopatra in her? Not only is she a knock-out in those inspired Travis Banton dresses and that Jean Harlow marceled hair, but she sings like a dream come true. Not since Joyce DiDonato, another HGO alumna who’s gone on to international acclaim, has there been such a major discovery. Like the Astros, I predict a complete victory.”
    D L Groover, Houston Press, 28 October 2017

     

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    01 Jun 17 HANDEL 'Semele' (title role)
    Garsington Opera

    “Stober’s final showdown with Murray really grips with its tension and irony. There’s some beautiful singing. Stober, all creamy tone and gleaming high notes … Oh Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me sounds exquisite”
    Tim Ashley, Guardian, 2 June 2017

    “even more effective are the strong characterisations of Semele and Juno (Christine Rice). Far from being reduced to putty by Jupiter’s godliness, Semele is guided by her own desires, and Juno – amid the decidedly mortal bloating and wincing – is a force to be reckoned with. Both sing brilliantly, Stober bright-toned and ever-agile, and Rice luscious and effortlessly resonating.”
    Edward Bhesania, The Stage, 2 June 2017

    “Heidi Stober looks delectable in a wardrobe of spangled trousers, gowns and dresses, spinning a silky line to match … a splendidly sung performance”
    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 2 June 2017

    “The soprano taking the title role needs huge stamina as Handel gives her aria after aria, on top of which Miskimmon demands a fair amount of stage movement, “Endless pleasure” sung from a constantly spinning bed. Heidi Stober threw herself into the part with tremendous vigour, coloratura runs dispatched athletically and bringing great colour to her trills … “Myself I shall adore”, Semele convinced by Juno’s magic mirror that she really is the most gorgeous creature on earth – or above it – was suitably glitzy in its vocal fireworks.”
    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 2 June 2017

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    10 Nov 16 DONIZETTI 'Don Pasquale' (Norina)
    San Francisco Opera

    “Heidi Stober: A Break-Through Performance as ‘Norina’ at San Francisco Opera

    Soprano Heidi Stober springs to new heights as Norina in Don Pasquale at San Francisco Opera. With her opening night performance Stober marked a smashing entrance into bel canto opera and sparked what looks like a long-term association with composer Gaetano Donizetti and friends.”
    Sean Martinfield, Huffington Post, 11 October 2016

    “Norina … was Heidi Stober, who has become a familiar face here for soubrette roles. Since her 2010 San Francisco Opera debut as Sophie in Werther, she’s been busy: Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Atalanta in Xerxes, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Nannetta in Falstaff, Magnolia in Show Boat, Oscar in Un ballo in Maschera, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd …
    Her creamy soprano rose to secure high notes at the climax of arias. She was at her best, however, in the lovely duet, “Tornami a dir che m’ami,” her lyric sound weaving seamlessly with Brownlee’s.”
    Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard International, 18 October 2016

    “In the only female role, soprano Heidi Stober was far from outnumbered by the gentlemen. Her clear, honeyed, weighty voice sounded great as Norina transformed from demure single gal to alpha bride (wearing a Pelly-designed strapless black-and-tangerine cocktail dress) bossing around the hapless Don Pasquale.”
    James Ambroff-Tahan, San Francisco Examiner, 29 September 2016

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    27 Mar 15 Recital with Craig Terry Weill Recital Hall
    New York

    “Soprano Heidi Stober’s Weill Recital Hall program on March 27 gave a glimpse into the artistry of one of today’s most exciting singers. With pianist Craig Terry, Stober compiled a program of songs by Haydn, Schubert, Strauss and Debussy that on the surface seemed run-of-the-mill but proved to be a rich display of Stober and Terry’s talents.

    Stober’s middle voice sounded velvety and luxurious in the folk-like melodies of three English songs by Haydn, with her radiant top blossoming in the songs’ most dramatic moments. Before the five Schubert songs, Stober explained that the set was crafted around Schubert’s “Der Zwerg,” a dramatic ballad in which a jealous dwarf murders the woman he loves after she abandons him for the king. The songs preceding “Der Zwerg” showed the development of the dwarf’s obsession that led to his crime, while the final song acted as a celestial epilogue for his victim. Stober’s “Gute Nacht” was gripping and vividly specific and Terry’s dynamic range encompassed the song’s impassioned, unpredictable Romantic temperament. In the context of the set, “Auf dem Wasser zu singen” became a siren song with Stober assuming the role of fatal seducer in a voice sinister and inviting. For “Der Zwerg,” Stober unleashed a dramatic edge to her voice and descended daringly into the lowest regions of her soprano for theatrical effect. The calm of “Im Abendrot,” with its final wish of “good night,” gave resolution to the tumultuous story.

    The theme of motherhood threaded together five songs by Richard Strauss. “Junghexenlied,” with its jaunty rhythms, onomatopoeic motifs and unexpected harmonies, brought out the playful side of Stober’s personality. She was passionate in a gorgeous reading of Strauss’s “Ich trage meine Minne,” soaring up and over the song’s climaxes, and then bared her soul completely, refreshingly, in “Mein Auge.”

    In Claude Debussy’s song cycle Ariettes oubliées, Stober and Terry immersed themselves in the enigmatic poetry of Paul Verlaine and the gossamer harmonies of Claude Debussy, giving a delicate, nuanced interpretation without shying away from the exuberant energy of “Cheveaux de Bois”.

    For Jake Heggie’s From the Book of Nightmares, Stober and Terry were joined by cellist David Heiss. Heggie’s cycle of four songs on poetry by Galway Kinnell is an example of the American composer’s talent for storytelling through melody, texture and rhythmic energy. The tension in “You Scream” was shown in an introduction for piano and cello that lay in the instruments’ upper registers and gave impetus to the vocal line. Stober’s humor shined above the syncopation of “In a Restaurant,” before the trio dove into the exquisite melodies “My Father’s Eyes” and “Back You Go.”

    The final set was titled “On Wisconsin” and comprised four songs that each represented something from Stober’s home state. The most interesting was “Of Cheese” by Henry Leland Clark, a love song to cheese for soprano and cello. Stober ended the recital with Alec Wilder’s jazzy “Milwaukee”, which she sang with a beautiful musical theater mix and an abundance of personality.”
    Steven Jude Tietjen, Opera News, June 2015

Articles

November 2018 – Opera News: One to Watch

“Heidi Stober’s lustrous voice sounds custom-made for almost everything she sings—and she sings almost everything. Audiences across the U.S. and Europe have heard the Wisconsin-born soprano in roles ranging from Susanna, Semele, Adina, Micaela and Gretel to Ada in Theodore Morrison’s Oscar, Magnolia in Show Boat and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. Stober’s instrument is the type of distinctly American lyric soprano that makes the rest of the world listen.

Few singers of her generation have achieved Stober’s level of stateside success; fewer still have also opted to commit to a fest contract with a European house. In 2008, Stober began a residency with Deutsche Oper Berlin and established the German capital as her home base. A decade later, Stober remains a regular at the West Berlin house, singing Donna Elvira, Pamina, Oscar and Marguerite while also sojourning across the rest of Europe and the U.S. in principal roles. This month, you can catch her Zdenka in San Francisco, and next month she adds another role to her repertoire when she sings Antigone in George Enescu’s Oedipe in Amsterdam.

Stober’s interpretive prowess finds its purest expression in Pamina, a role that she’s sung countless times in major international and U.S. houses, in both German and English. Her approach to the character, as related to OPERA NEWS in 2014, neatly sums up the soprano’s strategy for her whole career. “You have to be very, very clean, and you can’t mess around—you can’t fuss with it. It’s really true, pure technique, and I think that’s just wonderful.”

 

Repertoire

OPERATIC REPERTOIRE
BELLINI
‘La Sonnambula’ (Lisa)

BERLIOZ
‘Les Troyens’ (Ascagne)

BIZET
‘Les pêcheurs de perles’ (Leila)
‘Carmen’ (Micaëla)

CIMAROSA
‘Il matrimonio segreto’ (Carolina)

COPLAND
‘The Tender Land’ (Laurie)

DONIZETTI
‘Don Pasquale’ (Norina)
‘L’elisir d’amore’ (Adina)

GOUNOD
‘Roméo et Juliette’ (Juliette)
‘Faust’ (Marguerite)

GORDON
‘27’ (Alice B Toklas)

HANDEL
‘Agrippina’ (Poppea)
‘Alcina’ (Alcina, Morgana)
‘Giulio Cesare’ (Cleopatra)
‘Radamisto’ (Tigrane)
‘Semele’ (Semele)
‘Xerxes’ (Atalanta)

HUMPERDINCK
‘Hänsel und Gretel’ (Gretel)

KERN
‘Showboat’ (Magnolia)

LEHÁR
‘The Merry Widow’ (Valencienne)

MASSENET
‘Werther’ (Sophie)

MENOTTI
‘The Old Maid & The Thief’ (Laetitia)

MONTEVERDI
‘L’incoronazione di Poppea’ (Drusilla)

MORRISON
‘Oscar’ (Ada Leverson)

MOZART
‘Le nozze di Figaro’ (Susanna, Donna Elvira)
‘Die Zauberflöte’ (Pamina)
‘La finta giardiniera’ (Sandrina)
‘Don Giovanni’ (Countess)
‘Il re pastore’ (Aminta)
‘Cosi fan tutte’ (Despina)

PROKOFIEV
‘L’amour des trois oranges’ (Ninette)

PUCCINI
‘La bohème’ (Musetta)

RAMEAU
‘Platée’ (La Folie/Thalie)

ROSSINI
‘Le Comte Ory’ (Comtesse Adele)

SONDHEIM
‘Sweeney Todd’ (Johanna)

STRAVINSKY
‘The Rake’s Progress’ (Anne Trulove)

STRAUSS
‘Arabella’ (Zdenka)

VERDI
‘Falstaff’ (Nannetta)
‘Un ballo in maschera’ (Oscar)
‘Don Carlo’ (Voce dal cielo)

CONCERT REPERTOIRE

BACH
‘St John Passion’
‘St Matthew Passion’

BARBER
‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915’

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No.9
‘Choral Fantasy’

BRAHMS
‘Ein Deutsches Requiem’

CHAUSSON
‘Poème de l’Amour et de la Mer’

FAURÉ
‘Requiem’

HANDEL
‘Messiah’

HARTKE
Symphony no.4 ‘Organ’
HAYDN
‘The Creation’
MAHLER
Symphony no.2
Symphony no.4

MOZART
‘Coronation Mass’
‘Requiem’
‘Exsultate Jubilate’

ORFF
‘Carmina Burana’

PENDERECKI
‘Credo’

POULENC
‘Gloria’

RUTTER
‘Requiem’

SCHUBERT
Mass no.5 in Ab Major