Coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden routinely earns raves from critics and audiences alike for singing that garners such superlatives as “daring,” “pyrotechnic,” and “dizzying.” She makes regular appearances on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and on concert stages, where her purity of tone and pitch-perfect musicianship allow her to move with ease from virtuosic roles by18th-century composers such as Handel and Mozart, to the complexities of 21st-century music by such masters as Thomas Adès, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Wolfgang Rihm. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the protagonist in Berg’s Lulu, and returned in 2009 to sing Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in Ombra Felice, a fully staged production of Mozart concert arias, and returned to sing Aspasia in Jonathan Miller’s production of Mitridate re di Ponto, recently released on CD under the Salzburg Festival label. She appeared at New York City Opera in 2010 in the title role of Handel’s Partenope, and returned there in 2011 to sing the featured role in Morton Feldman’s monodrama Neither. Contemporary opera remains a pillar of her activities. Her performances as the high-flying Ariel in Adès’ The Tempest, which premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with the composer at the podium, confounded critics. London’s Daily Telegraph said, “her ability to keep control over the stratospherically high writing for Ariel [is] astonishing.” The Times (London) called her “sensational,” The New Yorker “brilliant,” and the Independent on Sunday “a miraculous combination of elegance, poignancy and chutzpah.” She appeared in subsequent performances in France, Denmark, Frankfurt, and the Santa Fe Opera, and more are planned. More recently, she sang the role of the Cat in Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Geneva Opera, and appeared in 2011 in Wolfgang Rihm’s new opera Dionysus at Netherlands Opera.
She has garnered equally enthusiastic acclaim for her more traditional roles, including her portrayal of Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte and as Blondchen in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Her Archiv recordings of those works, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, affirmed her status as one of her generation’s preeminent Mozart interpreters. She has performed those roles at the world’s leading opera houses, including Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Paris’s Opera Bastille, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre de Liceu, Brussels’ La Monnaie, and London’s English National Opera as well as in Beijing and Australia. Ms. Sieden is also closely associated with the operas of Richard Strauss: she frequently performs Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Munich, Japan, Vienna); Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Paris’s Châtelet); and Aminta in Die Schweigsame Frau (Palermo). She is one of the few contemporary sopranos to have sung the original 1912 version of Ariadne, in which Zerbinetta’s aria is expanded and sits a whole step higher than in the commonly heard 1916 revision. Ms. Sieden has sung in concert with the world’s most prestigious symphony orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra and at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. She was featured soloist in the Chicago Symphony’s gala opening concert of the 2006–07 season, singing Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol. Ms. Sieden is also much in demand for the oratorios of Handel, Mozart and Haydn; works of Bach; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8; and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She has also brought opera to the concert stage, including most of Mozart’s oeuvre, Bernstein’s Candide, and Ariadne auf Naxos. She has sung Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Los Angeles and on a European tour, and introduced Thomas Adès’s Scenes from The Tempest (based on his opera The Tempest) to the orchestral world. An active recitalist and frequent guest artist with the New York Festival of Song, Miss Sieden gave the New York premiere of John Musto’s song cycle Dove sta amore in her debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has appeared at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, in Rotterdam, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and the Moab Festival, among others, in a wide range of repertoire. A native of California, Ms. Sieden lives in Washington State. Visit Cyndia Sieden on the web at www.schwalbeandpartners.com . You can also visit her website at www.cyndiasieden.com.