About Our Guest Artist,
Frederica von Stade
Described by the New York Times as "one of America's
finest artists and singers," Frederica von Stade continues
to be extolled as one of the music world's most beloved
figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname
"Flicka," the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of
classical music for four decades.
Ms. von Stade's career has taken her to the stages of the
world's great opera houses and concert halls. She began
at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolf
Bing during the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and since
her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles
with that company. In addition, Ms. von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Opera. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her at Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera. She is invited regularly by the finest conductors, among them Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas, to appear in concert with the world's leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Washington's National Symphony, and the Orchestra of La Scala.
Her repertoire is continually expanding with the works of contemporary composers. She created the role of Tina in Dallas Opera's world premiere production of Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers (a work written for her) as well as the role of Madame de Merteuil in Conrad Susa's Dangerous Liaisons and Mrs. Patrick De Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, both for San Francisco Opera. In the 2013-14 season, Ms. von Stade created the role of Myrtle Bledsoe in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt at Houston Grand Opera, a role she performed later that season at Opera Philadelphia and The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Ms. von Stade will reprise the role of Myrtle Bledsoe with the Chicago Opera Theater in the 2014-15 season.
She has made over seventy recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. She has enjoyed the distinction of holding simultaneously the first and second places on national sales charts for Angel/EMI's Show Boat and Telarc's The Sound of Music.
Frederica von Stade is the holder of honorary doctorates from Yale University, Boston University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (which holds a Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice), the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and her alma mater, the Mannes School of Music. In 1998 Ms. von Stade was awarded France's highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.