Wendy Nielsen makes her Pacific Opera Victoria debut – and her role debut – in the title role of Samuel Barber's Vanessa, in April 2011.
Recent 2010-11 performances include the title roles in Manitoba Opera's Tosca and Vitellia in Vancouver Opera's La Clemenza di Tito. She recenly toured the Maritime region giving recitals and master classes as well as performing the soprano solos in Messiah for Symphony Newfoundland and Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil.
Canadian soprano Wendy Nielsen enchants audiences with her sumptuous voice and engaging presence. Recent highlights include a critically acclaimed role debut as the title role in Calgary Opera's Ariadne auf Naxos; a return to the Metropolitan Opera for the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Opera Lyra Ottawa; performances of Handel's Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony; Christmas concerts with the Symphony New Brunswick; concert appearances in Alberta and elsewhere.
Ms. Nielsen recently sang Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Milwaukee Symphony and Andreas Delfs, for her Pacific Symphony debut with Carl St. Clair, with James Conlon and the Warsaw Philharmonic, with Richard Buckley and the Edmonton Symphony and with David Stahl and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in their opening gala. Other orchestral appearances include Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Chinese Philharmonic Orchestra, and Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne with the Edmonton Symphony. Ms. Nielsen sang her first Tosca with Opera New Brunswick, Alice Ford in Falstaff with the Canadian Opera Company, and performances of Donna Elvira in Edmonton Opera's Don Giovanni. Recitals and festival appearances include the inaugural recital of the Certosa Foundation in Capri, Italy, the Baie des Chaleurs Chamber Festival, Mt. Allison University, Opera New Brunswick, Le Festival de Chant Anna Malenfant, and a Far East recital debut in Tokyo's Mushashino Cultural Center.
Wendy Nielsen has a long history with the Metropolitan Opera, where she debuted as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and has sung Micaëla in Carmen, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanna and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. A signature role, her Countess has been heard in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Toronto, Calgary, Tulsa, Ottawa, and with the Minnesota Orchestra led by Jeffrey Tate. She has sung both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in Boston, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Edmonton, Tulsa; and Fiordiligi with the Florida Grand Opera and in New Jersey.
Ms. Nielsen debuted with the New York Philharmonic in Penderecki's Seven Gates of Jerusalem conducted by Kurt Masur and returned for Dov Seltzer's Lament to Yitzhak at the Lincoln Center Festival. Other orchestral highlights include her Carnegie Hall debut in a concert version of Schubert's rarely-heard opera Fierrabras with the Orchestra of St. Luke's; Ravel's Scheherazade with the Milwaukee Symphony and in Edmonton, Charleston, Wheeling; Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit; Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem and Britten's Les illuminations with the Milwaukee Symphony; Strauss' Four Last Songs at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa; Penderecki's Credo in Madrid with the composer conducting and numerous performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the orchestras of Toronto, Vancouver, Minnesota, Ottawa, Nova Scotia and at the Beethoven Festival in Krakow.
Ms. Nielsen's festival appearances include a Lucerne Festival debut on opening night, singing Elsa in scenes from Lohengrin with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra; Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, and Barber's Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra; Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony at the Launadière Festival; the Prague Autumn Festival for a program of Mozart opera arias with the Prague Chamber Orchestra; and Ravel's Scheherazade and Vocalise with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
In addition to a busy performing schedule Ms Nielsen is an active voice teacher, clinician and adjudicator. She has been a guest teacher at the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, the Glenn Gould Studio, University of Manitoba, McGill, Dalhousie and Mt Allison University to name a few. She has taught at a variety of summer programs including Orford, Opera Nuova in Edmonton, the new University of Toronto summer opera program COSI in Sulmona Italy and is the artistic director of the summer program at St Andrews by the Sea which she has developed into a nationally recognized program over the past 16 years.
Ms Nielsen is the past chair of the board of Debut Atlantic and serves on the board of the national organization opera.ca She holds a Bachelor of Music in voice from the University of Lethbridge , a Master's degree in Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia and honourary doctorates from the University of New Brunswick and the University of Lethbridge. She is a recipient of the Order of New Brunswick.
Talk about art imitating life! Nielsen was outstanding . . . a great actress, putting her entire being into the demanding role . . . With her lovely, refined soprano, she lent her full vibrato and flexible style to the plot, moving fluidly from jealous lover to desperate murderess. . . . Nielsen is the consummate opera star, with a reliable, mature voice that is completely satisfying. Powerful beyond belief . . .
Review of Tosca, Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg Free Press, November 22, 2010