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Christine Abraham (Mezzo-soprano, Soprano)

Born: USA

The American mezzo-soprano (and soprano), Christine Abraham, earned he Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and her Master of Music degrre from Manhattan School of Music. She studied with Patricia McCaffrey, Cynthia Hoffmann, Lucille Evans, and Herman LeRoux.

Declared "radiant" by the Los Angeles Times and "Glamorous and melting of voice" by the Wall Street Journal, Christine Abraham, has performed a varied operatic and orchestral repertoire to great artistic acclaim. Her successful career as a high mezzo-soprano included several soprano roles such as Valencienne in The Merry Widow with Utah Opera, Despina in Così fan tutte with Toledo Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Tulsa Opera, and Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Palm Beach Opera. Abraham has now made the formal switch to soprano, adding many new soprano roles into her repertoire including Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Mimi in La bohème, the title role in Rusalka, and Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia.

In recent seasons, Christine Abraham sang Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Hawaii Opera Theater; performances of J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and Cantata BWV 130 with the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival; a recital for the Maestro Foundation in Santa Monica, California; as soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; and in Messiah with Pacific Symphony. Career highlights include her first performances of Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri with Arizona Opera, her debut with the Spoleto Festival USA as Stephano in Roméo et Juliette, a return to Utah Opera as Stephano, appearing as Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia with Opera Boston, singing as soloist in the W.A. Mozart Requiem with the Music of the Baroque and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Messiah with the Nashville Symphony and J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) in a return to the Bethlehem Bach Festival. For Glimmerglass Opera she performed Mme. Carré-Lamadon in the world premiere of Stephen Hartke's The Greater Good, or the Passion of Boule de Suif (recorded for the Naxos record label), and she created the role of Dolly in the world premiere of David Carlson's Anna Karenina with Florida Grand Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Other opera highlights include performances of Laura in Luisa Miller with Dallas Opera, Bradamante in Alcina with Boston Baroque, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Chattanooga Symphony, and Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Utah Opera. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2002-2003 season as Ida in Die Fledermaus. That same season, she was Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Grand Rapids, Minerva in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria with Boston Baroque, and Mila in the North American premiere of Leoš Janáček's Osud with the Bard Festival. Other roles include the title role in La Cenerentola with Santa Barbara Grand Opera, Olga in Eugene Onegin with Arizona Opera, Lazuli in Chabrier's L'Étoile, Minerva in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and Diana in Cavalli's La Calisto (a recording of which was released by the BBC) all with Glimmerglass Opera. With New York City Opera she has sung Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Nicklausse and the Muse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and Miss Jessel in Benjamin Britten's Turn of the Screw. Ms. Abraham has also performed the role of Nicklausse with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Mab in Georges Bizet's La jolie fille de Perth with Sarasota Opera, Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Orlando Opera, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Florilegium Chamber Ensemble in New York City.

Christine Abraham has performed in many new works and has sung the roles of Mahler, the Queen, and Sheherazade in the New York premiere of Tan Dun's Marco Polo with New York City Opera, Katerina Maslova in Tod Machover's Resurrection with the Boston Lyric Opera, and Emily in the world premiere of Stephen Paulus's The Woman at Otowi Crossing with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She appeared in the world premieres of Peter Lieberson's Ashoka's Dream as the Third Element with Santa Fe Opera, and the title role in David Carlson's The Midnight Angel with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Glimmerglass Opera and Sacramento Opera. She has also appeared in the title role in Cornet Christoph Rilke's Song of Love and Death by Siegfried Matthus with the John Brownlee Opera Theater, as Mme. Grandjean in The Cat and the Fiddle at New York's Weill Recital Hall, and as the Abbess in the West Coast premiere of Libby Larsen's In a Winter Garden.

On the concert stage Christine Abraham has performed W.A. Mozart's Missa Brevis and Felix Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Rossi's Orfeo with the Toronto Consort, and works by Monteverdi with Chicago's Music of the Baroque. She has appeared at the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival in performances of J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), St. John Passion (BWV 245) and St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). In the summer of 2002, Abraham joined Peter Schickele for a concert of his music at Caramoor, and sang arias from Le nozze di Figaro and La clemenza di Tito in her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Other highlights include performances of Georg Frideric Handel's Messiah with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Alexander Nevsky and J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245) with the Phoenix Symphony, and W.A. Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the Vermont Symphony. She was a soloist in J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245), Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) and Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) with the Bethlehem Bach Festival, and sang Haydn's Harmoniemesse with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

In 2008-2009 season, Christine Abraham sang Paul Moravec's Blizzard Voices with Opera Omaha, performed the role of Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and appeared in recital at Stanford University. She returns to Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 2009-2010 to sing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. She also sings in an Opera Gala Concert with Berkeley Opera and performs Luciano Berio's Folk Songs through Mills Music Now.

Christine Abraham is on the Voice Faculty of the Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Recordings: on Signum Classics, Naxos American Classics, Arabesque Recordings, BBC Music labels.


Source: Barrett Vantage Artists Website (January 2010); Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival (2008)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Dwight Oltman


BWV 4, BWV 11, BWV 130 [2nd], BWV 147 [2nd]
BWV 232 [8th], BWV 244 [6th], BWV 244 [7th], BWV 244 [8th], BWV 245 [7th]

Links to other Sites

Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival 2008: Soloists
San Francisco Conservatory of Music: Preparatory and Adult Divisions

Christine Abraham - Vocalist, Soprano (Barrett Vantage Artists)

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