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Christine Brandes (Soprano)

Born: USA

The American soprano, Christine Brandes, enjoys an active career in North America and abroad, performing at many of the most distinguished festivals and concert series, in programs ranging from recitals and chamber music to oratorio and opera.

In the current season, Chritine Brandes appears on the opera stage as Iris in Semele, under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras, for her debut with the San Francisco Opera, in the title role of New York City Operaís new production of George Frideric Handel's Acis and Galatea, as Euridice in Gluckís Orfeo ed Euridice with the Opera Festival of New Jersey, and in the role of Pamina in the Opera Company of Philadelphiaís Die Zauberflöte. Her concert schedule includes return engagements with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra and appearances at the Montreux Festival with the Freiburger Barockorchester in W.A. Mozartís Il Sogno di Scipione as well as in solo recital.

Future operatic engagements include the roles of Dalinda in Ariodante both at the Houston Grand Opera and San Diego Opera and Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Adina in LíElisir díamore with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Christine Brandes busy international concert schedule takes her to the Hollywood Bowl for concerts of J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan, to the Saint Denis Festival in France for W.A. Mozartís Requiem with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and John Nelson, and to The Cleveland Orchestra for performances of L.v. Beethovenís Egmont under the baton of Hans Graf.

Last season, Christine Brandes made her Glimmerglass Opera debut in a new production of Acis and Galatea; bowed as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and for Opera Pacific; and made her New York City Opera debut as Thalie and Clarine in Rameauís Platée. On the concert stage engagements included Giovanni Battista Pergolesiís Stabat Mater with Neeme Järvi and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; the roles of Fire and Nightingale in LíEnfant et les Sortilèges with Sir Simon Rattle and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; and Messiah both with the Minnesota Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy. Further concert activities included Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony Orchestra; Samuel Barberís Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Canton Symphony; Haydnís The Creation with John DeMain and the Madison Symphony; and G.F. Handelís LíAllegro, Il Penseroso e Moderato, in the Mark Morris production, in Berkeley.

Highlights of past concert seasons have included G.F. Handelís Solomon with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan; J.S. Bachís Magnificat (BWV 243), W.A. Mozartís Requiem, and arias from Giulio Cesare with The Cleveland Orchestra and John Nelson; Haydnís Lord Nelson Mass with the Handel and Haydn Society; the W.A. Mozart Requiem with Gerard Schwarz and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra; and Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra, Harry Bicket conducting, and with the National Symphony Orchestra under Ton Koopman. She also has performed LíAllegro, Il Penseroso e Moderato with the Handel and Haydn Society under the baton of Christopher Hogwood; works of François Couperin and G.F. Handel with Les Talens Lyriques, directed by Christophe Rousset, at Lincoln Center; J.S. Bachís Cantata BWV 51 with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra; and the world premiere of an eight movement chamber work composed for her by Eric Moe entitled "Sonnets to Orpheus" (Rilke). She appeared several times at the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival (1997, 1999, 2003).

Past seasons also have seen her on the operatic stages of North America and Europe in W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with the operas of Quebec and Montreal; as Morgana in G.F. Handelís Alcina with the Opéra de Nancy; as Drusilla in Opera/Columbusí LíIncoronazione di Poppea; as Alceste in the Göttingen Opera Festivalís production of G.F. Handelís Arianna; and in Charpentierís Medée at the Opera Comique with Les Arts Florissants.

Further performances have included songs of W.A. Mozart and Myslivecek with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; J.S. Bachís Magnificat (BWV 243), Mass in g minor (BWV 235), and Mass in F Major (BWV 233) with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie; G.F. Handelís Messiah with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Jane Glover; and the role of the Angel in G.F. Handelís La Resurrezione and a recital at the Göttingen Festival. In recital, Christine Brandes made a very successful New York debut on the Metropolitan Museum of Artís "Introductions" series and also has offered further recitals in Pittsburgh and Portland.

Christine Brandes has recorded for EMI, BMG/Conifer Classics, Harmonia Mundi USA, Virgin Classics, and Koch International. Of her CD on the Conifer Classics label of Scarlatti cantatas with the Arcadian Academy under Nicholas McGegan, Gramophone said "she invests all her words with meaning, colouring her tone and dynamics in accordance with the mood, and [is] able to convey fury as well as heartache. Technically, too, she is ideally suited to this repertoire..." Her recent releases include L'Allegro, Il Penseroso e Moderato with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and John Nelson.

Source: Handel & Haydn Society (2001-2002)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Dwight Oltman


BWV 140 [2nd], BWV 208
BWV 232 [6th], BWV 248 [6th], BWV 248 [7th]

Jeffrey Thomas


BWV 106, BWV 152, BWV 161, BWV 182 [w/ American Bach Soloists]

Links to other Sites

Christine Brandes, soprano (Handel & Haydn Society)
Christine Brandes (IMG Artists)

Pro Musica Vocalists

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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