Among the most compelling singing actresses of our time, American soprano, Roberta Alexander, enjoys international renown for her riveting, incisive characterizations, miraculous vocal and dramatic range. Reared in a musical family, she studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and with Herman Woltman at the Royal Conservatory of Music at The Hague.
Roberta Alexander’s early operatic success include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Houston Grand Opera, the title role of Strauss’ Daphne in Santa Fe, Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo in Zürich and a debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Among the operatic heroines she has unforgettably portrayed in the years since are the title role of Janácek's Jenufa and especially the great Mozart heroines: Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito. She has performed principal roles at Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House/Covent Garden, and the major Houses of Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich and Venice. She also sang concert performances of Jenufa, Act 2 with Sir Simon Rattle and the Philadelphia Orchestra, in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall.
Equally esteemed as an orchestral soloist, Roberta Alexander recently performed Ravel's Shéhérazade with André Previn and the NDR Sinfonieorchester, telecast throughout Europe; and Britten’s War Requiem with Keith Lockhart and the Utah Symphony; She has also been guest soloist with the Vienna, London and Royal Philharmonics; Royal Concertgebouw, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Bavarian Radio Orchestras; Cincinnati, Atlanta and Dallas Symphonies; and collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Litton, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Slatkin, Jesús López-Cobos, Edo De Waart and David Zinman. She reunited with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream and Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet and the rapturously-received world premiere of Kirchner's Of things exactly as they are. In addition she sang Copland's In the Beginning with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony.
An uncommonly communicative recitalist, Roberta Alexander has offered acclaimed programs at New York's Carnegie Recital Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, London's Wigmore Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and on the premier art-song series of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. An especially ardent and persuasive interpreter of American masterworks, her latest recordings include Songs My Mother Taught Me and With You (the latter an anthology of Broadway songs).
Roberta Alexander's voluminous discography on the Etcetera, Philips, Sony, Teldec and BMG reflects her astonishing mastery of varied vocal styles: songs by Barber, Mozart, Bernstein, Ives, Copland, Strauss, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Puccini and Villa-Lobos; Händel's Giulio Cesare, Apollo e Daphne, Samson and Theodora; Mozart's Don Giovanni and Idomeneo; and such rarities as Goldschmidt's Der Gewaltige Hahnrei and Beatrice Cenci, Heppener's Four Songs of Ezra Pound and an Edison-winning recording of Andriessen's Songs with Orchestra.
In recital on the distinguished Vocal Arts Society series in Washington, D.C.:
“She sang with intense personal involvement, a tone both sweet and plaintive, and a deep sensitivity to the power and meaning of the words.”
-The Washington Post
With André Previn and the NDR Sinfonieorchester:
“She is a phenomenon: Roberta Alexander possesses the kind of voice that is able in concert to remain utterly devoid of the strains of the opera stage. The agile, radiant soprano of this American singer carries marvelously in the extraordinarily tender passages of Ravel’s Shéhérazade, creating an atmosphere of intimacy.”
Kirchner’s of things exactly as they are with the Boston Symphony:
“The singing of Roberta Alexander, in the soprano part, went beyond them to touch the very soul of the music.”
-The Boston Globe
Britten’s War Requiem with Keith Lockhart and the Utah Symphony:
“Roberta Alexander was magnificent. She has a powerful, dramatic voice that is also lush and warm. She shone in her solos.”
-The Deseret News
New Porgy and Bess recording under Nikolaus Harnoncourt:
“Happily, Roberta Alexander’s Maria is glorious.”
-(London) Times Online
Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking in Vienna:
“Roberta Alexander took on the small but important role of Sister Rose, adding an authentic touch of gospel to her Act I hymn, her vocal luster and luminous presence undiminished more than thirty years after her professional debut.”
-Opera News Online
Act 2 Jenufa with Sir Simon Rattle and the Philadelphia Orchestra:
“Powerful singing…Alexander’s sweet sound and floating way with the wondering text heightened the drama.”
-The Philadelphia Inquirer
Available upon request E-mail MSprizzo@aol.com. are “live” recordings of Ms. Alexander performing Beethoven’s Ah, perfido!, Mozart’s Parto, parto, or song anthologies Songs My Mother Taught Me and With You (Broadway songs). Audio/video links also at http://www.robertaalexander.com.