Please note that because of the Covid−19 pandemic, we are currently unable to provide reliable information about forthcoming live performances.
“Nadine Sierra is truly sensational, both vocally and dramatically” Forum Opera, October 2021
American soprano Nadine Sierra has established a reputation as one of today’s finest young artists, in demand at the world’s most prestigious opera houses. She is regularly acclaimed by both critics and audiences for her vocal agility, purity of tone, impeccable technique and hugely engaging stage presence – she has all the sparkling comic timing required for roles such as Susanna, but can equally embody all the emotional intensity of tragic heroines such as Gilda and Lucia, both of which have already become signature roles. With such vocal and dramatic versatility, she has boundless potential to continue broadening her repertoire.
Nadine Sierra signed an exclusive contract to record for Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Gold in 2017. Released by the Yellow Label in August 2018, her debut album, There’s a Place for Us, featured songs and arias by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Foster, Douglas Moore, Igor Stravinsky and Heitor Villa-Lobos, as well as works by Ricky Ian Gordon, Osvaldo Golijov and Christopher Theofanidis. Opera News hailed the album as an “excellent debut”, observing
that Sierra’s “shimmering, jewel-toned soprano is showcased beautifully in a variety of styles and moods”.
Her second solo album for DG, Made for Opera, focuses on Verdi’s Violetta, Donizetti’s Lucia and Gounod’s Juliette, three ill-starred heroines who are alike in having no control over their own fate. Sierra was inspired in her choice of repertoire by the memory of her Portuguese maternal grandmother, who was not allowed to pursue a career as a professional singer. “I’d like to believe that sharing my family story will give some inspiration to others,” says Sierra. “And that it may help them to fulfil their destiny and realise that they too can be ‘made for’ anything.” Made for Opera will be released on 4 March 2022.
Highlights of recent seasons include her role debut as Juliette at San Francisco Opera (September 2019) and a reprise of that role at Opéra National de Bordeaux (March 2020); Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera (November 2019) and in Vincent Huguet’s new production at the Berlin Staatsoper (April 2021), conducted by Daniel Barenboim and premiered via livestream (“[Sierra’s] darkly timbred, glowing soprano, her vitality and natural acting would certainly have provoked ovations in a full house” Bachtrack); her role debut as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, again at the Staatsoper (February 2020); Musetta in La bohème at Ópera de las Palmas (November 2020); and Lucia for her house debut at the Barcelona Liceu (July 2021; “a remarkable and evolving portrait of Lucia as she descends into madness” Forum Opera).
Sierra began the current season by making her house debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as Violetta (“With a limpid, supple, extraordinary voice, over which she has excellent control, Sierra brings credibility to the character’s every nuance” La Nazione). She then reprised the role of Gilda at the Paris Opéra, before making a series of acclaimed concert appearances with Andrea Bocelli on tour in the US.
Having played Lucia at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples in January, she will return to the role at the Bayerische Staatsoper in March, before heading to New York in April to star in the Metropolitan Opera’s new staging of Donizetti’s masterwork. Other forthcoming engagements include performances in February of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at the Berlin Philharmonie with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Gustavo Dudamel and, later this season, further appearances as Gilda at La Scala, Milan (June/July).
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1988, Nadine Sierra was six when her mother borrowed a video of Zeffirelli’s La bohème from the local library. Sierra loved it so much that not only does the family still have the tape, but her latest album, Made for Opera, is dedicated to its stars, Teresa Stratas and Renata Scotto, as well as to the singer who was to become her mentor, Marilyn Horne.“Ever since I was a child, I have had this love affair with opera that keeps growing as I get older,” she notes.
Sierra went on to study at the Mannes College of Music in New York City and at Music Academy of the West, in 2007 becoming the youngest singer ever to win the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award. Two years later, on Horne’s advice, she entered the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won – the youngest soprano ever to do so. She joined San Francisco Opera’s renowned Adler Program in 2011, gaining invaluable professional experience in a succession of roles for the company. Global recognition followed in 2013 when, within the space of ten months, she won the Veronica Dunne, Montserrat Caballé and Neue Stimmen international singing competitions. Her rising-star status was confirmed when she was named the 2017 winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Music Award – one of the opera world’s foremost prizes for emerging vocal talent – and 2018 winner of the Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera.
It was in Rigoletto that Sierra made her debuts at Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and the Metropolitan Opera. In January 2016 she made headline news with her La Scala debut, performing Gilda to the veteran baritone Leo Nucci’s Rigoletto. On opening night, prompted by the audience, the pair broke with a house tradition dating from Toscanini’s time as music director to encore the duet “Sì, vendetta”. Gilda, notes Sierra, is a young heroine of opera. “And that’s what I want to be in my life – a heroine for young girls and women aspiring to be strong and powerful.”