Christine Brandes - Despina
Portland Opera DebutNoted for her radiant, crystalline voice and superb musicianship, soprano Christine Brandes brings her committed artistry to repertoire ranging from the 17th century to newly composed works and enjoys an active career in North America and abroad, performing at many of the world’s most distinguished festivals and concert series in programs spanning from recitals and chamber music to oratorio and opera.
In the 2008/09 season Ms. Brandes’s operatic appearances include return engagements with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare and with the Seattle Opera as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She also covers the role of Ginevra in Ariodante at San Francisco Opera. Concert performances see her with the National Symphony Orchestra in Messiah and with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in Handel’s L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.
During the past season, Ms. Brandes made her Washington National Opera debut as Catherine in William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge and returned to the Central City Opera as Maria Corona in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street. Her busy concert schedule included performances of Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with Sir Simon Rattle and the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Mozart Requiem with John Nelson and the Handel & Haydn Society, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Jane Glover and the Music of the Baroque, Handel’s L’Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Seattle Symphony, and Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War with Bernard Labadie and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Recent symphonic appearances have included concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the batons of both Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen, performances of John Adams’s El Niño with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Sir Simon Rattle and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra and John Nelson, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Beethoven’s Egmont with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mozart opera arias and Strauss orchestral songs with the National Symphony Orchestra and Heinz Fricke, Bach Cantatas with the New World Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Minnesota Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Neeme Järvi and the Detroit Symphony, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Andreas Delfs and the Milwaukee Symphony. She also has bowed at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and at the Ravinia Festival with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Freiburger Barockorchester, among others.
Christine Brandes’s operatic career has been highlighted by engagements at Houston Grand Opera in Ariodante with Christopher Hogwood and in Falstaff with Patrick Summers; at Seattle Opera in Giulio Cesare; and at the Los Angeles Opera in L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Harry Bicket and in Hänsel und Gretel with Alan Gilbert. Additional performances of the artist’s distinguished career have brought her to San Diego Opera in Ariodante, Lyric Opera of Kansas City in The Turn of the Screw, Central City Opera in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Foundation in Così fan tutte, Opera Theatre of St. Louis in Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage, Glimmerglass Opera both in Handel’s Orlando and Acis and Galatea, San Francisco Opera in Semele under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras, the Opéra de Nancy in Alcina, New York City Opera in Acis and Galatea and Platée, and to the Opera Company of Philadelphia in Die Zauberflöte, L’Elisir d’amore, and Don Giovanni. Additionally, Ms. Brandes has performed Le nozze di Figaro with New York City Opera, Opera Pacific, and with the opera companies of Minnesota, Montréal, Philadelphia, and Québec.
Christine Brandes has recorded for EMI, BMG/Conifer Classics, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi USA, Virgin Classics, and Koch International.