Festival Artists

Amber Wagner

American soprano Amber Wagner is a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals and was featured in the documentary film “The Audition” which opened to audiences nationwide in 2009.  The Chicago Tribune said of her 11/12 season triumph in Ariadne auf Naxos, “Amber Wagner's opulent Ariadne was one of the central attractions of the hugely enjoyable revival of the Cox production Lyric presented.”

Chosen by Opera News as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in classical music in the coming decade, Amber Wagner will return to Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2014/15, first as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, a role debut conducted by Asher Fisch, then as Elisabeth in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.  Concert highlights include a debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for the Verdi Requiem, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and the same work for Ms. Wagner’s return to the L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, conducted by Philippe Auguin.

A busy 2013/14 season for Amber Wagner included a role and house debut as Leonora in La forza del destino, a new production directed by Francesca Zambello at Washington National Opera. Concert appearances included Verdi Requiem with debuts at Melbourne Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis, Taipei Symphony, Pacific Chorale and Kansas City Symphony.  Ms. Wagner also performed Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico and Spokane Symphony, and a concert of Strauss songs with L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, conducted by Philippe Auguin.  Ms. Wagner also participated in the Metropolitan Opera parks concerts, a series of concerts, which took place in Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City.

Amber Wagner began the 2012/13 season with a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera conducted by Fabio Luisi. She also returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for the annual Millennium Park concert, where she sang in excerpts from Cavalleria Rusticana. Symphonic engagements included Mahler’s 8th Symphony with the Aspen Music Festival conducted by Robert Spano, Vier letzte Lieder with the Oregon Symphony conducted by Carlos Kalmar, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Verdi Requiem with the Tucson Symphony, and the Verdi Requiem with the Colorado Symphony. 

For the 2011/12 season, Amber Wagner triumphed in the title role in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.  While covering this same role with Canadian Opera Company earlier in the year, Ms. Wagner gained special notoriety by replacing an ailing colleague on only 24 hours notice, to great acclaim.  Debuts for the 2011/12 season included concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia under Sir Andrew Davis, Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Oper Frankfurt conducted by Sebastian Weigle, and her Metropolitan Opera debut as Anna in Verdi’s Nabucco.  Ms. Wagner also added the role of Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer to her repertoire, performing the role with the Savonlinna Opera Festival, conducted by Philippe Auguin.


Highlights from past operatic seasons included Ms. Wagner’s European debut with the Prague State Opera performing Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with conductor Jan Latham Koenig and performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Elsa in Lohengrin, opposite Johan Botha conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; she performed the same role for her debut at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

Symphonic highlights included the Grant Park Music Festival for Verdi’s Requiem, Sieglinde in Act 1 of Wagner's Die Walküre in concert with the Colorado Symphony conducted by Christian Arming, and debut symphonic appearances in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Grant Park Festival and with the Oregon Symphony performing Rossini’s Stabat Mater, both under the baton of Carlos Kalmar.

Miss Wagner is a force on the competition scene as well, having won the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, Richard Tucker Career Grant Award, and Kirsten Flagstad Award from the George London Foundation as well as being the recipient of a Sullivan Foundation Career Grant.  She is also the first place winner of the Palm Beach Opera and Palm Springs Opera Guild Competitions, winner of the Lynne Harvey Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women and winner of the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition.  Ms. Wagner is a native of Oregon.