Angel Blue has emerged in recent seasons as one of the most important sopranos before the public today. On September 23, 2019 she opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019-2020 season as Bess in a new production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess for which she earned a Grammy Award in the Best Opera Recording category. She reprised this role at the Met in Fall 2021, which immediately followed her triumphant role debut as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta in the Met’s historic 2021-22 season opener of Fire Shut Up In My Bones, the first production at the Metropolitan Opera by a Black composer. Additionally, she became the first African-American to receive the Beverly Sills Award from the Metropolitan Opera in 2020, and is also a 2022 Richard Tucker Foundation Awardee. She has also been praised for performances in nearly every major opera house in the world, including Teatro alla Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Theater an der Wien, Oper Frankfurt, and San Diego Opera.
The current season includes a wide range of repertoire which highlights her immense versatility and virtuosity on operatic and concert stages internationally. Following her return to the Metropolitan Opera with back-to-back productions, Angel Blue will appear in La Traviata at Covent Garden, and in early summer 2022, she sings the role of Marguerite in Faust at Paris Opera. Highlights of Ms. Blue’s recital and concert engagements include four performances of Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, including one night at Carnegie Hall; and, she appears with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fabio Luisi performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She also gives recitals in Gstaad, Washington University in St. Louis, Cal Performances in Berkeley, and further engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Saratoga, Edinburgh, and Hamburg.
Puccini’s La Boheme has played an especially prominent role in the development of Angel Blue’s career. She made her United States operatic debut as Musetta at the Los Angeles Opera in 2007 while a member of the company’s Young Artist Program and subsequently made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the same role. As Mimi, she has won special international acclaim. Blue first sang the role at the English National Opera in London in 2014 and has since sung Mimi for her debuts at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia in 2015, at the Vienna State Opera in 2016, and with the Canadian Opera Company in 2019. Mimi was also the role of her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2017, and it is as Mimi that she debuted at the Hamburg State Opera in the 2019-20 season. In Germany, she has already been heard as Mimi at the Semperoper Dresden. Other recent operatic engagements have included her debuts as Liu in Turandot at the San Diego Opera in 2018, as Marguerite in Faust at the Portland Opera in 2018 and as Bess in Porgy and Bess in Seattle in the same year. She debuted in Baden Baden as Elena in Mefistofele in 2016 and sang her first Violetta in La Traviata at the Seattle Opera in 2017, a role she also sang in the 2018-19 season for her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and her return to the Teatro alla Scala.
Also active on the concert platform, Ms. Blue has appeared in recital and in concert in over thirty-five countries. Important orchestral engagements have included Porgy and Bess at the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle and with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Marin Alsop, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Münchener Philharmoniker under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and Verdi’s Requiem in Sydney, Australia with Oleg Caetani. She has also sung Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Peri in Schumann’s Das Paradis und die Peri with the Accademia Santa Cecilla in Rome, conducted by Daniele Gatti, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Cincinnati Symphony under Music Director Louis Langree. Ms. Blue debuted in recital at the Ravinia Festival in August 2019, after which she joined many of her international colleagues at the 2019 Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Angel was born and raised in California and completed her musical studies at UCLA. She was a member of the Young Artists Program at the Los Angeles Opera, after which she moved to Europe to begin her international career at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain in 2009 and at the Verbier Festival in 2010. She subsequently appeared at the Theater an der Wien in The Rape of Lucretia (female chorus) and as Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in a production created by Oscar-award-winning director William Friedkin. Blue also debuted in Frankfurt as the 3rd Norn in Götterdämmerung and returned to the United States as Clara in Porgy and Bess at the Seattle Opera in 2011. She also appeared as Micaela in Carmen with the Israeli Philharmonic and in Verdi’s Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony under the late Raphael Frubeck de Burgos.