The Scene


Heather Buck

Heather Buck
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco


Praised by _Opera News_ as “the kind of performer who makes it all look easy,” Heather Buck is best described by opera critic David Shengold as “a lithe and impactful actress with an uncommonly beautiful soprano for the high-lying and testing repertory she serves.” In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Buck returns to New York City Opera for a reprisal of the title role in Argento’s monodrama Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night, and Alma Beers in Wouronin’s _Brokeback Mountain,_ a role she first created with Teatro Real Madrid. She returns to Odyssey Opera as Joan of Arc in a semi-staged performance of Dello Joio’s The Trial at Rouen, retuns to Virginia Opera as Tytania in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and will sing Merteuil in Luca Francesconi’s _Quartett_ with West Edge Opera in the summer of 2018.

In the 2016-17 season, Ms. Buck made her LoftOpera debut in a staged production of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, for which the _New York Times_ wrote, “Ms. Buck was wonderful, her vocalism soaring, strong and pure,” and the _Observer_ hailed her as “an astonishing actress with the face of the young Katharine Hepburn.” She also created the role of Ku in Paola Prestini’s _Gilgamesh_ with Beth Morrison Projects, and Persephone in Wachner’s _Rev. 23_ at Prototype Festival. Ms. Buck sang as soloist in Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 5, with both the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center and Trinity Church Wall Street, and she joined Opera America’s New Works Forum at New York’s Town Hall. Ms. Buck recently sang in Crumb’s _Ancient Voices of Children_ and the American premiere of Lachenmann’s _The Little Match Girl_ at Spoleto Festival USA, and she reprised the Maid in Adès’ _Powder Her Face_ with Teatro Arriaga Antzokia, Bilbao. She first performed the Maid for its American stage permiere with Aspen Opera Theater, and reprised the role with Brooklyn Philharmonic, Almeida Theatre (London), Aldeburgh Festival, Boston Modern Opera Projects, Opéra-Théâtre de Metz, and additionally filmed it for the BBC.  

An exemplary interpreter of contemporary and modern repertoire, Ms. Buck received critical acclaim for her performance in Spoleto Festival USA’s American premiere of Walfgang Rihm’s monodrama _Proserpina,_ which the _Wall Street Journal_ described as “a vocal roller coaster, just over an hour long, in which the soprano never gets a break.” She created the title role in Charles Wuorinen’s _Haroun and the Sea of Stories_ (NYCO), and also performed Isabella Linton in the world premiere recording of Carlisle Floyd’s _Wuthering Heights_ (Florentine Opera), La Princesse in Glass’ Orphée (Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera), Stella in Andre Previn’s _A Streetcar Named Desire_ (Washington National Opera), Medea in Dusapin’s _Medeamaterial_ (Teatr Wielki), the Angel in the U.S. premiere of Dusapin’s _Faustus: The Last Night_ (Spoleto Festival USA, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw), joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Nixon in China, and performed Lulu Baines in Florentine Opera’s Grammy awarded Elmer Gantry.  

Heather Buck’s versatility allows her to shine equally in traditional repertoire. Of her debut performance with English National Opera in Die Zauberflöte, _The Times_ _of London_ wrote “The American soprano Heather Buck is quite a find as the Queen of Night: statuesque of bearing, surefire in the vocal stratosphere, and a powerfully ambiguous presence.” She has sung Queen of the Night with Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Calgary Opera, Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Birmingham, Opera Delaware, and Wolf Trap Opera. Other roles include Musetta (La bohème), Leïla (Les pêcheurs de perles), Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Gilda (Rigoletto), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Baby Doe (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Comtesse de Folleville (Il viaggio a Reims), and La Fée (Cendrillon)_._  

As concert performer, Ms. Buck was soloist at the Beijing Summer Olympics, sang the world premiere of Laderman’s _Brotherly Love_ with the Philadelphia Singers, sang the U.S. premiere of Saariaho’s _Leino Songs_ with the American Composers Orchestra, and performed Felder’s _Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux_ with the Center for 21st Century Music’s _June in Buffalo_ festival. She has also sung Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (American Symphony Orchestra), Previn’s _Vocalise for Soprano, Solo Cello and Orchestra_ (New York’s Le Poisson Rouge), Handel’s _Jeptha_ (Choral Society of Durham), Tan Dun’s _Water Passion after St. Matthew_ (White Nights Festival in Russia), Barber’s _Knoxville: Summer of 1915_ and Mozart’s Requiem (Westchester Philharmonic), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s _Five Images after Sappho_ (Utah Symphony), Druckman’s _Counterpoise_ (Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group), _Carmina Burana_ (North Carolina Symphony, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra), and _Messiah_ (Handel and Haydn Society, Pacific Symphony).

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