With a voice that is a “veritable force of nature” (Chicago Tribune), American soprano Tamara Wilson is quickly gaining international recognition for her interpretations of Verdi, Mozart, Strauss and Wagner. She is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
Tamara Wilson begins the 2017-2018 season as the title role in Aida to open the season at the Washington National Opera in a production by Francesca Zambello. She returns to her home company of Houston Grand Opera for her role debut as Chrysothemis in Elektra and will make her Paris debut as Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Philharmonie de Paris. She makes her New York Philharmonic debut in Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony (Symphony No. 3) with Leonard Slatkin to celebrate Bernstein's Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival. At the BBC Proms, she will return for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She makes her Italian debut with Riccardo Chailly and Teatro alla Scala Orchestra in Verdi’s Messa da requiem with performances in Pavia, Paris, and Hamburg.
Ms. Wilson made her acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in Aida and London debut in Calixto Bieto’s new production of La forza del destino at the English National Opera, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. She also inaugurated the new opera house in Kyoto, Japan with Seiji Ozawa as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She was heard at Oper Frankfurt for her first performances as the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten conducted by Sebastian Weigle which was just released by Oehms Classics. She recently debuted at the Bayerische Staatsoper and Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Fabio Luisi, both as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo. She debuted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, triumphed in Act 3 of Die Walküre as Brünnhilde with Mark Wiggleworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Royal Albert Hall, and debuted with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev in Act 3 of Die Walküre as Sieglinde.
A noted interpreter of Verdi roles, she has been seen as Elisabeth de Valois in the five-act French Don Carlos (Houston Grand Opera); Amelia in Un ballo in maschera (Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Teatre Principal de Maó in Menorca); Elvira in Ernani (Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse); Elisabetta in Don Carlo (Bayerische Staatsoper, Zurich Oper, and Oper Frankfurt); Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari (Théâtre du Capitole, Teatro Municipal de Santiago and Netherlands Radio Orchestra); Leonora in Il trovatore (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Houston Grand Opera, Théâtre du Capitole under Daniel Oren and Palma de Mallorca); Desdemona in Otello (Cincinnati Symphony and James Conlon); Alice Ford in Falstaff (Washington National Opera debut); Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra (Canadian Opera Company); the title role in Aida (Opera Australia, Teatro de la Maestranza, and Teatro Municipal de Santiago); Marchesa del Poggio in Un giorno di regno (Wolf Trap Opera); and Gulnara in Il corsaro (Washington Concert Opera). Other notable performances include her debut in Norma at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Canadian Opera Company; her German debut at Oper Frankfurt in concert performances of Wagner’s early opera Die Feen as Ada under Sebastian Weigle; Elettra in Idomeneo under Harry Bicket at the Canadian Opera Company and under James Conlon at the Ravinia Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni under James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony.
On the concert stage, Ms. Wilson debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under Franz Welser-Möst, the National Symphony in Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (“Lobgesang”) with Matthew Halls and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem conducted by Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms, which was recorded for commercial release. She has been heard in the Verdi Requiem with the Orchestra de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin, her Atlanta Symphony debut in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony conducted by Robert Spano, Malaysian Philharmonic debut conducted by Mark Wigglesworth in Verdi and Wagner, and as soprano soloist for performances of Missa solemnis with John Nelson and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (available on DVD). She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, as well as in Baltimore for Mahler’s Symphony No 4, Verdi’s Requiem and Britten’s War Requiem. Ms. Wilson performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mozart’s Requiem with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (“Lobgesang”) with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. A favorite of the Oregon Bach Festival, she debuted in Verdi’s Messa da requiem under Helmuth Rilling for the opening of their 40th Anniversary season, subsequently returning for the same piece in Mo. Rilling’s final season as music director. She has returned to sing Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Rilling, Marguerite in Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher under Marin Alsop, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, a concert of Verdi, Britten, and Wagner with Matthew Halls, and Beethoven’s "Ah, perfido". She added to her concert repertoire when she performed Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder with the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Asher Fish.
An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Wilson’s awards include the George London Award from the George London Foundation, as well as both a career grant in 2011 and study grant in 2008 from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Other notable awards include first place in the 2005 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, among others. She was a featured soloist at the 2010 NEA Opera Honors in which she sang “Ernani, involami” from Verdi’s Ernani to honor recipient Martina Arroyo. In addition to her operatic and orchestral performances, Ms. Wilson is an avid lecturer of vocal technique. She has been a Guest Master Class Lecturer for the National Pastoral Musicians in the Chicago area. Ms. Wilson received her degree at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.