Angel Blue, soprano and Bryan Wagorn, piano

April 24, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Avenue, University City, MO 63130

Great Artists Series

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; she will reprise this role at the Met in Fall 2021. These performances followed her internationally praised French Opera debut and role debut as Floria Tosca at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July of 2019. She has also been praised for performances in many other theaters, such as the Vienna State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Theater an der Wien, Oper Frankfurt, and San Diego Opera. In the current season, Ms. Blue will make her debut at the Staatsoper Berlin in the title role of Tosca. She will also appear in recital at Carnegie Hall, in concert in Malta and at the Carmel Bach Festival, and in galas in St. Petersburg and Santa Fe. On September 27, 2021, Ms. Blue made history by performing the role of Destiny/Loneliness/Greta in Terrance Blanchard’s Fire Shut up in My Bones, the first production at the Metropolitan Opera by a Black composer. 

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. Ms. 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 will debut this season at the Hamburg State Opera. 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. In the 2019/2020 season, Ms. Blue made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Mimi. She also became the first African-American to receive the Beverly Sills Award from the Metropolitan Opera in 2020. 

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 of 2019, after which she joined many of her international colleagues at the 2019 Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Angel Blue was 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.

Angel Blue is represented by Zemsky Green Artists Management, New York, NY.

Canadian pianist Bryan Wagorn serves as Assistant Conductor at The Metropolitan Opera and regularly performs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as soloist, chamber musician, and recital accompanist to the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. He has performed in recital for the George London, Marilyn Horne, and Richard Tucker Foundations, Good Morning America, and with artists such as Angel Blue, Pinchas Zukerman, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Eric Owens, Nadine Sierra, Karita Mattila, Joyce DiDonato, Carol Wincenc, Andre-Michel Schub, the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Attacca Quartet, and principal members of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony. He was also the pianist in the Met’s 2020 Grammy winning recording of Porgy and Bess, and conducted LA Opera’s recently released digital short Let Me Come In by David Lang with Angel Blue.

Mr. Wagorn has been engaged by the Marlboro, Ravinia, Tanglewood and Glyndebourne Festivals, served on the faculty of NACO’s Summer Music Institute led by Pinchas Zukerman, and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra. He has been a guest coach at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Manhattan School of Music, the Met Lindemann Young Artist Program, McGill, The Glenn Gould School, and Glyndebourne’s Young Artist Program. He made his solo recital debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2009, and has toured with Jeunesses Musicales de Canada. He is on the advisory board of the Hildegard Behrens Foundation and the Time In Children’s Arts Initiative, and serves on the faculty of Mannes College of Music.

**All programs subject to change

Health and Safety Requirements – 560 Music Center