World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Stephanie Blythe

Article Id: WHEBN0003498029
Reproduction Date:

Title: Stephanie Blythe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Metropolitan Opera Live in HD, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Crane School of Music, People from the Catskills
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Stephanie Blythe

Blythe at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2013

Stephanie Blythe (born 1970) is an American mezzo-soprano who has had an active international career in operas and concerts since the early 1990s. She is particularly associated with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, with whom she has performed annually since her debut with the company in 1995. In 2014 she starred as Gertrude Stein in the world premiere of 27, an opera composed by Ricky Ian Gordon with libretto by Royce Vavrek, and commissioned for her by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Honors and awards 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Blythe grew up in Mongaup Valley, New York and studied the flute as a child. She graduated from Monticello High School in 1987.[1] While attending Monticello, she was first exposed to live opera when her high school music teacher took her class to the Metropolitan Opera for a matinee of La bohème. She went on to study vocal performance at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam), from which she graduated with a degree in English Writing in 1991 and a degree in Music in 1992.[2]

In 1994 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and then became a member of the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program at the Met.[2]


Blythe made her professional opera debut at the Metropolitan Opera as the Voice from Above in Wagner's Parsifal on April 14, 1995. Her career was transformed the following season when she stood in for Marilyn Horne at the Metropolitan opera as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff and received rave reviews. She has subsequently achieved critical success in a variety of roles at the Met, including Amneris in Aida (2012), Auntie in Peter Grimes (1997, 2003), Azucena in Il trovatore (2013), Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress (1998), Berta in The Barber of Seville (1995), Cornelia in Handel's Giulio Cesare (1999), Eduige in Rodelinda (2004-2006, 2011), Fricka in Die Walküre (2008, 2011-2013) and Das Rheingold (2010-2013), Frugola in Il tabarro (2007), Gertrud in Hansel and Gretel (1997, 2001-2002), Jezibaba in Rusalka (2009), Jocasta in Oedipus Rex (2003-2004), Ludmila in The Bartered Bride (1996), Madelon in Andrea Chénier (1996), Mama Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana (1997), Mother Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites (2002-2003), Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice (2009), the Princess in Suor Angelica (2007), Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera (2007-2008, 2012) and Zita in Gianni Schicchi (2007) among other roles.[3]

In 2000 Blythe made her debut with the Seattle Opera as Fricka and the Second Norn in Wagner's Ring Cycle. She has since returned to Seattle frequently, portraying such roles as Amneris, Dame Quickly, Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, and the title role in Bizet's Carmen. In 2002 she made her debut at the Santa Fe Opera as Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri.[4]

In November 2006, she starred in the world premiere of The Sailor-Boy and the Falcon, an opera based on "The Sailor-Boy's Tale" by Isak Dinesen. The work of SUNY Potsdam professors Paul Siskind (music) and Alan Steinberg (libretto), the opera was performed at the Sara M. Snell Theater of the Crane School of Music by the Crane School's Opera Ensemble.

In 2009 Blythe debuted at the San Francisco Opera portraying the role of Azucena in Il Trovatore.[5] In 2010 she made her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Ulrica, and was also seen in Chicago that season as Katisha in The Mikado. The Chicago Sun-Times review of the latter performance stated, "Blythe explodes onto stage ... an enormous woman with enormous talent, a big, powerful voice and an elastic comic face".[6] Chicago Classical Review added,

"Blythe ... steals the entire show. ... It’s unlikely that this supporting role has ever been sung with this caliber of gleaming operatic voice. She ... threw off the rapid-fire patter duet "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast" with blazing speed and crystal-clear diction. Blythe also displayed a great comedian’s timing making every punch line register. And, for a woman of such imposing physique, she showed herself a graceful and light-footed presence with her little victorious dance steps."[7]

In 2011, Blythe premiered the solo mezzo-soprano role in John Corigliano's One Sweet Morning at Avery Fisher Hall for the New York Philharmonic, a composition commemorating the tenth anniversary of the September 11th Attacks.[8]

On April 18, 2013, Blythe performed works made famous by Kate Smith on the PBS program Live from Lincoln Center - Celebration: Stephanie Blythe Meets Kate.

In June 2014, Blythe premiered the starring role of Gertrude Stein in Twenty-Seven, a new opera by Ricky Ian Gordon (music) and Royce Vavrek (libretto), commissioned for her by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Blythe has also performed roles with opera companies in Europe, including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Royal Opera, London and the Opéra National de Paris. Other companies she has sung with in the United States include Arizona Opera, Opera Boston, Pittsburgh Opera, and Tulsa Opera among others.

Honors and awards

  • She received the prestigious Richard Tucker Award in 1999.
  • SUNY Potsdam awarded her the degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa in 2006.
  • In 2007, Blythe was an Opera News Award honoree, the youngest artist ever to receive this award.


  1. ^ Monticello High School Alumni, accessed May 22, 2010
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Metropolitan Opera Archives
  4. ^ Santa Fe Opera archives 2002
  5. ^ San Francisco Opera Archives
  6. ^ Steinberg, Neil. promises to be as rousing as ever"Mikado"Updated . Chicago Sun-Times, December 6, 2010
  7. ^ Johnson, Lawrence A. this, at Lyric Opera"Mikado"A largely enjoyable . Chicago Classical Review, December 7, 2010
  8. ^ Allan Kozinn, ""An Untethered Approach Is Back in Style"". New York Times. 23 September. Retrieved 22 April. 

External links

  • Official Website
  • Vocalist of the Year
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.