Soprano Angel Blue’s importance in opera today cannot be overstated. 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 was the 2020 recipient of the Met’s prestigious Beverly Sills Award – the first African American artist to receive this honor – and she was the 2022 Richard Tucker Foundation Awardee. She has 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 2022/23 season is a display of Angel Blue’s immense versatility and virtuosity on operatic and concert stages internationally. Blue opens Houston Grand Opera’s 2022/23 season with her house debut as Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, in a production co-starring tenor Bryan Hymel, conducted by Matthew Aucoin; she sings Violetta later in the spring of 2023 at The Metropolitan Opera. The California native returns to longtime collaborator LA Opera performing the titular role in Puccini’s Tosca, with Michael Fabiano, Gregory Kunde, and Ryan McKinney, and the Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv, and she reprises this role at Santa Fe Opera in early summer 2023. Blue travels to Detroit for a special one-night-only performance of Aida in Concert at the Detroit Opera, which will be Blue’s debut in the title role, alongside Christine Goerke. Blue appears with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lyniv, singing Samuel Barber’s beloved Knoxville: Summer of 1915 along with selections from Fire Shut Up in My Bones, for which earned the soprano earned international acclaim. In addition to a household name in the United States, Angel Blue’s acclaim in Europe is well-established and continues to grow. In spring 2023, Ms. Blue appears as Aida at the Royal Opera House.
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 around the world. Mimi was also the role of her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2017, and at the Hamburg State Opera in the 2019/20 season. Hightlights of the 2021/22 season included operatic engagements at the Metropolitan Opera with back- to-back productions (Porgy and Bess, Fire Shut Up In My Bones), La Traviata at Covent Garden, and in early summer 2022, she sang the role of Marguerite in Faust at Paris Opera. Highlights of Ms. Blue’s recital and concert engagements included four performances of Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, including one night at Carnegie Hall; and, she appeared with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fabio Luisi performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She also gave recitals in Gstaad, Washington University in St. Louis, Cal Performances in Berkeley, and further engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra on a European tour which included the Edinburgh Festival, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, and others.
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 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.