cyndia sieden

soprano

biography

Coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden earns raves for singing that garners such superlatives as “pyrotechnic,” and “dizzying.”

Her purity of tone and pitch perfect musicianship allow her to move with ease from 18th century composers such as Handel and Mozart, to complex 21st century works by such masters as Thomas Adès and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the protagonist in Berg’s Lulu, and returned to sing Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in Ombra Felice, a fully staged production of Mozart concert arias, and returned to sing Aspasia in Jonathan Miller’s  production of Mitridate re di Ponto, released on CD under the Salzburg Festival label. She appeared at New York City Opera in the title role of Handel’s Partenope, and Morton Feldman’s Neither.

Contemporary opera remains a pillar of her activities. Her performances as Ariel in Adès’ The Tempest, which premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with the composer at the podium, astounded critics. London’s Daily Telegraph said, “her ability to keep control over the stratospherically high writing for Ariel [is] astonishing” and the Independent on Sunday “a miraculous combination of elegance, poignancy and chutzpah.” She appeared in subsequent performances in France, Denmark, and Santa Fe, reprising the role most recently for Oper Frankfurt. Other career highlights include the role of the Cat in Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Geneva Opera, and Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Dionysus at Netherlands Opera.

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She has garnered equally enthusiastic acclaim for more traditional roles. Her Archiv recordings of Die Zauberflöte (Queen of the Night) and Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Blondchen), conducted by  John Eliot Gardiner, affirmed her status as a preeminent interpreter of Mozart.

In addition to the Metropolitan Opera, Sieden has performed leading roles at the world’s most important opera houses including Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Paris’s Opera Bastille and Théâtre du Châtelet, London’s English National Opera, Italy’s Teatro Massimo, as well as in Beijing and Australia. She is also closely associated with the operas of Richard Strauss: Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, and Aminta in Die  Schweigsame Frau.

She is one of the few contemporary sopranos to have sung the original 1912 version of Ariadne, in which Zerbinetta’s aria sits a whole step higher than in the commonly heard 1916 revision. Ms. Sieden has sung in concert with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago, London, and San Francisco Symphonies, and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. She is much in demand for the oratorios of Handel, Mozart and Haydn; works of Bach; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8; and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She has also brought opera such as Bernstein’s Candide, and Ariadne auf Naxos to the concert stage. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she has sung Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing on a European tour, and introduced Thomas Adès’s Scenes from The  Tempest to the orchestral world. Recent and upcoming concert highlights include the premiere of Sunleif Rasmussen’s Symphony No. 2, “The Earth Anew” with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and performances with Seattle, Indianapolis, Dallas, and Monterey Symphonies and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

An active recitalist and frequent guest artist with the New York Festival of Song, Miss Sieden gave the New York premiere of John Musto’s song cycle Dove sta amore in her debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has appeared in recital at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, in Rotterdam, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and the Moab Festival, among others, in a wide range of repertoire.

A native of California, Ms. Sieden lives in Washington State.

Cyndia Sieden is represented for United Kingdom. For all enquiries please contact Caroline Phillips cphillips@caroline-phillips.co.uk

reviews

Mozart & Haydn with New World Symphony

… the highlight of the concert was Sieden’s performances of vocal works by Mozart.

The fresh, youthful quality of Sieden’s voice perfectly matched the music of Mozart’s early Exsultate Jubilate. She sang the quick melodic lines with a tightly focused voice, effortless virtuosity and joyous buoyancy that recalled the early Mozart instrumental concertos with which this work is often compared.

In the concert aria Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio! Sieden produced smoothly ornamented melodies and melting pianissimo melodies at the top of her register. In No, no che non sei capace, she gave a performance of fiery virtuosity in the passionate, rapid-fire coloratura.

South Florida Classical Review, 28 October 2012

Dionysos – Holland Festival

While Cyndia Sieden added another role, Hoher Sopran/Ariadne, to a list including Ariel in Adès’s The Tempest that will be well-nigh impossible to cast when she retires.

Opera, November 2011

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Neither – New York City Opera

Cyndia Sieden was dazzling here, singing with uncanny focus, impressive stamina and ethereal beauty….Sieden was a wonder

The New York Times, 28 March 2011

Kudos to soprano Cyndia Sieden for an outstanding performance of a challenging piece. Singing beautifully is one thing…but Sieden went the next step into artistry by imbuing every phrase with significance — not self-consciously, but with genuine urgency.

Washington Post, March 2011

Cyndia Sieden delivered…with an exquisite, pure sound that seemed to come out of nowhere as it floated above the orchestra. The Classical Review, March 2011

Soprano Cyndia Sieden, in a black dress with a long train, uttered the libretto’s words syllable by syllable in a deliberately laconic, often perilously high, vocal part. … It’s not easy to look and sound good under such deliberately awkward circumstances, but Sieden managed to do both, singing with silvery tone and providing this slow moving “non-story” with a riveting focal point.

Musical America, March 2011

Partenope – New York City Opera

Cyndia Sieden wielded her agile soprano effectively as Partenope

New York Times, April 2010

 

The Tempest – Frankfurt

The indispensable Cyndia Sieden again demonstrated that the stratospheric writing of Ariel’s part may need rethinking when she retires.

The Sunday Times, January 2010

 

Carmina Burana at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic 

Soprano Cyndia Sieden soared and was the one performer who supplied a hint of eroticism.

Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2009

 

The Tempest on EMI Classics

Many of the outstanding cast created their roles in the original 2004 staging, including … Cyndia Sieden as Ariel, leaping to her stratospheric high notes with ethereal agility. Her set pieces, such as “Five fathoms deep/ Your father lies” and “He and your brother/ Stare and shudder” beautifully capture the character’s supernatural, asexual nature.

The Observer, 14 June 2009

The most striking aspects are the contrasts of register, especially between Simon Keenlyside’s majestic baritone Prospero and Cyndia Sieden’s stratospheric soprano Ariel, a darting, sprite-like presence: the “five fathoms deep” conclusion of scene six becomes a gossamer keening breath, arresting and mysterious.

The Independent, June 2009

Cyndia Sieden is phenomenal as a stratospherically high coloratura soprano Ariel

The Financial Times, June 2009

… it’s hard to think of another singer who could manage the stratospheric writing for Ariel more effortlessly than Cyndia Sieden.

The Guardian, 19 June 2009

Cyndia Sieden finds Shakespearean depth in a role that starts so stratospherically high as to be unintelligible. As the tessitura gradually comes back to earth, so her Ariel becomes ever more human, a flesh and blood creature to be pitied and loved.

CD of the Month. Gramophone, August 2009

For many, the most memorable writing in The Tempest comes attached to Ariel’s vocal high-wire act. Few coloratura sopranos are able to dispatch it like Cyndia Sieden, whose sound lends special colour to the performance …

Gramophone, August 2009

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