Miss Roberts received both Bachelors and Masters degrees from Northwestern University, where she studied with Prof. Hermanus Baer and participated in master classes with Lotte Lehman and Gerald Moore. In addition to her years of studies in the United States, Miss Roberts spent a further year honing her craft at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik, as well as privately studying with Josef Metternich. Brenda Roberts made her European debut in Saarbrücken as Sieglinde in “Walküre” and has since then performed at almost all of the international opera houses in major roles.
The dramatic soprano roles of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner are central to her repertoire and international success: she was the youngest-ever Brünnhilde at the Bayreuth Festival; she has sung the Dyer’s Wife at the New York Metropolitan Opera and Elektra at the Chicago Lyric Opera; Ortrud at La Scala Milan and Paris Opera; Elektra, Senta, Ortrud and Venus at the Dresden Semper Opera; Elektra and Senta at the Stuttgart State Opera; Elektra, Senta, Ortrud and Dyer’s Wife at the Hamburg State Opera; Elektra at the Bavarian State Opera Munich; Salome at the Vienna State Opera; as well as Venus at the Maggio Musicale, Florence.
Other key roles include Turandot (Bern, Essen and Warsaw); Tosca (Berlin, La Coruna and Nürnberg); Georgetta (Berlin and San Francisco); Erwartung (Teatro Massimo in Palermo); Fidelio (Warsaw, Franfurt and Antwerp); as well as Verdi’s Elisabeth, Aida, Desdemona, Leonora, and Lady Macbeth. Mrs Roberts has shared the stage with notable singers, such as Placido Domingo, Birgit Nilsson, Christa Ludwig, Hermann Prey, Martha Mödl, Theo Adam and Rene Kollo, and has worked with renowned conductors, such as Abbado, Leinsdorf, von Dohnanyi, Thielemann, Welser-Möst, Eschenbach, Horst Stein, Klobucar, Navarro, Russell Davies, Anton Reck, Fricke, Janowski and Jun Märkl.
Recently, Brenda Roberts made her debut at the Boston Symphony Hall in the world premiere of Gregorian’s “Divine Liturgy” with soloists of the New York Metropolitan Opera and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Her concert repertoire encompasses Britten’s “War Requiem” (Speyer Cathedral / televised live on Südwestfunk); Agave in Wellesz’s “Bacchantinnen” (Vienna Konzerthaus / broadcast live on Austrian radio); Hindemith’s “Drei Gesänge für Sopran und Orchester” Op.9 (Frankfurt); the 1st soprano role in Mahler’s “Symphony No. 8” (Salzburg Festival and Ludwigshafen), as well as Haydn’s “Creation”, Händel’s “Messiah” and Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” (Cathedrale Notre Dame in Chartres). Finally, Miss Roberts works extensively in the field of Lieder, performing and recording works by Wagner, Mahler, Strauss, Schreker, Poulenc and Wolf.
For several years Brenda Roberts has been a faculty member and chair of the voice department at the Peter Cornelius Conservatory of Music in Mainz, Germany, and faculty member at the University of Mainz, School of Music. She taught voice to undergraduate and graduate students towards degrees in performance and music education, as well as courses in performance practices designed for opera and recital singers. She has also taught diction courses in German (which she speaks fluently), Italian and French. As chair of the department, her duties included extensive participation in the academic affairs of the Voice Department, juries, examinations, auditions, student advising, etc. She also arranged auditions with agents, theatres and schools in order to place students in their vocational fields of work. Her teaching duties included i.e. instructing a course “Podiumstraining” for preliminary work in our opera workshop, directing opera workshop and musical theatre productions, and teaching diction. She teaches voice to students of all vocal types and genders: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass.
Ms. Roberts is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the German Voice Teachers Association (Bundesverband Deutscher Gesangspädagogen) and the College Music Society. Over the years she has taught many seminars and workshops in vocal technique and opera production in Europe and the United States.