A versatile musician and exceptional actress, Melanie Sonnenberg is well known for her impressive interpretations in a wide variety of styles, ranging from the Bel Canto coloratura repertoire to the mezzo-soprano heroines of Russian opera. In the 2000-2001 season, her engagements include, her Canadian debut, as Olga in Eugene Onegin with Opera Hamilton, and returns to the Austin Lyric Opera as Carmen and to the Indianapolis Opera as Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe. She will also make her debut with the Louisiana Philharmonic in Berlioz' Romeo et Juliette.In recent seasons, Ms. Sonnenberg's engagements have included portrayals of Charlotte in Werther with the
New Orleans Opera, Carmen at Indianapolis Opera
and in Storrs, Conn~cticut in a gala performance conducted by Victor Borge, Augusta Tabor for the New Orleans Opera and Austin Lyric Opera, the title role in The Grand Duchess of
Helmsley-Stein, Chicago Opera Theater's adapatation of Offenbach' s operetta, Dalila in Samson et Dalila in Shreveport and Salt Lake City, Maddalena in Rigoletto with the Pittsburgh Opera, and her role debut as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at Piedmont Opera. Ms. Sonnenberg has also performed with the Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center on their "Vivaldi's Venice" series at Tully Hall and as Jocasta in excerpts from Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex.
Melanie Sonnenberg has sung in more than 25 productions of Rossini ' s works, both in the United States and in Europe, including such roles as Angelina in La Cenerentola, which she has sung in Dallas, Washington, Seattle and Winston-Salem, Isabella in L'Italiana in Aigeri, at the Teatro San Carlo in Lisbon, Rosina in II Barbiere di Siviglia, which she sang at the Graz Opera and with numerous American companies such as Austin Lyric Opera, Mobile Opera and Madison Opera, Clarissa in La Pietra del Paragone, Marchesa Melibea in II Viaggio a Reims, and Malcolm in La Donna del Lago. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York as Smeton in Donizetti's Anna
Bolena. Ms. Sonnenberg has performed with many major American opera companies, including those in New York, Dallas, Seattle, St.Louis, San Diego, Washington DC, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Austin. She was featured in several new productions at New York City Opera, as Kontchakovna in Prince Igor, Marie de Pays in The Dreyfus Affair, and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, which was televised nationwide on "Live from Lincoln Center". Her Carmen has been heard at the Hamburg Staatsoper, the Graz Opera and in Tokyo with the Earl's Court London production.
Ms. Sonnenberg appeared in new productons ofDas Rheingold and Die Walkuere for both the Salzburg Festival and the Graz Opera. These operas were filmed and broadcast on Austrian national television and are available on laser disc.
In addition to her operatic engagements, Melanie Sonnenberg is an active performer in concert and recital. She recently performed and recorded Brahms' Alto Rhapsody and Schubert's Staendchen with the Turtle Creek Chorale and Fort Worth Symphony, available on CD on the Reference label. She participates every-sUmmer in the Newport Music Festival, where she has performed a wide variety of song literature in collaboration with such artists as Jean-Philippe Collard, Bella Davidovich and Dmitri Sitkovetsky. She has performed recitals and chamber music in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and recently gave a recital of Rachmaninoff and Gershwin songs in Tbilisi, Georgia. She has sung with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Bach Society of St. Louis, the Ann Arbor Choral Arts Society and the Bach Society of Minnesota. She has also created a cabaret program, "Intimate and Elegant", which she has presented to great success in St.Louis, Dallas, Santa Fe and Newport.
A native ofMinneapolis, Melanie Sonnenberg is a graduate of the University ofMinnesotti. She began her professional career with the Minnesota Opera, and was a prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions and a Grand Finalist in the San Francisco Opera Auditions. Ms. Sonnenberg has been a recipient of major grants from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music and the William Mattheus Sullivan Foundation. She resides in NewYork City.