Manager: Damon Bristo
Management Territory: Worldwide
“This could perhaps be the Wagnerian voice we have been waiting for since Flagstad and Nilsson.” Claude Gingras, La Presse, July 12, 2010 - Wagner program for the opening of Festival de Lanaudière
“It is hard to imagine a stronger ensemble of secondary players than the one assembled by the Met…Heidi Melton brought luscious tone and chthonic mystery to the Three Norns’ music, with Melton’s bright, penetrating sound and commanding presence hinting at a Brünnhilde in the making.” Marion Lignana Rosenberg, The Classical Review, April 24, 2013 - Third Norn in 'Götterdämmerung' at the Metropolitan Opera
"Isolde is hard because you have to make yourself heard over the full orchestra, and lots of singers approach it by simply pumping out sound. Melton, instead, treated it simply like beautiful music, and made the aria work with her voice rather than shoehorning her voice into a conception of what the aria requires. What made her singing wonderful was not volume — though her voice is by no means small — but freshness and feeling. From the moment she opened her mouth, she was artlessly moving, actually communicating what the words meant, so that all of the encrusted expectations around the role fell away to remind you that this scene depicts not a Pinnacle of the Repertory but a woman who is finally reunited with her true love, only to see him dead." Anne Midgette, Washington Post, February 17, 2013 - Isolde's Liebestod with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The young American dramatic soprano Heidi Melton has been called “the Wagnerian voice we have been waiting for since Flagstad and Nilsson” (La Presse), a voice that is “big, gleaming and tonally resplendent” (San Francisco Chronicle).
In the 2012 – 2013 season, Heidi Melton returned to Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe for new productions of Tannhäuser in the dual roles of Venus and Elisabeth, as well as Ellen Orford in Christopher Alden’s production of Peter Grimes. Additionally, she also was seen in revivals of Les Troyens and Der Ring des Nibelungen. A . . . favorite to the audiences in Berlin, she returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Fata Morgana in a new Robert Carsen production of Love for Three Oranges and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera. She also returns to the Metropolitan Opera as the Third Norn in complete cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Recently, Ms. Melton made her Italian debut under Kirill Petrenko and Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI in Torino as Gutrune and the Third Norn in a concert performance of Götterdämmerung. In the summer of 2013, Ms. Melton will make her debut at the BBC Proms as Elisabeth in a concert performance of Tannhäuser with Donald Runnicles and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She will also return to the Festival de Lanaudière in Québec singing Elsa in Lohengrin under Yannick Nézet-Séguin with his Orchestre Métropolitain and then to the Aspen Music Festival for a Verdi/Wagner program with bass-baritone Eric Owens and conductor Robert Spano. She will then be seen at the Santa Fe Concert Association in an all-Wagner program with tenor Brandon Jovanovich. Additional concert engagements for Ms. Melton this season include Act 1 of Die Walküre and Isolde’s “Liebestod” with the Baltimore Symphony under Marin Alsop, Act 1 of Die Walküre again with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden, and a debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Eine Lebensmesse by the Dutch composer Jan van Gilse under Markus Stenz. Ms. Melton opened a special gala celebrating 100 years of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in October 2012 singing Elisabeth's Greeting to the Hall of Song.
Next season, Ms. Melton returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in two Ring Cycles: first as Gutrune and the Third Norn under Simon Rattle, then as Sieglinde, Gutrune, and the Third Norn under Donald Runnicles. She will also sing her first Siegfried Brünnhilde in concert with Opéra National de Bordeaux, as well as a Verdi/Wagner concerts in Bordeaux and on tour in France. Ms. Melton will debut in Greece in Act 1 of Die Walküre with the Athens State Orchestra and also in excerpts from Un ballo in maschera and Tristan und Isolde with the Alabama Symphony under Justin Brown. She returns to San Francisco for a recital with San Francisco Performances and pianist John Parr. Future seasons will see her at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Teatro alla Scala, Semperoper Dresden, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Canadian Opera Company, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, as well as with the BBC Scottish Symphony at the Proms.
Ms. Melton had a successful return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Third Norn in the new Robert Lepage production of Götterdämmerung under Fabio Luisi and the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung under Donald Runnicles in the 2011 – 2012 season. She also stepped in on short notice to sing Sieglinde in Die Walküre at the Deutsche Oper Berlin to great acclaim. Ms. Melton was a member of the ensemble at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe where she sang new productions of Lohengrin as Elsa and Les Troyens as Didon, as well as the Marschallin in a revival of Der Rosenkavalier. In concert, Ms. Melton sang Act 1 of Die Walküre with Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Music Festival and Soprano 1/Magna Peccatrix in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) at the Aspen Music Festival under Robert Spano.
In recent seasons, Ms. Melton made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as the Second Maid in Elektra under Fabio Luisi and her role debut as Sieglinde in Der Ring des Nibelungen at San Francisco Opera in a production by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Donald Runnicles. As a member of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin, she has been seen as Gertrude in Hänsel und Gretel, Gutrune/Third Norn in Götterdämmerung, and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte. At Opéra National de Bordeaux, she has been seen as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Elisabeth in her first performances of Tannhäuser, and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera. Notable concert performances include Sieglinde in a concert version of Act 1 of Die Walküre with the BBC Scottish Symphony under Donald Runnicles, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the San Antonio Symphony, and the opening the 33rd Season of the Festival de Lanaudière in a gala concert singing excerpts from Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Die Walküre. Additionally, she performed Verdi’s Messa da requiem for Donald Runnicles’ farewell concert as Music Director of San Francisco Opera. In recital, she has made her Schwabacher Debut Recital through the San Francisco Opera and a recital for the Jussi Björling Society in Voxna, Sweden.
A former Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, Ms. Melton has performed a variety of roles including Mary Todd Lincoln in the world premiere of Phillip Glass’s Appomattox, Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier, and Dianne in Iphigénie en Tauride. As a 2006 participant in the Merola Opera Program, she performed Amelia Grimaldi in scenes from Simon Boccanegra. Ms. Melton received her Master of Music degree at the Curtis Institute of Music where she performed the roles of Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Alcina in Alcina, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.
Ms. Melton is the recipient of many prestigious awards and prizes: she was the 2009 winner of the George London Foundation’s George London / Kirsten Flagstad Memorial Award, second place in the José Iturbi Compeition, a Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, and third place in the 27th Annual Belevedere Competition. In 2006 she was a national semi-finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as the winner of the Mario Lanza Competition.
(Updated April 2013)