Lise Lindström

Soprano

Biography

The powerful performances of Californian soprano Lise Lindstrom leave an indelible impression on audiences and critics worldwide.  In leading roles that range from Turandot to Salome, Senta, Die Färberin, Elektra and Brünnhilde, Ms. Lindstrom’s compelling performances have taken her to The Metropolitan Opera, Dresdener Semperoper, San Francisco Opera, Oper Leipzig, Oper Frankfurt, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Zurich Opera, Hamburg Staatsoper, Opera Australia, Les Chorégies d’Orange, Verbier Festival and Arena di Verona.  The soprano was most recently praised as “a phenomenal Färberin. With her petite body, she sang the role with much expression. She has such an enormous charisma that you can’t help but look at her.  The role does not offer many moments to elate the audience, but at more moments than usual she succeeded to do so wonderfully.”  (Place de l’Opera).

During the 2022-2023 Ms. Lindstrom can be heard as Brünnhilde in Wagner’s complete RING cycle conducted by Christian Thielemann with the Dresden Semperoper, as well as Die Walküre in her debut with the Zurich Opera.  In addition, she bows as Elektra for her debut with the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production.  She makes two orchestral debuts, first with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall in Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and also a role debut of Isolde in a concert performance of Act 2 of Tristan und Isolde with the Helsinki Philharmonic and conductor Susanna Mälkki.  In 2024, Ms. Lindstrom will join the Dallas Symphony orchestra for their opera-in-concert Ring Cycle conducted by Fabio Luisi. 

Highlights of the 2021-2022 season included Ms. Lindstrom’s house debuts with Semperoper Dresden in the title role in Elektra, and she returned to the Nationaltheater Mannheim as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung, as well as a house debut with Oper Frankfurt as last minute jump-in as the Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten.  She triumphantly returned to Opera Leipzig as Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, and was once again in iconic Sydney, Australia with Opera Australia to star in her signature role of Turandot.  On the concert stage she brought her Salome to Sala Sinfónica de la Orquesta Nacional de España to thrilling response.   

During the 2019 - 2020 season Ms. Lindstrom bowed as Turandot for her debut with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and as well as a return engagement as Turandot with Opera Australia in Melbourne.  Ms. Lindstrom also performed her signature Salome with the Wiener Staatsoper.  She debuted with both the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for performances of Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell, conducted by Fabio Luisi, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, as Die Färberin in concert performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten, where she “drew an energetic Färberin with a striking, firm and, for this role, pleasantly radiant, shimmering, dramatic voice.” (Opernmagazine).  This season also witnessed the release of Ms. Lindstrom’s first commercial recording, Wagner’s Siegfried Act III (Naxos Deutschland) with tenor Stefan Vinke, conductor Pietari Inkinen and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie.  Classical CD Reviews enthused “Lindstrom brings instant star quality to the role of Brünnhilde. Her voice clear but rich, and with plenty of character, even in the high register. Her vibrato is wide and slow, and ever-present, so there is never any sense of gradually warming long notes—it’s right there from the start.”

Ms. Lindstrom returned to Opera Australia during the 2018-2019 season, this time as Salome where she was praised as a “true dramatic soprano, on stage for almost the entire opera, her presence is magnetic and compelling, her sense of stillness as affecting as her singing. She dominates the stage seemingly effortlessly as she negotiates the complexities of the Strauss score, both her voice and diction ravishingly clear and controlled throughout.” (Arts Review)  This stunning performance earned her the prestigious Helpmann Award for the second time, for Best Female Performer in an Opera.  Additional leading roles during the season included a star turn as Elektra with the Wiener Staatsoper, die Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten with Hamburg Opera, as well as the role of Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung with Oper Leipzig, Die Walküre with Teatro di San Carlo and in the complete Ring Cycle with Hamburg Staatsoper.  On the concert stage she sang Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonic and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, both under the direction of Pietari Inkinen, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. in a return engagement with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

During the 2017 - 2018 season the dazzling soprano made her company and role debut as Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck with Theater an der Wien where her “magnificent vocal focus and expansive range cut through the orchestra, regardless of tessitura, while effectively portraying a self-destructive, harried, unhappy woman and a negligent mother.” (BachTrack)  She returned to Wiener Staatsoper as Salome and to Hamburg Staatsoper as Brünnhilde in their production of Die Walküre under Kent Nagano, and brought her Turandot to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Seoul Arts Center and San Diego Opera.  Her debut with the Verbier Festival in concert performances of Elektra, under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, was praised as “each of her major encounters in the field of anguish fill[ed] us with both her and her character’s range of emotional power – whispers, shouts, shrieks, cries, growls of desperation, rage, giddy exaltation, exultation, and grief.  Remarkably, Lise Lindstrom’s vocal capacity begins to seem infinite.” (Opera Wire)  She debuted with the Ludwigsburg Festival under the direction of Pietari Inkinen in excerpts from Wagner’s Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, and joined the Swedish Radio Symphony for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and the Polish National Radio Symphony for a concert performance of Salome.

The 2016 - 2017 season included a career milestone for Ms. Lindstrom, as she took the stage as Brünnhilde in her first-ever full Ring Cycle with Opera Australia.  Her exquisite performance earned her the Green Room Award where she was recognized by her peers for her artistic excellence, as well as the Helpmann Award presented by Live Performance Australia, for Best Female Performer in an Opera.  The Guardian declared of her breathtaking performance “Lise Lindstrom’s Brünnhilde, her first full Cycle in the role, should install her as one of the greats,” and The Sydney Morning Herald wrote “when Lindstrom, a tremendous Brünnhilde throughout, entered for the final scene in rage and despair at the death of Siegfried, the production improbably went up another notch. Regal, beautiful, every inch the daughter of a god but also a fatally wounded mortal, hers was a consummate performance as she ended the Ring in a blaze of glory literally and metaphorically.” 

Additional highlights of the 2016 - 2017 season included the soprano’s role debut as Die Färberin in Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten in a new production with the Staatsoper Hamburg under the baton of Kent Nagano, performances as Turandot for house debuts with the Deutsche Oper Am Rhein and China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and in return engagements with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Wiener Staatsoper.  In concert, she was heard as the title role of Elektra with Auditor Nacional de Música in Madrid, Spain, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Pietari Inkinen, in Wagner selections with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra in London’s Barbican Hall, and as Brünnhilde in excerpts from Siegfried and Götterdämmerung with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under Pietari Inkinen.

Her extraordinary Salome with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the United Kingdom during the 2015-2016 season was hailed by The Times as “one of the finest living exponents of this fearsomely taxing role. She has the seductive looks, the cruel half-smile, the mesmerizing stage presence and, above all, the vocal range and cutting edge.”  Additional performances of Salome during that season included engagements with the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Detroit Symphony, under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, and in fully staged performances with the Wiener Staatsoper and the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Italy.  She performed the title role of Elektra with Maestro Yannick Nézet-Seéguin and Opéra de Montréal, and the title role of Turandot with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and Wiener Staatsoper, Gustavo Dudamel conducting, in addition to a return engagement to The Metropolitan Opera, and a concert performance with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker with Dan Ettinger conducting.  In addition, she was heard alongside the Vienna Philharmonic as Turandot in Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation in cinemas worldwide.

Known the world over for her performances as Turandot, which she has sung well over two hundred times, Ms. Lindstrom has portrayed the Ice Princess on the most important stages around the globe, including with The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera Australia, De Nederlandse Opera, Les Chorégies d’Orange, and Arena di Verona in Italy, among many others.  Opera News said “Lindstrom could pin us to our seats with sheer volume and she commands the stage with practiced imperial gestures, but Lindstrom understands that a great Turandot needs to find the moments when the character’s vulnerability can be revealed. The soprano accomplishes just that, delivering in Act III soft yet insistent legato phrases…We saw the tender heart beneath the glacial, dragon assoluta exterior.”  Opera Today raved of her Turandot that “her searing upper range is steady and full without ever becoming acidic. Her low and middle ranges have a round, warm appeal that help humanize the icy princess to a certain degree. Lise is also a lovely presence on the stage, dramatically committed and exuding an unerring musicality.”

A leading interpreter of Wagner’s heroines, she portrayed Senta in Der fliegende Holländer with San Francisco Opera, Polish National Opera, New Orleans Opera and Utah Opera, both Elisabeth and Venus in Tannhäuser with the Greek National Opera, and Brünnhilde in Die Walküre with Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy, where Der Opernfreund proclaimed “With the American Lise Lindstrom a sleek powerhouse entered the stage….A magnificent ‘Hojotoho.’”

Lindstrom’s performances of the title role of Salome have taken her to the stages of the Wiener Staatsoper, San Diego Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Carlo Felice, Detroit Symphony, and in concert with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. “Lise Lindstrom is a Salome to be reckoned with,” hailed The Opera Critic. “Here's a soprano with a model figure and the ideal deportment to depict Strauss' teenage princess.  Not only has she the capacity to soar over the composer's most intense orchestration with ease and beauty, but she manages to maintain seemingly endless stamina throughout - and includes a compellingly seductive dance for good measure. It was gratifying to see the well-earned reception at her solo curtain." 

Additional star turns include her debut with the Staatsoper Hamburg in her performance as the title role in Elektra, Ricke in Franchetti’s Germania with Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the title role of Tosca with the Glimmerglass Opera where The New York Times praised the “cool allure [she brought] to the title role, her focused and steely voice flaring into palpable fire when it was called for.” 

A tour de force on the concert stage, Ms. Lindstrom has performed with the Palacio de la Opera in La Coruña, Spain and the Aarhaus Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, both in selections by Strauss, the Glimmerglass Festival for a concert of Wagner, Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis for a gala performance, and with the San Diego Opera as their featured guest soloist in their 50th Anniversary Concert celebration.  She sang John Beeman’s Dos Retablos at New York’s Bard College, Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder at a gala concert in San Francisco, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Cathedral Choral Society at the Washington National Cathedral. 

Born and raised in California, Ms. Lindstrom was introduced to music by her mother, a singer and music teacher.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at San Francisco State University and Master of Music degree at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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