Kathryn Lewek

Kathryn Lewek

Kathryn Lewek has established herself as one of opera’s most thrilling coloratura sopranos of this generation, performing some of the most vocally challenging roles in the repertoire, joining the top-ranking operatic performers of all time. She made an “especially brilliant” (Backtrack) début as Ginevra in Ariodante with the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele in Austria, opposite Cecilia Bartoli, where Ms. Lewek “perform[ed] a miracle” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) and thrilled audiences with “a rich (and richly differentiated) soprano voice [that] has not been experienced for a long time.” (Salzburger Nachrichten). She returned summer 2019 in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Orphée aux Enfers “ravishingly” (Bachtrack) singing the “the raunchy, full-throttle” (Financial Times) role of Eurydice, wowing critics and audiences alike for her versatility as a performer and prompting Opera Wire to exclaim her Artist of the Week and a 5 page spread in Salzburg’s official festival magazine.

The DVD of Orphée aux Enfers, which was nominated by the International Classical Music Awards, was released Worldwide in 2020 by Naxos on the UNITEL Edition label and is available on Amazon.  The Blu-ray DVD of Ariodante was released Worldwide by Naxos in May of 2021 also on the UNITEL Edition label.  Her latest album Handel: Apollo e Dafne & Armida abbandonata (Pentatone/Naxos – 2021) was released Worldwide in February of 2022, critics exclaiming, “Having led Handel’s Messiah, Orlando and Ariodante onstage, soprano Kathryn Lewek here turns to Handel cantatas. Her selection is shrewd: Armida abbandonata and Apollo e Dafne both channel technical, affective and dramatic prima donna power. Lewek wields this power majestically… Lewek builds on these distinctions in how she modulates her instrument and elaborates her melodies. Her Armida commands vocal muscle and jagged cadenzas, while her Dafne is all limpid purity sprinkled with agréments. The effect is spellbinding.” (BBC Music Magazine)

Calendar

Event Date
Oct 22
to
Oct 30
Opera's Greatest Hits!
Soprano Soloist
Dallas Opera
Dallas, Texas
Event Date
Dec 3
to
Dec 5
Handel's Messiah
Soprano Soloist
New Choral Society
New York, NY
Dec 10
to
Jan 5
The Magic Flute
Queen of the Night
The Metropolitan Opera
New York, NY
Event Date
Apr 22
to
Apr 24
La Traviata
La Traviata
Toledo Opera
Toledo, OH
Event Date
Jun 20
to
Jul 1
Die Zauberflöte
Queen of the Night
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Barcelona, Spain

Artist Bio

Kathryn Lewek has established herself as one of opera’s most thrilling coloratura sopranos of this generation, performing some of the most vocally challenging roles in the repertoire, joining the top-ranking operatic performers of all time. She made an “especially brilliant” (Backtrack) début as Ginevra in Ariodante with the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele in Austria, opposite Cecilia Bartoli, where Ms. Lewek “perform[ed] a miracle” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) and thrilled audiences with “a rich (and richly differentiated) soprano voice [that] has not been experienced for a long time.” (Salzburger Nachrichten). She returned summer 2019 in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Orphée aux Enfers “ravishingly” (Bachtrack) singing the “the raunchy, full-throttle” (Financial Times) role of Eurydice, wowing critics and audiences alike for her versatility as a performer and prompting Opera Wire to exclaim her Artist of the Week and a 5 page spread in Salzburg’s official festival magazine. The DVD of Orphée aux Enfers, which was nominated by the International Classical Music Awards, was released Worldwide in 2020 by Naxos on the UNITEL Edition label and is available on Amazon.  The Blu-ray DVD of Ariodante was released Worldwide by Naxos in May of 2021 also on the UNITEL Edition label.  Her latest album Handel: Apollo e Dafne & Armida abbandonata (Pentatone/Naxos – 2021) was released Worldwide in February of 2022, critics exclaiming, “Having led Handel’s Messiah, Orlando and Ariodante onstage, soprano Kathryn Lewek here turns to Handel cantatas. Her selection is shrewd: Armida abbandonata and Apollo e Dafne both channel technical, affective and dramatic prima donna power. Lewek wields this power majestically… Lewek builds on these distinctions in how she modulates her instrument and elaborates her melodies. Her Armida commands vocal muscle and jagged cadenzas, while her Dafne is all limpid purity sprinkled with agréments. The effect is spellbinding.” (BBC Music Magazine)

This season includes a return to The Metropolitan Opera for her eighth season as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, surpassing the record for the most performances in the role by a single artist.  She will also make a return to Gran Teatre del Liceu for Die Zauberflöte, make her role début as Violetta in La Traviata at Toledo Opera, and sing Opera’s Greatest Hits! concert performances for the Dallas Opera. Future engagements include role débuts of Countess Adèle in Rossini’s Le comte Ory in a return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as a reprisal of the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor for Opéra de Nice. She will make house débuts with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Dresden Opera as Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte as well as sing the role in returns to the Vienna Staatsoper and The Metropolitan Opera for their new production in 2023.

Ms. Lewek’s interpretation of her signature role, a quintessential Mozart villain, has labelled her the current reigning Queen of the Night of the world, with productions of Die Zauberflöte with over 25 companies in over 300 performances to date, including The Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, The Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bregenzer Festspiele, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Wiener Straatsoper, Teatro Real in Madrid, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Festival Castell de Peralada, Opera Leipzig, The Royal Danish Opera, amongst many others. With an impressive history of leading female roles in her career, recent seasons’ engagements have also included Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini with Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Deutsche Oper Berlin and subsequently in her house début with the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich); a reprisal of her performance as Ginevra in Ariodante with Opera Monte Carlo; the title role of Maria Stuarda with Edmonton Opera; Angelica in Handel’s masterpiece Orlando on tour throughout Europe; and Jessica in the world première of André Tchaikowsky’s Kupiec Wenecki (The Merchant of Venice) with Bregenzer Festspiele. This production was awarded the International Opera Award 2014 in the category “Best World Première”.

Additional engagements have included Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina; Angelica in Händel’s Orlando with The Hobart Baroque in Tasmania; La Fée in Cendrillon with New Orleans Opera; and Cunegonde in Francesca Zambello’s Candide in her company début with Glimmerglass Opera.  Earlier in her career she achieved international critical acclaim: “Kathryn Lewek, a favorite Queen of the Night these days, nailed her otherworldly coloratura arpeggios to the wall in her ‘Vengeance’ aria, but more impressive to me was the pathos with which she quickly conveyed, in Act 1, the full suffering of a mother whose child has been kidnapped.” in performances with Opera de Toulon, English National Opera, Nashville Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Welsh National Opera, and in concert with the Pacific Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and as one of the ten pieces in “Sir Henry’s Magnificent Musical Inspirations” concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at BBC Proms Classical Music Festival.

Of her Carnegie Hall début in Händel’s Messiah, The New York Times hailed “Communicative verve and thrilling beauty came together in the soprano Kathryn Lewek. She began ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion’ at exhilarating speed, then took her time on the words ‘He shall speak peace,’ lovingly ornamenting the cadence in a way that was both original and entirely subservient to the music.” She has since performed the piece with both the Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra of New York at Carnegie Hall every season since 2012.  Having been widely lauded for her numerous operatic and oratorio performances, Ms. Lewek is also receiving critical acclaim for her decisive interpretations of contemporary art song and vast concert repertoire. Recent concert engagements for Ms. Lewek include Bach’s B-minor Mass with Soli deo Gloria, Carmina Burana with Dallas Symphony, Celebrating Leonard Bernstein at 100 for Washington National Opera, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Orchestra symphonique de Montréal, and Haydn’s Creation under the baton of the illustrious Maestro John Nelson.  She frequently performs in Gala concerts and solo recitals across the country in a variety of repertoire, as well as with her husband, tenor Zach Borichevsky, most recently for The Opera Foundation, Rockefeller University, and Messiah College.

Additionally, she enjoyed appearances at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, on the Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Music of the Baroque, the Fairfield County Chorale, the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Great Neck Choral Society, Finger Lakes Choral Society, the Greenwich Choral Society, and the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. With these and other orchestras, she performed in Händel’s Israel in Egypt; Mozart’s C-minor Mass, Krönungmesse (Coronation Mass), and Requiem; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli and Große Orgelmesse; Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Judas Maccabeus, and Christ lag in Todas Banden; Brahm’s Requiem; Mendelsshon’s Elijah; Carissimi’s Vanitas Vanitatum; Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610; and Zelenka’s Te Deum.

Ms. Lewek has two additional recordings on the Albany Records label, Kathryn Lewek sings Cary Ratcliff, and the collaborative album Quicksilver, with the internationally acclaimed guitar and flute duo Nicholas Goluses and Bonita Boyd.  Ms. Lewek began her career as the grand prize winner of the Opera Foundation’s International Vocal Scholarship and was granted a contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin where she performed roles in thirteen productions.  Whilst there she also performed Dolcina in Suor Angelica with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester.

She was a double prize winner at the 2013 Operalia World Opera Competition including the highly competitive Audience Favorite Award. Ms. Lewek earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was also awarded a Performance Certificate in Voice for her many successes upon the Eastman Theater stage. She was a Music Academy Fellow during the summer of 2009 at the Music Academy of the West in Marilyn Horne’s esteemed vocal program where she was hailed as “…one of those inspiring triumphs from the wings” and was praised for her “strength and radiance.” Ms. Lewek continues her vocal studies with the internationally renowned soprano, Diana Soviero, in New York City.

Updated April 1, 2022.

Audio Samples

Audio Sample “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen”
Audio Sample “Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart”
Audio Sample “O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn”
Audio Sample “Oh, Tremble not, my beloved son”
Audio Sample “Piangerò la sorte mia”

Video

Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante

Der Hölle Rache” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

Benvenuto Cellini: Kathryn Lewek

Der Hölle Rache” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

“O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn”  from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

Kathryn Lewek: In Recital

Press

"...takes your breath away..." – Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Ariodante – “But the real discovery of production is Kathryn Lewek as Ginevra. What the young American coloratura soprano has developed in colors, especially from the piano, takes your breath away. It reaches its climax in the almost quarter-hour aria ‘Il mio crudel martoro,’ in which it measures the whole range from the finest vocal cord to the most penetrating swell, from pale colors to gleaming intensity. Lewek sings with full risk spontaneously, which is a touching contrast to the intrigues and emotional illusions in the play.”

"...a presence of full diva proportions..." – Opera News

Die Zauberflöte – “Soprano Kathryn Lewek, the Queen of the Night, was a presence of full diva proportions: not only could she toss off the passagework and high notes of the role with apparent ease, but also, in her Act II rage aria, she could do so while realizing the stage direction of Ian Rutherford to drag Pamina mercilessly across the stage floor.”

"...sensational and comically seductive at the same time...” – Broadway World

Il barbiere di Siviglia – “Not only did Lewek reach higher notes in her coloratura flights, she also conspired to deliver more comedy. From the moment she launched into the famed ‘Una voce poco fa,’ proclaiming Rosina’s devilish tendencies, it was obvious the Lewek was capable of meeting the pyrotechnical demands of this showpiece. … Lewek delivers these passages with sudden surges in volume to enhance the effect. Sensational and comically seductive at the same time.”

"...a soprano performance of a quality that should not be missed...” – Edmonton Journal

Maria Stuarda – “Her upper range is gloriously pure: the bel canto decoration sounds effortless, and she has the wonderful ability to sing really high, really softly. And, as she showed in the last act, she can certainly hold those high notes. But it is the other side of the voice that is also essential to that repertoire: the darker, emotional power of the lower range. She has it, and it moves seamlessly into the purity of the upper. This is a soprano performance of a quality that should not be missed.”

"...the most perfect casting was the choice of Kathryn Lewek..." – Barcelona Metropolitan

Benvenuto Cellini – “But in my opinion, the most perfect casting was the choice of Kathryn Lewek as the innocent, lovely, but playful and spirited Teresa. Lewek’s pure, beautifully clear voice and emotional range was wonderful to experience.”