Meet the cast of THE VALKYRIES - Detroit Opera

Meet the cast of THE VALKYRIES

Meet Our Conductor

Sir Andrew Davis leads the Detroit Opera Orchestra through Wagner's "music of the future!"

One of today’s most recognized and acclaimed conductors, Sir Andrew Davis’s career spans more than 50 years during which he has been the musical and artistic leader at several of the world’s most distinguished opera and symphonic institutions including Lyric Opera of Chicago (Music Director and Principal Conductor, 2000-2021), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Conductor Laureate; Chief Conductor, 1991–2004), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Music Director, 1988–2000), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Conductor Laureate; Chief Conductor, 2013-2019), and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Conductor Laureate; Principal Conductor, 1975–1988). He also holds the honorary title of Conductor Emeritus from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Andrew has conducted virtually all of the world’s major orchestras, opera companies, and festivals.

Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar before taking up conducting. His wide-ranging repertoire encompasses the Baroque to contemporary and spans the symphonic, operatic, and choral worlds. A vast and award-winning discography documents Sir Andrew's artistry, with recent CDs including the works of Berlioz, Bliss, Elgar (winner of the 2018 Diapason d’Or de l’Année - Musique Symphonique), Finzi, Grainger, Delius, Ives, Holst, Handel (nominated for a 2018 GRAMMY® for Best Choral Performance), Vaughan Williams, and York Bowen (nominated for a 2012 GRAMMY® for Best Orchestral Performance). He currently records exclusively for Chandos Records.

In 1992, Maestro Davis was made a Commander of the British Empire, and in 1999 he was designated a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List.

Meet Our Brünnhilde

Detroit Opera's own Christine Goerke will perform the role of Brünnhilde in our upcoming production of The Valkyries!

Soprano Christine Goerke has appeared in many of the most prestigious opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, among others. She has sung much of the great soprano repertoire, beginning with the Mozart and Handel heroines and now moving into dramatic Strauss and Wagner roles. In 2021, she was named the new associate artistic director of Detroit Opera, a three-year appointment.

Goerke is the most in demand Brünnhilde of our time, and we are fortunate that she will reprise her role from Detroit Opera’s critically acclaimed production of Twilight: Gods, an innovative staging of Götterdämmerung.

Meet Our Wotan

The Valkyries' virtual Valhalla was constructed by Wotan, performed by Alan Held.

Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone, Held, has appeared in major roles in the world's finest opera houses. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner's Ring Cycle, the title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, among others.

Mr. Held is currently the Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, Kanas. A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and at Wichita State University where he is the Director of Opera and a Professor, holding the title of The Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance in an Opera. He is a noted clinician who, since 2002, has regularly given master classes at Yale University as well as throughout the country.


Meet Our Sieglinde

Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer joins The Valkyries as Sieglinde, the last remaining human in Wotan's digital realm.

The Seattle Times heralded Harmer as “a standout Senta with a big, radiant voice” in her first performances of Der fliegende Holländer with Seattle Opera. She previously joined Seattle Opera as well as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival for operas that comprise Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Her countless performances within the epic work encompass the roles of Sieglinde, Gerhilde, and Orltinde in Die Walküre; Freia in Das Rheingold; and Gutrune and Third Norn in Götterdämmerung.

A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has returned to the company’s famed stage countless other times in Parsifal, Die Ägyptische Helena, War and Peace, Khovanshchina, and Le nozze di Figaro. Her performances in Die Zauberflöte, as well as the Ring Cycle, have been released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon following the company’s Live in HD broadcasts.

Meet Our Valkyries

In Detroit Opera's production of The Valkyries, the eight warriors are caught between love for their sister Brünnhilde and respect for their father Wotan.

We are thrilled to introduce the vocalists who will flight as The Valkyries!

Angel Azzara as Gerhilde; Ann Toomey as Ortlinde; Tamara Mumford as Waltraute; Gedeane Graham as Schwertleite; Jessica Faselt as Helmwige; Leah Dexter as Siegrune: Maya Lahyani as Grimgerde; Krysty Swann as Rossweisse.

About the Production

The Valkyries is a high-tech treatment of the most famous act in Wagner’s Ring Cycle makes this an experience you will not want to miss. Detroit Opera’s own Yuval Sharon and Christine Goerke join forces in this unique production which zooms in on the drama of Act III, beginning with the unforgettable “Ride of the Valkyries” and ending with “Magic Fire Music.”

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