Ariana Strahl, soprano
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.arianastrahl.com/soprano
Soprano Ariana Strahl’s commanding vocal power is equally comfortable in the realms of symphonic works, art song, and opera. A truly international artist, Ms. Strahl is equally at home in the United States and in Germany, having been an artist in residence at the Komische Oper Berlin, where she brought over twenty roles to the stage. Of their portrayal of Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, critics praised her as highly gifted and smart, attractive and empathetic - every move she made was motivated by the drama. She is an ardent new music advocate, having co-commissioned a song cycle for soprano and large ensemble by composer Eric Malmquist, called Let Me Sing - three poems of American activist women.
Ms. Strahl is an active opera, lieder, and oratorio artist. She was most recently seen in costume as Blanche Dubois in Andre Previn's Streetcar named Desire with Opera San Jose. As a Young Artist at the Komische Oper Berlin, they brought over twenty roles to the stage, including Ännchen in Calixto Bieto’s Der Freischütz, Micaela and Frasquita in Carmen, and the roles of Fortuna, Damigella, and Drusilla in Monteverdi's Poppea, part of Barrie Kosky’s stunning Monteverdi Trilogy.
Beyond the opera stage, Ms. Strahl is also an active art song singer. Recently Ariana has performed Strauss’ Four Last Songs (with pianist and conductor Kathleen Kelly), Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas with the DuPage Symphony, and the works of Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann with pianist and musicologist Nicholas Mathew (in conjunction with The Mendelssohn Project at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life). Last season Ariana joined Kathleen Kelly and Michael Kelly for new works from the soprano and baritone volumes of the NewMusicShelf Vocal Anthology Series. This performance was hailed as an opportunity for Ms. Strahl to “to show off her flawless legato, jaw-dropping breath control, and searing tones above the staff.” She and pianist Miles Graber also collaborate frequently, having performed Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben, Barber's Hermit Songs, Manuel de Falla's Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas, and Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne. When in Chicago, she is active in the Liederstube - an oasis for art song in the Fine Arts Building.
Ms. Strahl is equally active on the symphonic stage, most recently in the Verdi Requiem with the La Jolla Symphony. She is a frequent soloist with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, and with this group has both performed and recorded Mozart’s Requiem and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Strahl was scheduled to rejoin the La Jolla Symphony for both Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony #2 - The Resurrection, both now rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both the La Jolla Symphony and the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra maintain a focus on ensuring classical music’s availability and accessibility at the local level, something Ms. Strahl has also championed.
When they aren’t singing, Ms. Strahl is an impassioned arts advocate and endeavors to develop and cultivate community around musical experiences. Her work with arts organizations in both Chicago and San Francisco speaks toward the community that is possible when centered around creativity. Her Chicago Back Porch Concert Series brought together some of Chicago’s finest musicians and neighbors during the summer of 2020, with a simple goal - making music apart, together.