Celena Shafer, soprano


Celena Shafer, soprano
Photo credit: Ryan Thompson
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"[Shafer is] faultless in the business of bringing charm, vivacity and light, shining tone to every note she sings, not to mention dazzling coloratura. She's the embodiment of Viennese style and the binding ingredient of the production, physically as well as vocally. I looked forward to her every appearance; her ovation was deservedly huge."
~ Vancouver Sun

"Her voice is as clear as running water, with just the right amount of ring to it, and wonderfully sensitive to dynamics. There is a touch of Sutherland about the sound, with a perfect lightness, and an ability to dance her coloratura on point."
~ Opera Now

"The soprano Celena Shafer was brilliant...singing with bright, focused sound and utter confidence."
~ New York Times

After two summers as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, the career of Soprano Celena Shafer was launched to critical raves as Ismene in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto.  Anne Midgette in the New York Times wrote, “It takes the debutante Celena Shafer, an alumna of the apprentice program here, to show how it should be done, singing the Oriental princess Ismene with flair, vocal balance and great cadenzas.”

Since that breakthrough debut, Ms. Shafer has garnered acclaim for her silvery voice, fearlessly committed acting and phenomenal technique.  She spends much of her time on the concert stage where she appears regularly with orchestras in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and with leading conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Alan Gilbert, Loren Maazel, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas McGegan, Kent Nagano, Donald Runnicles, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson and Sir Andrew Davis.

A celebrated artist in her home state of Utah, Ms. Shafer has long relationship with the Utah Symphony & Opera where during the 2014/2015 season she will be Artist-in-Residence.  She will tour the "Mighty Five" state parks of Utah with the Symphony and Music Director Thierry Fischer during the summer, and throughout the season appears with them in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 4, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.  These follow her highly acclaimed 2013/2014 appearance with the Utah Opera as Constanze in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio.  Over the past decade with the USUO she has performed operatic roles including Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, GIlda in Rigoletto, Norina in Don Pasquale, Lisette in La Rondine, Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Adele in Die Fledermaus and orchestral works such as the Brahms German Requiem, the Bach Maginicat and wedding cantata Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen, Vivaldi Glorida, Poulenc Gloria and several concerts of chamber music with conductors such as Bernard Labadie, Raymond Leppard, and former music director Keith Lockhart.

Elsewhere during the 2014/2015 season she will sing Orff's Carmina Burana with the Louisville Orchestra led by Teddy Abrams, and the San Diego Symphony with Ken-David Masur, and returns to the Phoenix Symphony for Handel's Messiah led by Tito Munoz.

Some of her operatic highlights include Johanna in Sweeney Todd for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Aithra in Die ägyptische Helena with the American Symphony Orchestra recorded for Telarc, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Concertgebouw, Nanetta in Falstaff with the Los Angeles Opera, and Gilda in Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera.  She has returned to the Santa Fe Opera for productions of Mozart's Lucio Silla, Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict, and Britten's Albert Herring.

(September 2014. Please discard previously dated materials and contact publicity@colbertartists.com before making any alterations or cuts.)