Frederica von Stade (born June 1, 1945) is an American mezzo-soprano. Biography [edit ] Early life [edit ]
Frederica von Stade was born in
Somerville, New Jersey. She acquired the nickname "Flicka" in her childhood. Her father, [1 ] Charles S. von Stade, was a polo champion and Lieutenant in the United States Army who was killed in service in Germany during the Second World War, prior to her birth. Her grandfather, [2 ] Francis Skiddy von Stade, Sr., (1884–1967), was also a polo champion.
She attended the
Mannes College of Music in New York City. Career [edit ]
She made her debut with the
Metropolitan Opera in 1970 and in 1971 appeared as Cherubino in at the Le nozze di Figaro Santa Fe Opera. "It was two of the newcomers who left the audience dazzled: Frederica von Stade as Cherubino and Kiri Te Kanawa as the Countess. Everyone knew at once that these were brilliant finds. History has confirmed that first impression." Cherubino remained her most celebrated signature role, which she sang at her European debut in Versailles 1973, which was the starting point of her great international career. At the [3 ] inauguration of Jimmy Carter as the 39th President of the United States on January 20 1977, she performed "Take Care of This House" from the Broadway musical by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. After a hiatus of six years she returned to the Met in 1982 and remained a pillar of the ensemble, highly appreciated by critics and loved by the public in such roles as Idamante in , Hansel in Idomeneo , Rosina in Hansel and Gretel , Octavian in Il Barbiere di Siviglia , Blanche in Der Rosenkavalier , Cherubino, Mélisande in Dialogues des Carmélites , Charlotte in Pelléas et Mélisande and Hanna Glawary in Werther . The Merry Widow
Trained in the
bel canto style, von Stade is known for her roles in Rossini's and The Barber of Seville . In addition to La Cenerentola opera, von Stade has also performed a wide range of musicals, from to Show Boat to The Sound of Music and has appeared on numerous A Little Night Music PBS specials, most notably in 1991's She has also appeared in many A Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert. Kennedy Center Honors broadcasts for CBS. Von Stade is also a respected recital artist, performing works ranging from Mozart and Haydn to Mahler to Broadway show tunes. Her LP album of Mahler songs was praised as "cherishable" by Peter G. Davis of . The New York Times [4 ]
Contemporary composers, including
Dominick Argento, Jake Heggie, Conrad Susa and Richard Danielpour, have produced works specifically for von Stade. She originated the role of "Tina" in Dallas Opera's world premiere production of Argento's in 1988. She has also recorded other works by Argento. The Aspern Papers (opera) [5 ] Conrad Susa wrote for her the role of the "Marquise de Merteuil" in his opera , which premiered at the San Francisco Opera on September 10, 1994. Danielpour composed Dangerous Liaisons for orchestra, mezzo-soprano, and Elegies baritone in memory of von Stade's father, Charles von Stade, who was killed late in World War II, two months before von Stade's birth. Elegies premiered in January 1998 with the Jacksonville Symphony led by Roger Nierenberg and has now been recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008, she created the role of "Madeline" in the opera [6 ] Three Decembers, a part which the composer Jake Heggie had specially written for her. She gave her farewell performance on the opera stage in Heggie's at Dead Man Walking Houston Grand Opera on February 6, 2011 as "Mrs. Patrick de Rocher", a part also written for her.
On January 19, 1985, she sang at the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala, the day before the second inauguration of
Ronald Reagan. She was introduced by Tony Randall. She sang an aria from by Les Huguenots Giacomo Meyerbeer.
Von Stade was the featured performer at the Opening Ceremonies of the
2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and also sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Cultural Olympiad held in conjunction with the games. She also sang at the choir's annual Christmas Concert the following year. [7 ]
She currently resides in
Alameda, California. Recordings [edit ]
She has made over sixty recordings, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. She has done humorous recordings, such as
with Songs of the Cat Garrison Keillor. Her Show Boat album was a bestseller. She has also appeared with Kathleen Battle and Judi Dench on Seiji Ozawa's recording of Mendelssohn's . Her recordings have garnered six A Midsummer Night's Dream Grammy nominations, two awards, the Grand Prix du Disque Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by and Stereo Review . Opera News Opera recordings [edit ] Amaranta in Haydn's , with conductor La fedeltà premiata Antal Dorati, Decca 1976. Annio in Mozart's , with conductor La clemenza di Tito Sir Colin Davis, Philips 1976. Octavian in R. Strauss' , with conductor Der Rosenkavalier Edo de Waart, Philips 1976. Frederick in Thomas' , with conductor Mignon Antonio de Almeida, CBS 1977. Lisetta in Haydn's , with conductor Il mondo della luna Antal Dorati, Decca 1978. Cherubino in Mozart's , with conductor Le nozze di Figaro Herbert von Karajan, Decca 1978. Dorabella in Mozart's , with conductor Così fan tutte Alain Lombard, Erato 1978. Desdemona in Rossini's , with conductor Otello Jesús López-Cobos, Philips 1978. Cendrillon in Massenet's , with conductor Cendrillon Julius Rudel, CBS 1978. Hänsel in Humperdinck's , with conductor Hänsel und Gretel Sir John Pritchard, CBS 1978. Mélisande in Debussy's , with conductor Pelléas et Mélisande Herbert von Karajan, EMI 1978. Penelope in Monteverdi's , with conductor Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria Raymond Leppard, CBS 1980. Iphise in Rameau's , with conductor Dardanus Raymond Leppard, Erato 1980. Charlotte in Massenet's , with conductor Werther Sir Colin Davis, Philips 1980. Cherubino in Mozart's , with conductor Le nozze di Figaro Sir Georg Solti, Decca 1981. Marguérite in Berlioz' , with conductor La damnation de Faust Sir Georg Solti, Decca 1981. Chérubin in Massenet's , with conductor Chérubin Pinchas Steinberg, RCA 1991. Mrs. Patrick de Roucher in Heggie's , with conductor Dead Man Walking Patrick Summers, Virgin Classics 2011. Musical recordings [edit ] Concert Recordings [edit ] Haydn: Harmonie-Messe Hob. XXII:14, with conductor Leonard Bernstein, CBS 1975. Mozart: Missa solemnis KV 139 ( Waisenhaus-Messe), with conductor Claudio Abbado, Deutsche Grammophon 1976. Mahler: in G Major, with conductor Symphony No. 4 Claudio Abbado, Deutsche Grammophon 1977. Mozart: Grosse Messe KV 427, with conductor Leonard Bernstein, Deutsche Grammophon 1990. Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream op. 61, with conductor Seiji Ozawa, Deutsche Grammophon 1992. Mahler: in G Major, with conductor Symphony No. 4 Yoel Levi, Telarc 1999. The Wonder of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, (2006). Recital recordings [edit ] Arias and Duetts by Brahms, Chausson, Mozart, Saint-Saëns, A. Scarlatti, Schubert and Schumann, with Judith Blegen (Soprano), CBS 1975. Frederica von Stade sings Mozart and Rossini Arias, with conductor Edo de Waart, Philips 1976. French Opera Arias: Arias by Berlioz, Gounod, Massenet, Meyerbeer, Offenbach and Thomas,with conductor Sir John Pritchard, CBS 1976. Italian Opera Arias: Arias by Broschi, Leoncavallo, Monteverdi, Paisiello and Rossini, with conductor Mario Bernardi, CBS 1978. Mahler: Orchestral Songs ( , Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen , two songs from Rückert-Lieder ), with conductor Des Knaben Wunderhorn Andrew Davis, CBS 1978. Song Recital: Songs by Canteloube, Dowland, Debussy, Carol Hall, Liszt and Purcell, with pianist Martin Katz, CBS 1978. Canteloube: Chants d'Auvergne, with conductor Antonio de Almeida, CBS 1979. Ravel: Shéhérazade, Chansons madécasses, Mélodies populaires grecques and Mélodies hebraïques, with conductor Seiji Ozawa, CBS 1981. Berlioz: Les Nuits d'été, op. 7 / Debussy: La Damoiselle élue, with conductor Seiji Ozawa, CBS 1983. Fauré: Mélodies, with pianist Jean-Philippe Collard, EMI 1983. Frederica von Stade sings Monteverdi & Cavalli, with conductor Raymond Leppard, Erato 1985. Liederabend: Songs by Canteloube, Copland, Faurè, Ives, Mahler, Pasatieri, Schönberg and R. Strauss, with pianist Martin Katz, Orfeo (live recording from the Salzburg Festival, August 18, 1986). My Funny Valentine: A Rodgers & Hart Anthology, with conductor John McGlinn, EMI 1989. Debussy: Mélodies, with pianist Dalton Baldwin, EMI 1991. Offenbach: Arias and Overtures, with conductor Antonio de Almeida, RCA 1994. Bernstein: Arias and Barcaroles, with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, Deutsche Grammophon 1996. Across Your Dreams: Frederica von Stade sings , Telarc 1996. Brubeck The Faces of Love: The Songs of Jake Heggie, with the composer as pianist, RCA 1999. Recital: Gustav Mahler's , songs by Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen Charles Ives, Francis Poulenc, Benjamin Britten, etc., with the pianist Martin Isepp, Gala 1999. Frederica von Stade on DVD [edit ] Cherubino in Mozart's , with conductor Le nozze di Figaro Sir John Pritchard, live performance at the Glyndebourne Festival 1973, DVD 2001. Angelina in Rossini's , with conductor La Cenerentola Claudio Abbado, operatic film 1981 (director: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle), DVD Deutsche Grammophon. Idamante in Mozart's , with conductor Idomeneo James Levine, live performance at the Metropolitan Opera 1982, DVD Deutsche Grammophon. Hansel in Humperdinck's , with conductor Hansel and Gretel Thomas Fulton, live performance at the Metropolitan Opera 1982, DVD Deutsche Grammophon. Mozart: Grosse Messe KV 427, with conductor Leonard Bernstein, live concert performance 1990, DVD Deutsche Grammophon. Honors [edit ]
Von Stade was honored with an award in 1983 at the
White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts and by France's highest honor in the Arts as an officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2009, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music and in April, 2012 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Trivia [edit ]
Von Stade was the idol of a key character in the
CBS series (her interpretation of Northern Exposure Bailero from Canteloube's appeared on its original soundtrack album). Chants d'Auvergne
A case summary involving a dispute over marital property and earnings (
Elkus v. Elkus, 572 N.Y.S.2d 901 (N.Y. App. Div. 1991))  between von Stade and Peter Elkus, formerly her husband, appears in Dukeminier's Property textbook, commonly used in the first year of law school.
Von Stade appeared in the finale of
We Are Most Amused, the Charity Gala thrown for the 60th birthday of Prince Charles. She performed as a Valkyrie accompanying Eric Idle in singing a modified version of " Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". References [edit ] ^ Leslie Kandell (April 1, 2001). "Opera Star in Her Home State". New York Times . Retrieved 2012-09-11. "Even as a child, Frederica Von Stade, the Somerville-born mezzo-soprano loved to dress up and entertain." ^ Horace A. Laffaye, Polo in the United States: A History, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2011, p. 355 ^ Scott, Eleanor (1976). The First Twenty Years of The Santa Fe Opera. Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Sunstone Press. OCLC 2856854. ^ Davis, Peter G. "Singers With a Throat of Gold," Registration and purchase required. Accessed November 29, 2009. The New York Times, June 15, 1980. ^ Casa Guidi album page at ClassicsToday.com ^ Danielpour: Elegies album page at ClassicsToday.com ^ PBS Previews | Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Sources [edit ]