Season Highlights

• Role debut as Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Teatro Real Madrid

• Role and house debut as Poppea in Agrippina at Metropolitan Opera

• Return to Bayerische Staatsoper as Aminta in Die schweigsame Frau

• Return to Wiener Staatsoper as title role in Lucia di Lammermoor

• Recitals at Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, and Schubertiade Schwarzenberg

• Return to Opera Philadephia for Festival O Celebration

Photo by Kristin Hoebermann

Photo by Kristin Hoebermann

 Biographical Info

• Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on February 8, 1982

• Graduated from University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BM in Vocal Performance

• Earned MM in Vocal Performance and Artist Diploma in Opera Performance from Juilliard

• Fluent in German, speaks French and Italian

• Trained as pianist, dancer, and actor

• Lived in Germany for 10 years while on fest at Oper Frankfurt

• Lives in Minneapolis with her husband and sons

Photo by Monika Rittershaus

Photo by Monika Rittershaus

Career Highlights

• Jumping in for Lucia di Lammermoor at Wiener Staatsoper with 24 hours notice

• Winning Bel Canto Foundation Competition in Chicago at 20 years old, which inspired her love of bel canto repertoire

• Debuting at Oper Frankfurt, in the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte

• Making American operatic debut at Santa Fe Opera as Violetta in La traviata

Photo by Monika RIttershaus

Photo by Monika RIttershaus

Critical acclaim

“From the outset, soprano Rae created a Ginevra of luscious timbre and ample vocal heft, her top register radiant and her virtuosity unmistakable.”
Chicago Tribune

”Rae herself was incandescent, creating a three-dimensional character whose fluid coloratura mirrored the passionate meanderings of her mind.”
Washington Post

”A constant source of vocal allure with the kind of dramatic instincts that turn a flashy cadenza into an intense character study.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

”Her ascents into the vocal stratosphere made light of the role’s technical demands, and she is a natural creature of the stage: her every apperance lit up the theatre… An unforgettable antiheroine.”
The Times

”Fearless, probing, radiant of voice and beauty, she is the complete Lulu.”
What’s On Stage

”Brenda Rae lent her fresh, agile voice to Zerbinetta…with extravagant colors, an alluring texture and dazzling runs and trills.”
Opera News

“Brenda Rae, an exceptional actress, was the star of the evening as a world-class Cleopatra: virtuosic and sensual, capable of both power and exquisite nuance.”

“Rae combines excellent technique with a high-flying voice and an irresistibly scintillating stage presence.”



• Loves the outdoors – especially enjoys working in Santa Fe because she can go hiking after rehearsal

• Into fantasy and sci-fi – wrote fantasy stories as a kid, and now reads fantasy books and plays character-driven games

•Was a very shy kid who retreated into books and arts and music; loved performing but didn’t want to be the center of attention otherwise

• Strong believer in human rights and LGBTQ rights

• Listens to indie musicians like fellow Wisconsite Bon Iver, Danish singer-songwriter Oh Land, and London duo Goldfrapp