As one of the world’s most revered artists and music’s most endearing personalities, soprano Deborah Voigt is an inspiration to audiences the world over. Through her performances and television appearances, she is known for the singular power and beauty of her voice, and captivating stage presence. Having made her name as a leading dramatic soprano, she is internationally lauded for her performances in the operas of Wagner, Strauss, and more, as well as for her recitals and accounts of Broadway standards and popular songs. In addition to boasting an extensive discography, she has frequently appeared as both performer and host in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, which is broadcast to movie theaters around the world.
A devotee of Broadway and American song, Voigt has given acclaimed performances of popular music, including benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and New York Theatre Workshop. She has sung with Barbara Cook and Dianne Reeves at the Hollywood Bowl, and given performances in Lincoln Center’s long-running American Songbook series, singing Broadway and popular standards. In a pair of special guest appearances, she appeared with singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright at London’s BBC Proms, and joined Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth for a medley of music and comedy at Carnegie Hall. She won praise for her star turn in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with New York City’s MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale) and for her headlining appearance in Irving Berlin’s beloved Annie Get Your Gun at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. Millions of viewers heard Voigt sing “America the Beautiful” on NBC’s nationwide broadcast of Macy’s Independence Day fireworks show in 2004, and later that year they witnessed her majestic ride down Broadway in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She has also been profiled by many important national media outlets, such as CBS’s 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and Vanity Fair.
Voigt has given definitive performances of iconic roles in German opera, from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne, Salome, Kaiserin (Die Frau ohne Schatten), and Chrysothemis (Elektra) to Wagner’s Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), and Isolde. She is also noted for starring roles in Strauss’s Egyptian Helen, Der Rosenkavalier, and Friedenstag; Wagner’s Lohengrin; Berlioz’s Les Troyens, and Berg’s Wozzeck; and for her portrayals of such popular Italian roles as Tosca, Aida, Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Leonora (La forza del destino), La Gioconda, and Minnie (La fanciulla del West).
A highly gifted teacher who enjoys working with young artists, as Artistic Advisor to Florida’s Vero Beach Opera, she is involved in repertoire planning, casting, and production, as well as chairing the Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Foundation’s annual International Vocal Competition. She has also undertaken residencies as WQXR’s inaugural Susan W. Rose Artist-in-Residence and as Artist-in-Residence of both Washington National Opera and Indiana’s University of Notre Dame, where she sang “God Bless America” at a nationally televised football game.
Voigt’s extensive discography includes two popular and critically successful solo recordings for EMI Classics: All My Heart: Deborah Voigt Sings American Songs with pianist Brian Zeger, named one of the “Best of the Year” by Opera News magazine, and the Billboard top-five bestseller Obsessions, which presents scenes and arias from operas by Wagner and Strauss. Her recording of Strauss’s Egyptian Helen was another Billboard bestseller and was again named one of the best of the year by Opera News. Deutsche Grammophon released a live recording of Voigt’s headlining role debut in the 2003 Vienna State Opera Tristan und Isolde, as well as a Blu-ray DVD set of her starring role as Brünnhilde in Robert Lepage’s visionary Ring cycle at the Met, which won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013.
One of the soprano’s most personal projects came to fruition when Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva was published by HarperCollins in 2015 and released in paperback the following year. Voigt discussed her “startlingly frank” (Associated Press) and “hard to put down” (Opera) memoir at book signings around the country and in interviews with the Today show, PBS NewsHour and People magazine. She also shares her story through performances of Voigt Lessons. Developed in close collaboration with playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello at the famed MacDowell Colony, and directed by Richard Jay-Alexander with music direction by Kevin Stites, this confessional one-woman show weaves 18 songs and arias of special personal significance to Voigt into a vivid narration about her life and career. Since premiering it at the Glimmerglass Festival, she has reprised Voigt Lessons in Boston, Provincetown, Colorado, and New York City.
Voigt studied at California State University at Fullerton. She was a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and won both the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition and First Prize at Philadelphia’s Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. A Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she was Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year 2003, won a 2007 Opera News Award for distinguished achievement, and has received Honorary Doctorates from Smith College (2015) and the University of South Carolina (2009). Known to Twitter fans as a “Dramatic soprano and down-to-earth Diva,” Voigt was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the top 25 cultural tweeters to follow.