AZO Cast Members & Creatives
Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for a “winningly liquid” voice as well as for her “dramatic vividness and vocal flourish,” soprano Rena Harms returns to English National Opera to sing her first performances of Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, makes her French debut at Opera National de Bordeaux as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, returns to Florentine Opera in her role debut as Beatrice in Three Decembers and performs one of her signature roles, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Santa Barbara during the 2015/16 season.
She joined the Seattle Symphony as the soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and Opera America for their New Works Sampler last season. Ms. Harms appeared with the Grand Théâtre de Genèveas Helmwige in Die Walküre, made her role debut as Desdemona in Otello with the Oldenburgishes Staatstheater and sang the title role in Sigfried Matthus’ Judith with Staatstheater Braunschweig and Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg in the 2013-2014 season. Recently, she joined the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus to cover Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and returned to Florentine Opera for Micaëla in Carmen and to Staatstheater Braunschweig for Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte. During the 2011/12 season, she sang the title role of Fibich’s Sarka, Marenka in Bartered Bride, and Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, all in new productions, with Staatstheater Braunschweig and Lìu in Turandot with Florentine Opera.
The soprano made her English National Opera debut as Amelia in a new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov of Simon Boccanegra and joined Theater Basel for Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the High Priestess in Aida, and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. In the US, her other recent performances include Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara and Opera Southwest as well as first performances of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Ericlea in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Wolf Trap Opera. She sang Mimì in La bohème with Los Angeles Opera, where she recently completed her tenure as a member of the company’s prestigious Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. Also with the company, she sang Barena in Jenufa, Erste Magd in Der zerbrochene Krug, along with Zweite Magd in Der Zwerg in a double bill conducted by James Conlon, and Sylvaine in The Merry Widow, in addition to joining the company for its Grammy Award-winning production of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. She also sang Nedda in Pagliacci in performances featuring the resident artists as well as Antonia in excerpts of Les contes d’Hoffmann. Ms. Harms is also former participant in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program where she sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the title role in excerpts of Arabella in concert. As an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, she sang Contessa in The Marriage of Figaro and Barena in Jenufa in the company’s scenes program.
She made her international debut recently in a concert with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica Simón Bolívar in Mexico and has sung Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Burbank Philharmonic and Santa Fe Community Orchestra. She has also twice joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a series of children’s concerts and the Music Academy of the West Orchestra for Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Harms is a 2010 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and in the finals concert, sang arias of Nedda in Pagliacci and Lìu in Turandot with Marco Armiliato conducting. She also won the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition and second prize in the Marcello Viotti International Vocal Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, in addition to receiving an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music and attended the Music Academy of the West, where she was awarded a merit fellowship.