Adrianne on her debut as Amelia in the COC's Un Ballo in Maschera
Adrianne spoke with Gord Bowness at IN Toronto and Judy Gerstel of Zoomer Magazine about her upcoming role debut as Amelia in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Verdi's masterpiece, conducted by Stephen Lord.
Adrianne receives prestigious Ontario Arts Foundation Career Achievement Award
Adrianne has been named the recipient of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award in honour of her outstanding career as an artist. The Ontario Arts Foundation will make an official presentation of the $20,000 award on February 11th following Adrainne's performance in the Canadian Opera Company's A Masked Ball at Toronto's Four Seasons Centre.
Adrianne spoke with the Toronto Star's Trish Crawford about the honour and her upcoming role debut as Amelia.
"Pure soprano bliss": praise for Adrianne's portrayal of Die Kaiserin in the Bayerische Staatsoper's new production of Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten
New Production of Die Frau ohne Schatten Opens Tomorrow!
On Thursday November 21st, Adrianne appears as the Empress in the Bayerische Staatsoper's new production of Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, Adrianne is joined by tenor Johan Botha as the Emperor, Deborah Polaski as the Nurse, Wolfgang Koch as the Dyer Barak, and Elena Pankratova as the Dyer's Wife.
The première performance on 21 November will be presented live via audio broadcast on BR Klassik.
The performance on 1 December will be presented via video broadcast live on the Bayerische Staatsoper website as part of STAATSOPER.TV. The entire opera, including an introduction by General Manager Nikolaus Bachler and backstage reports during the interval, can be viewed free of charge at STAATSOPER.TV.
RADIO BROADCAST: Adrianne as Chrysothemis in Elektra
Adrianne’s riveting performance of Chrysothemis in the Aix-enProvence production of Elektra directed by Patrice Chereau is being broadcast on Radio-Canada, Saturday October 5. Web broadcast is at 1 p.m. / radio broadcast on Espace Musique at 7 p.m.
Adrianne a "revelation"as Chrysothemis in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden's Elektra
Adrianne praised for her "lavishly creamy" and "burnished" voice as Chrysothemis in a new production of Elektra at the Aix-en-Provence Festival
Adrianne named an Honourary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory of Music
The honour was bestowed on Adrianne during the RCM's signature fundraising gala The Royal Occasion at Toronto's Koerner Hall on Wednesday, May 22nd. Along with Singer and songwriter Randy Bachman and producer Bob Ezrin, Adrianne was recognized by Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory, for her contribution "to the landscape of Canadian music, strengthening arts and culture across the nation. As ambassadors for Canada, their collective influence has provided inspiration and enjoyment to millions of people around the world as a result of their creative expression.” As part of the celebration, Adrianne performed Strauss's Zueignung and Ernest Charles's When I have sung my songs.
A luminous role debut as Madame Lidoine in the Canadian Opera Company's Dialogues des Carmélites
"Adrianne Pieczonka is in glorious form as Madame Lidoine. Her voice and acting radiate warmth, comfort and strength as the new prioress, which is just what the nuns need after the horrifying experience of the Mother Superior’s death. As she inspires her charges she inspires us to see that their deaths can serve to glorify God." (Stage Door, 9 May 2013)
"The strongest straight-up soprano singing came from her fellow Canadian Adrianne Pieczonka as the New Prioress." (National Post, 10 May 2013)
"[The First Prioress'] place in the circle of spiritual life is filled beautifully by Adrianne Pieczonka, who tries to lead the sisters toward a positive destination, using her sublimely healing voice as her major weapon." (Toronto Star, 9 May 2013)
"Adrianne Pieczonka, as the Second Prioress, is undeniably luminous, vocally and dramatically, as she restores majesty to her office of mother to her daughters. The sheer force of her performance overwhelms any issue about her beliefs." (Bachtrack, 9 May2013)
"Adrianne Pieczonka brought warmth to the role of Madame Lidoine, the Second Prioress." (Wall Street Journal, 13 May 2013)
"Adrianne Pieczonka, providing a lot of power with her Madame Lidoine." (Globe and Mail, 10 May 2013)
The Globe and Mail's Deirdre Kelly finds out which space in their home is Adrianne, Laura, and Grace's Favourite Room and why!
Adrianne talks to about upcoming her role debut as Madame Lidoine in the Canadian Opera Company's Dialogues des Carmélites, opening May 8th in Toronto
Rooted in her dedication to vocal pedagogy and with a little time at home, Adrianne will give public masterclasses for three of Ontario's premiere music programs:
University of Toronto (Walter Hall): November 14th, 7-10pm on Lieder and Art Song and November 15th, 12-3pm on Opera
Royal Conservatory of Music: November 23rd, 1-4pm
University of Western Ontario (von Kuster Hall): December 1st, 12-2pm
On Friday, October 26th Adrianne received an honorary degree from her alma mater, the University of Western Ontario in recognition of her distinguished international music career. The Doctor of Music, honoris causa (D.Mus.) was presented at Alumni Hall as part of Western’s 300th convocation. Read more about it:
"A top flight, impeccable and engaged cast. To start, the German (sic) soprano Adrianne Pieczonka (Senta) displayed an impressive vocal form – to the point that her beautiful voice became even more beautiful as the evening progressed. Right from her entrance aria she was convincing - her voice projected with disconcerting ease and power, unexpectedly enhanced with extraordinary pianissimi in her “Doch, dass der arme Mann...” And even in her final torment, at the very moment she is about to stab herself, she still has the strength to launch a terrifying, glacial high note at the beginning of a desperate “Hier steh’ ich, treu dir bis zum Tod!” Adrianne Pieczonka dominates her role with a vocal generosity that is unfortunately rarely heard today." (Resmusica, 17 October 2012)
"If the protagonist of the opera is Senta , who, seduced by a portrait, keeps the figure of the Dutchman hidden inside herself in a kind of spiritual devotion, then Adrianne Pieczonka understood the role: proud, passionate, but also fiercely dedicated to her mission of salvation, impresses with her vocal quality, expressiveness and stage presence." (La Stampa, October 13, 2012)
“Adrianne Pieczonka was a quite neurotic Senta, with a nice ringing voice.” (Opera Critic, 14 October 2012)
The first reviews are in! Read them here and click the image or link below for more photos.
"The trump card of the evening was Adrianne Pieczonka's Senta who proved she was finally back again at the Festival after an absence of 5 years. Constantly sovereign, the Canadian was impeccably prepared and mastered the challenges of the difficult role with bravura. At no time was her intonation or legato in question - on the contrary, her vocal performance was masterful and touchingly expressive. It was a unique experience." (Opernglas, September 2012)
"A shooting-star of the opera world if ever there was one, Pieczonka's winning international acclaim in the works of Wagner and Strauss. Her voice, effortless and articulate, particularly in the top register, was radiant and crystal clear in a remarkable and unforgettable performance of great strength and magnitude. She brilliantly portrayed the rôle of Senta as a moody, unsettled and dissatisfied girl sprucing up her dull life by wearing a bright red dress, the only flash of colour in a 'sea' of blandness." (Opera Critic, August 2012)
"The true vocal laurels of the evening went to soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, whose Senta was as dramatically committed as it was stunningly sung. Pieczonka sang with immaculate diction and a youthful purity of sound, moving from strength to strength as the evening progressed." (Opera News, 31 July 2012)
"Frenetic ovations greeted Adrianne Pieczonka for her supreme performance. With clear, powerful, contoured high notes and precise dramatic gestures, she was the star of the evening." (Der Spiegel, 25 July 2012)
"…Adrianne Pieczonka's Senta, whose seductive portrayal is matched by a big, voluptuous voice. This Senta is not the conventional maiden but a modern woman with deep sexual frustrations and Pieczonka sings the part with style and authority." (Financial Times, 28 July 2012)
"He could not, of course, hold a candle to his Senta: Adrianne Pieczonka modeled each phrase with an ease that is unmatched, with limitless flexibility, lyrical grace and power - and with such emotional conviction that she leaves everyone else far behind. Her pianissimo is stupendous." (Der Standard, 26 July 2012)
"...and Adrianne Pieczonka, singing with seductive, penetrating tone." (New York Times, 26 July 2012)
"Adrianne Pieczonka made a powerful, persuasive Senta." (Bloomberg, 26 July 2012)
"There was great applause especially for the new Senta, Adrianne Pieczonka whose voice bloomed fully in the dramatic moments but also had the necessary lightness to sing the lyric passages of this challenging role." (Die Presse, 25 July 2012)
"The biggest ovation went to Adrianne Pieczonka for her unusually lyric Senta. Thanks to Christian Thielemann's conducting, she never had to force her voice." (Merkuronline, 26 July 2012)
"Adrianne Pieczonka sang a glorious Senta." (Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2012)
"Adrianne Pieczonka was triumphant vocally. Her portrayal of Senta was incomparable." (El Pais, 27 July 2012)
"Adrianne Pieconka's Senta was gleaming and wonderfully lyric at all times" (Berliner Morgenpost, 26 July 2012)
Adrianne with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany at the opening night of Der Fliegende Höllander in Bayreuth. (nordbayerischer-kurier)
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals were presented to more than 600 people at a Gala in Toronto on Monday, June 18th at Roy Thomson Hall. The special medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne and to recognize an individual's significant contribution to Canada.
"Adrianne Pieczonka's debut as Elisabeth was impressive: her fragility was tempered by her strength and love. She made an appealing royal figure." (Wiener Zeitung, 27 April 2012)
"Adrianne Pieczonka made a magnificent debut as the noble queen. She was ravishing in the final scene." (Kronen Zeitung, 26 April 2012)
Reprising a role she first performed at 2010 Maggio Musicale in Florence. Hear her discuss the challenges of the role on Radio Stephansdom in Vienna from 12-1 pm local Vienna time on Tuesday, March 13.
"Adrianne Pieczonka navigated her soprano voice from the airy coloratura of her very first entrance to the deepest tension of her 3rd act Monologue. Her natural vocality retained its brightness throughout. She sang with intensity but not effort. The more than two octave leap in her final scene was immaculate." (Die Presse, 18 March 2012)
"Despite fine performances from the entire cast, the evening belonged to Adrianne Pieczonka. Her noble, unpretentious portrayal of the Empress struggling to move from her magical realm to the real world in order to find her humanity was very clear and poignant." (Wiener Zeitung, 20 March 2012)
Adrianne Pieczonka is an elegant, word perfect Kaiserin." (Der Kurier, 18 March 2012)
"Adrianne Pieczonka delivered precious high notes throughout the evening." (Der Standard, 18 March 2012)
"...the Toronto-based soprano identified so fully with the title roles, both vocally and histrionically (not least in a poignantly sung 'Vissi d'arte') that her right to the role was never in doubt." (Opera Canada, Spring 2012)
"Adrianne Pieczonka's Tosca the best thing in COC's production of Puccini classic. [Pieczonka] uses her own theatrical shrewdness and innate likeability to scrape away the years of theatrical artifice from the role and offer us a diva-free zone. Her Tosca begins as a good-time girl, charming, playful, quick to become jealous, quicker to forgive, more anxious to discuss her late night rendezvous with her lover than worry about the finer points of Franco-Italian politics. But when reality intrudes in Act II and she comes face to face with the evil lust and intellectual duplicity of Baron Scarpia, she grows up very quickly indeed. At this crucial moment in the opera, Pieczonka sinks to the floor like a sad little rag doll who's had all the stuffing torn out of her and, in a moment of silent clarity, looks at life anew. This means that the famous aria, "Vissi d'arte" becomes so much more than a beautiful chance for her to sing. As the simple words and haunting melody float upward, Pieczonka's airy yet rich tones sound as though she was filling them with her soul, instead of mere breath. It's a moment of transcendent beauty that carries the artist through her murder of Scarpia, her revulsion afterwards, and the grand sweeping arc of the final act that leaves her with no other choice than to leap from the battlements to join her lover in death. In Pieczonka's hands, this becomes the stuff of tragedy, not melodrama." (Toronto Star, 22 January 2012)
"[Pieczonka] gave a luminous performance of Vissi d’arte in Act Two, sung while on her knees." (Globe and Mail, 23 January 2012)
"...with vivid acting, a dignified bearing, and gleaming high notes [Adrianne Pieczonka] made a formidable impression." (National Post, 22 January 2012)
"The ace of hearts is Toronto-based soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who captures the full power and pathos of Floria Tosca, a temperamental opera diva who is forced into murder in order to protect her loved one. Pieczonka is in her vocal and dramatic prime, providing the right emotional weight, phrasing and pacing to every note she has to sing. We are so lucky to have her with us in Toronto." (MusicalToronto, 21 January 2012)
out CBC's video with Adrianne chatting
about her role at the Canadian Opera Company.
Classical 96.fm's Alexa Petrenko invites Adrianne to share hosting duties on Sunday Night at the Opera. Broadcast date Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 9 PM. Adrianne will be chatting about her upcoming appearance as Puccini's tragic diva, Tosca.
Watch Adrianne discuss how the character of Tosca differs from the other roles she's known for in this video by the Canadian Opera Company.
Tosca runs at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Jan. 21 to Feb. 25. Buy tickets and learn more: All photos and videos from the COC's 2008 production of Tosca. (from the COC YouTube)
Following her highly successful tour of Japan with the Bavarian Staatsoper Orchestra and Kent Nagano and a run as Senta in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer in Hamburg, Adrianne is in Berlin on November 5th for Deutsche Oper's 18th annual Opera Gala in support of the AIDS Foundation, one of the most important charity functions to be hosted in the capital. The Gala will be broadcast on 3 SAT on November 26th at 8:15pm and on RBB (Berlin) on December 4th.
Adrianne then returns to her hometown of Burlington for a special concert with Laura Tucker and the Burlington Civic Chorale on November 10th at 8pm at the brand new Performing Arts Centre.
December sees Adrianne in recital with pianist
Stephen Ralls for the Women's Musical Club of Toronto, in a concert
performance of Ariadne auf Naxos in Valencia, Spain, before she
returns home for a special Christmas concert with the Orpheus Choir
at Koerner Hall in Toronto.
"…Like her Metropolitan Opera Sieglinde in the late lamented Otto Schenk production, this Senta was well-nigh perfect in both sigh and sound. No modern Wagnerian looks more like a proper German-storybook heroine should, and surely no one sings this role with great beauty, accuracy or affection, shaping the often awkward-sounding ballad as if it were an exquisite Bellinian jewel." (Opera Canada, Spring 2012)
Check out these fun interviews Adrianne did for her run of Ariadne auf Naxos with the COC in Toronto!
Since conquering a bout of laryngitis that kept Adrianne away from the opening night performance of Ariadne auf Naxos at the COC, she has since returned to the role and given a superb recital at Koerner Hall!
"Pieczonka stepped back into the opera on May 2 [after recovering from laryngitis] - and on Thursday evening gave a performance so convincing it was hard to imagine she's ever had a vocal problem in her life. in the second and final act her sumptuous soprano filled out Richard Strauss's long lines and glorious crescendos with complete security and control. She was an ideal foil to the coloratura of soprano Jane Archibald as Zerbinetta, who stopped the show with her brilliant vocal pyrotechnics. Together they represented what this opera is all about: the contrast between deep and profound art, and light, delightful entertainment." (Globe and Mail, 13 May 2011)
"Pieczonka's full lyric soprano is ideally suited to Ariadne, and there was much to enjoy in her luminous performance...the voice ringing out securely with its trademark gleaming tone. The high B in the opening of "Es gibt ein Reich" was glorious. She threw herself into the role and sang a moving final duet with tenor Richard Margison (Bacchus)." (La Scena Musicale, 4 May 2011)
IN RECITAL WITH BRIAN ZEGER, PIANO:
"The soprano combines a beautiful voice with a sincerity and simplicity that touches the heart - an artist without artifice. On this particular evening, the extremely receptive audience was made up of voice fans of course, but also friends and family of the singer, gathered there to honour and enjoy an evening of music-making. It was an old-fashioned "love-in." The voice was clear and strong, the tone pure, with its trademark gleam. Her interpretation was straightforward, rather generalized in its emotional expression, the text communicated with unpretentious directness." (La Scena Musicale, 13 May 2011)
Read the full review here
"Die Forelle (The Trout) sparkled with fluid vocal agility; and Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel) gradually built up to a frantic climax. Throughout the set, the soprano's voice was like velvet. ...There were two groups of Strauss songs- Pieczonka revealed a layer of steel beneath the velvet. She has the kind of powerful voice that can readily (or even inadvertently) be "weaponized," with harsh consequences for listeners. But this she did not do; rather, she tempered her tone with an endearing warmth. ...Pieczonka embraced the emotional texts [of Wesendonck Lieder] in ways that were both profound and subtle. Changes in dynamics and texture were skillfully handled - especially in the songs Stehe Still! (Stand Still!) and Schmerzen (Sorrows). She also seemed entirely comfortable with Wagner's unsettled, chromatic musical language. ...Similarly, in the second set of Strauss songs - Du meines herzens Kronelein, Morgen, Wir beide wollen springen, and Zueignung - Pieczonka was committed to the poetry and the musical line. She concluded the last song, Zueignung (Dedication) with a dramatic flourish that called for, and received, a spontaneous standing ovation." (Globe and Mail, 8 May 2011)
Read the full review here
The very model of a vocal recital: "Song recitals often start out rather cautiously with "easy" or warmup pieces. Not so this time. Ms. Pieczonka achieved full lift-off with Schubert's "Ganymed" and never looked back. She expressed a variety of vocal moods, such as in the despairing "Du liebst mich nicht" (You do not love me), without overdoing it. "Gretchen am Spinnrade" started off hollow-toned and its dramatic structure was grippingly articulated. The second half began with Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder. Here again she adroitly captured the right tone and mood of each number." (ConcertoNet, 2 June 2011)
Read the full review here
By renowned Toronto Portrait artist Tadeusz Biernot, Adrianne's portrait will be on display as part of an exhibition devoted to contemporary portraits of Canadian artists at Toronto's John B. Aird Gallery (900 Bay Street) from March 8th to April 1, 2011.
Click on the image to enlarge.
"In the heart of this production was the debut (sic) of Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta. She was rightfully cheered and celebrated for her remarkable intensity and power as we followed her through her dream world. With flawless, cultivated vocality her voice gleamed warmly and there were many moving moments throughout." (Die Kronen Zeitung, 14 February 2011)
"The wonderful Strauss interpreter displays how she can also shine in Wagner's music. Her floating, gleaming, endlessly spun tones are mixed with thrilling metallic attacks. She is a fascinating Senta." (Der Neue Merkur Wien, 15 February 2011)
"...a very elegant Senta" (Der Standard Wien, 13 February 2011)
Adrianne Pieczonka as Tosca with Juan Pons as Scarpia in the LA Opera production of Tosca, May 2008 (photo: Robert Millard)
Following her highly acclaimed performances of the role in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Adrianne will take on one of opera's most beloved heroines - Tosca - at the Canadian Opera Company. Performance dates are January 21 to February 21, 2012. For more information: www.coc.ca.
After singing the role of Die Marschallin in Der Rosenkavlaier in many opera houses in Europe and North America, Adrianne made her debut in the role at the Vienna State Opera in the legendary Otto Schenk production.
"Adrianne Pieczonka is a noble and poised Marschallin. Her supple, soft but still powerful soprano is impressive. She does not skimp on warmth and gives the famous final trio in
Act 3 a 'Hoffmannsthal' sparkling character." (Die Kronen Zeitung, December 2010)
"...a sublime and elegant Marschallin" (Wiener Zeitung, 17 December 2010)
"The best performance of the evening came from Adrianne Pieczonka - she sang The Marschallin with elegance and was vocally most impressive." (Kurier, 17 December 2010)
Friday, 19 November 2010, Adrianne received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from McMaster University. During the ceremony she sang a welcome to the new president.
When Adrianne was in Germany this past June for her performances in Tosca and Arabella for Deutsche Opera, she did an interview with the radio program "Klassik Pop et cetera".
Listen as she speaks about her various musical choices, tastes and style. The interview airs Saturday, October 16, at 10:00am CET, in Germany (4 am EST) www.dradio.de
Debut as Senta in Der Fliegender Hollander,
Opera Bastille. September 2010 (Fred Toulet)
"Adrianne Pieczonka debuted in the role of Senta and from the beginning on it was a triumph. Her interpretation was full of youthful freshness. Her voice is round and perfectly warmly timbered in every register. Her opening "Ballade" was powerfully sung, her duet with Erik fully of shyness and her love duet with the Holländer fully of ecstasy. Her singing is highly expressive from the first to the last tone. Wagner lovers will not be disappointed!" (Die Presse, 20 September 2010)
"…the Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka has the qualities of an almost ideal Senta - a radiant presence, full timbred, heavenly high notes and rich phrasing." (WebThea, Sept. 2010)
"For their debuts at the Opéra de Paris, it was Adrianne Pieczonka and Klaus Florian Vogt who received the warmest acclaim. The Canadian soprano embodied Senta from the first moment - and, without losing strength, the vocal incarnation was complete (mastery over the high notes, a beautiful suppleness of expression)." (ConcertoNet, 13 September 2010)
"As Senta, Adrianne Pieczonka is more forceful : there again, we are delighted to find a supple voice, very homogenous throughout the ensemble of the tessitura, technically solid enough to overcome the many obstacles that Wagner strews in her path (so rare that it is worth highlighting: all the high attacks of the famous 'Ballade' rang out with precision and a ease that never faulted), but one also sees a less assertive personality, more in line with the great interpreters of the role, into the centre of which Pieczonka has gloriously installed herself...let us welcome a role debut boldly assumed, with an ovation that we have rarely seen. " (ForumOpera, 9 September 2010)
" …the other wonderful surprise was the Senta of Adrianne Pieczonka, who like Vogt, was making her Opéra de Paris debut. The Canadian soprano took on the final scene with authority, an expansive voice, robust, and increasing warmth in the high notes …this Senta had presence, both musically and physically." (altamusica.com, 9 September 2010)
Adrianne's photo in Die Oper kocht
A delightful cookbook created by celebrated Viennese photographer Johannes Ifkovits and his wife Evelyn Rillé.
Opera singers are well known for being great and adventurous cooks, able to adapt to the weird and wonderful kitchens they find in their rental accommodations.
This is a cookbook featuring some of Johannes' favourite singers making their favourite dishes. Adrianne offers her recipe for blueberry pancakes!
Miss your chance to see Adrianne perform at the Orford Festival? Catch a repeat performance on Radio-Canada August 25th on Espace Musique, 8pm - 10pm EST.
Orford Festival (Gilles-Lefebvre hall)
Adrianne performs with Brian Zeger (piano)
Schubert and R. Strauss's Leider; Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder; Poulenc's Fiançailles pour rire.
Adrianne's role debut as Die Kaiserin in Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten April 2010
"In the title role, Adrianne Pieczonka proves once more what delightful interpretations can be accomplished with the astute blend of accuracy, diligence, sensitivity and warmth which are at the heart of her artistic / professional philosophy. Her warm silvery tone seemed to come from another world and touched the heart deeply. The lightness of the florid passages went hand in hand with her generous tone in the dramatic passages." (Opernglas, June 2010)
"Adrianne Pieczonka's Kaiserin is particularly lyrical, her radiant voice very well suited for the Strauss repertoire. Especially intense was also the finale 'ich will nicht' in which she affirms the happiness which is not based on the suffering of others." (Teatro.org, 13 May 2010)
"The staging (direction, scenery, costumes) by Yannis Kokkos was very beautiful, as much for its oriental and fairy-tale overtones... as for the intensity and impressive accuracy of the singing, in particular of the two protagonists, Adrianne Pieczonka (the Empress) and the powerful Elena Pankratova (the wife of Barak), whose ideal voices and stage presence defined and blended the otherworldly luminosity of the first and the bizarre and resonant humanity of the second." (Giornale della Musica, 30 April 2010)
"Also superb was the Empress of Adrianne Pieczonka" (La Repubblica, 1 May 2010)
"Mehta brought together a cast of homogenous voices for their power. Standouts are Adrianne Pieczonka, a wonderful and expressive Empress….." (Il Giornale, 1 May 2010)
"…the soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, the Empress, with great personality and soaring high notes…" (Il Giornale della Toscana, 1 May 2010)
"The luminous Adrianne Pieczonka…." (l'Unità, 1 May 2010)
"…thanks to the excellent voice of Adrianne Pieczonka…." (Avvenire, 1 May 2010)
"The singers are excellent: Adrianne Pieczonka has a full and supple voice for the role of the Empress…" (La Stampa, 4 May 2010)
The two protagonists were magnificent, the luminous and soaring Empress of Adrianne Pieczonka and …." (La Nazione, 1 May 2010)
"Greatly appreciated are the interpretations of the highest level of the two sopranos: Adrianne Pieczonka was an esteemed Elisabetta in Don Carlo in 2004, a role she alternated with Barbara Frittoli. In this production she took on the role of the Empress - vocal sureness, understandably somewhat cautious at the beginning, but with progressive abandon and total control over the role." (OperaClick, 8 May 2010)
Adrianne Pieczonka wins her first JUNO Award this past weekend. Her Puccini CD won the 2009 JUNO for Classical Album of The Year: Vocal or Choral Performance.
"Adrianne Pieczonka's Elsa is also scrupulously delivered, once again with a delicacy and ethereality that summon up the character in the mind's eye, yet with piercing potency where necessary...it surely merits a place among the most beautifully sung." (Opera, June 2009)
Adrianne Pieczonka's "illuminating"
Puccini recording is nominatied for CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
VOCAL OR CHORAL PERFORMANCE at the 2010 JUNO Awards. The JUNO Awards
April 17 & 18 - check back for updates!
A. Pieczonka & P. Domingo (© Marty Sohl)
Check out Adrianne's performance photo gallery to see photos of Adrianne as Amelia from the Metropolitan Opera's production of Simon Boccangera.
"Following her successful debut as Lisa (Pique Dame) in 2004 and several appearances as Sieglinde, Adrianne Pieczonka returned to the Met in the role of Maria Boccanegra (alias Amelia Grimaldi) and conquered once again the public thanks to her cristalline voice, so well suited to the purity and innocence of the character. When full, this voice was of great beauty, and in the Council scene, had the capacity to become significantly larger. Personally, I found her at her best in the final scene, when the daughter is truly grief-stricken before the imminent death of her adored father." (L'opera, March 2010)
"...her sound is one of sheer beauty, with gleaming high notes, and her Amelia was fully formed dramatically." (Musical America, 21 January 2010)
"As Maria/Amelia, the Canadian soprano
Adrianne Pieczonka was splendid, singing with clear, shimmering,
pitch-perfect sound and lovely phrasing." (New York Times,
20 January 2010)
"...a winning Amelia with gleaming notes." (Associated Press, 19 January 2010)
Adrianne sat down with musicalcriticism.com a few days before her debut as Amelia Grimaldi in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra at the Metropolitan Opera in New York read it here.
On February 6, 2010, Adrianne will be featured on the Metropolitan Opera's HD broadcast of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. Click here to find the cinema closest to you!
A. Pieczonka & S. O'Neill (© Felix Sanchez)
"The contrast between Goerke's voice and that of Pieczonka’s, two voices of both purity and power, was notable. Both voices exhibit the style that I have characterized as bel canto Wagnerian singing, one of the features of the current millenium that make contemporary Wagnerian performances so exciting." (Operawarhorses.com, 15 November 2009)
"With her thick and creamy soprano, Adrianne Pieczonka makes an ideal Elsa, the ultimate damsel in distress." (Houston Press, 3 November 2009)
"Pieczonka's radiant soprano conveys Elsa's purity and dignity. She convincingly enacts the heroine's troubled state - first as woman wrongly accused, then as one increasingly tormented by her husband's secret. She is joyous celebrating Lohengrin as her redeemer; righteous challenging wicked Ortrud." (Huston Chonicle Herald, 1 November 2009)
"Adrianne Pieczonka possesses a gorgeous, bell-like voice that is perfect for Elsa. Her dynamic range is truly staggering, dominating the massed forces at the end of the first act then singing with childlike purity when she next appears in act two." (Concerto.net, 30 October 2009)
Adrianne's much anticipated all-Puccini recording is already available. Among the highlights are her "radiant and effortless purity" as Tosca (LA Times) as well as much-loved arias from La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut among other favourites.
The first reviews are in!
"Pieczonka brings these strengths to Puccini, and they help set her apart from her considerable competition in this repertoire. The irrefutable power, refinement and generosity of her voice inform every phrase on this disc. It is beautiful singing. Some of the arias are superbly dramatic, and there's a largeness of scale here that is quintessentially operatic and never commonplace." *DISC OF THE WEEK* (The Globe and Mail, 22 December 2009)
"The voice itself is a thing of great beauty, and her technique is reassuringly complete and polished… Pieczonka's excellent musicianship is evident in every phrase she sings, and her direct, unfussy approach illuminates the music without unnecessary melodrama… Throughout the programme, the soprano's technique is impeccable, offering shaded dynamics, attention to the texts, and unwaveringly excellent pitch." (David Laviska, MusicalCriticism.com, 2 December 2009)
"It is, however, a special piece of luck when these arias are sung by a singer with so much musical understanding and devotion, not to mention a radiant and powerful voice. This combination is not to be topped...Her interpretations and the beauty of tone captivate the listener...Each interpretation is fresh and new and every phrase is well thought-out, her voice is likewise always fresh and there are always small details which make these arias true highlights. There are two alternative effects this CD can have on the consumer after listening to her CD: either one could compare her to the other great soprano Puccini interpreters or one could simply never eject this CD from your CD player. One thing is certain: This wonderful CD celebrates Puccini in every way!" (Klassik.com, 17 August 2009)
"Pieczonka wraps her large, honeyed voice like a thick fur stole around such chestnuts as "O mio babbino caro" and "Vissi d'arte." She is at the full blossoming of her huge talents, and everything is technically perfect." (Toronto Star, 22 September 2009)
"With the right feeling for warmth and gentle accents, her rendition of "Un bel di" is pleasing. Especially the explosive ending "io aspetto" brought immediate goosebumps. Two arias from the opera "Edgar", Pieczonka creates a wonderful, magical atmosphere. At the end of her "addio, addio mio dolce amor", the only thing missing is a huge storm of "bravo!" as they are surely merited in this rendition. The CD is ended with "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca and the soprano paces herself through the challenges of the aria, with charming 'piani', sweeping phrases and much pathos. Adrianne Pieczonka has not produced all that many CDs in today's very competitive recording market. One should therefore seize the opportunity to hear her in this recording." (translation from German - Opernglas, September 2009)
"The Eighth calls for eight vocal soloists; except for the pearly Mater Gloriosa of Sylvia Schwartz, Boulez's performance was cast with Wagnerians. The bountiful dramatic soprano of Christine Brewer (Magna Peccatrix) contrasted nicely with the fresh, jugendlich voice of Adrianne Pieczonka (Una Poenitentium)." (Opera News, August 2009)
Adrianne has received a DORA MAVOR MOORE Award Nomination for Outstanding Performance in an Opera for her appearance as Leonora in Fidelio at the Canadian Opera Company in January 2009. Adrianne won the 2004 DORA in the same catergory for her performance as Sieglinde in the COC's Die Walküre. The awards will handed out on Monday June 29, 2009 in Toronto.
"In the title role, soprano Adrianne Pieczonka outdid herself with a gripping, fine-tuned account of "Vissi d'arte," Tosca's heartfelt aria of aestheticism and self-pity. Pieczonka...boasts plenty of tonal muscle, and she deployed it assuredly in the role's more demanding passages." (San Francisco Chronicle, 4 June 2009)
"Pieczonka's Tosca is the quintessential diva, rendering her signature arias with ease and verve -- in the second act, the iconic Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore ("I lived for art, I lived for love") pretty much brought down the house." (SF Weekly, 4 June 2009)
"She ranged easily; her high notes were bull's-eyes - and, overall, her voice had a prismatic quality, light and color-filled, like Puccini's music itself. You could hear why she's been moving up through major roles in major houses." (San Jose Mercury News, 3 June 2009)
Adrianne stars as Elsa in a new CD of Lohengrin on the HännslerProfil label. The recording also features Johan Botha as Lohengrin, Petra Lang as Ortrud, and Falk Struckmann as Telramund. Semyon Bychkov conducts the WDR Orchestra and Chorus.
"Adrianne Pieczonka's Elsa is also scrupulously delivered, once again with a delicacy and ethereality that summon up the character in the mind's eye, yet with piercing potency where necessary...it surely merits a place among the most beautifully sung." (Opera, June 2009)
"Though it is unlikely that any recording will ever reproduce the thrill of hearing Adrianne Pieczonka live in a small house, her Elsa here is still enjoyable. Like anyone who can truly sing the role, she doesn't exactly sound girlish, but she simulates that effect by singing precisely in tune." (Opera News, August 2009)
"Adrianne Pieczonka's...distinctive soprano easily manages Elsa's strangeness, her misapprehension, her doubts, and her naiveté. She's gorgeous in her opening narrative and in "Euch luften", stronger in the Love duet and dark when she realizes what she's done...she's splendid." (Classics Today, 30 April 2009)
"Johan Botha (Lohengrin) and Adrianne Pieczonka (as Lohengrin's fatally curious bride) prove themselves ideal Wagnerians with their powerful, clarion-clear voices." (ClassicFM, June 2009)
"Adrianne Pieczonka, one of the top Wagnerian singers of our time, is in fabulous form as Elsa of Brabant in this majestic reading of Lohengrin." (Toronto Star, 12 May 2009)
"A glorious sense of line throughout the Act 2 duet between Adrianne Pieczonka's Elsa and Petra Lang's Ortrud." (Financial Times, 19 April 2009)
"...there is a radiance to much of [Adrianne Pieczonka's] singing." (Guardian, 15 May 2009)
On Friday, June 5 Adrianne's performance of TOSCA will be broadcast live and free to thousands of music-lovers in AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.
2009 marks the 5th year of this popular event where the audience can enjoy traditional baseball game fare of hot dogs, peanuts and garlic fries while listening to glorious opera. Last year 23,000 opera-lovers enjoyed the SF Opera presentation of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.
"Mr. Domingo was lucky to have a wonderful Sieglinde in the lovely Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who brought a gleaming voice, affecting vulnerability and exciting sensuality to her performance." (New York Times, April 29, 2009)
Watch for more reviews!
Awarded to Adrianne for her performance in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos in October 2008, the prize is one of Spain's most prestigious arts awards, determined by panel of Spanish critics and theatre representatives. The awards will be handed out at a special ceremony and concert in Oviedo on July 3, 2009. Other winners include Marcello Alvarez (2008 Best Male Opera Singer) and a special award to Christa Ludwig honouring her long and illustrious career.
"Adrianne Pieczonka sings the title role of Leonore with dramatic and musical purpose. Pieczonka, one of the top Wagner interpreters of our time, has an expressive, flexible, velvet-trimmed voice backed up by ample reserves of steely resolve. Every phrase is gorgeously shaped, every emotion conveyed with a minimum of fuss and maximum effect." (Toronto Star, 26 January 2009)
"Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka...has such deep resources (including a powerfully eloquent voice) for projecting an invented life." (Globe and Mail, 25 January 2009)
"Adrianne Pieczonka is superb as Leonore. ...full marks go to the flawless Pieczonka and Ketilsson." (Toronto Sun, 26 January 2009)
"Vocally and dramatically, Pieczonka
finds the woman behind the archetype." (NOW
magazine, 28 January 2009)
"Her elegant interpretation was the greatest distinction in this production." (El Correro)
"Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka is one of most important artists working today and her Ariadne was simply superb. Last July I wrote about her Ariadne in Munich (with Damrau as Zerbinetta) and I well remember the audience’s appreciation of both ladies. This performance equalled that of Munich. When Ariadne is sung with such beauty, and in such a natural way, everything seems to be so easy that the audience does not realize just how exceptional she is. Here we heard a truly wonderful performance from a great artist in her prime." (Seen and Heard International, 18 October 2008)
Adrianne's critically acclaimed debut as Tosca will be broadcast on both Radio-Canada's Espace Musique with Sylvia L'écuyer on October 11, and on CBC Radio 2's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on November 15. Check local listings for details.
"As Ariadne and the Prima Donna, Adrianne Pieczonka was completely convincing, growing stronger vocally from minute to minute, singing her final scenes with searing intensity." (Opera News, November 2008)
"Ariadne by contrast is one of Strauss's imperishable masterpieces, and Munich could hardly fail with the superbly cast ladies of Robert Carsen's new production: Adrianne Pieczonka's lyrical, brightly gleaming Prima Donna, Diana Damrau's dazzlingly sung Zerbinetta and Daniela Sindrams's painfully introverted but rapturously soaring composer."(The Sunday Times, 3 August 2008)
"Adrianne Pieczonka's singing was impeccably pure and iridescent vocally, the kind of silvery tone one imagines in the abstract for Strauss" (London Financial Times, 31 July 2008)
"And Adrianne Pieczonka embodied in voice and stature what the Composer, Poet and audience had anxiously awaited: with her elegant velvety soprano, she filled the theatre with her gleaming soaring sound which could also move with lightness and grace." (Münchner Merkur)
"Adrianne Pieczonka sang with a wonderfully clear sound, at times intimate at times generous with a round soaring Strauss line." (Die Welt)
" Canadian Adrianne Pieczonka sang Ariadne with a wonderfully warm timbre, full of colours..." (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 26 July 2008)
"…it was a triumph (for Diana Damrau), and no less for Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, another Bayerische Staatsoper favourite, who portrayed an particularly generous and touching Ariadne" (Cyberpress, 25 July 2008)
"Adrianne Pieczonka regally mastered the role of Ariadne with a touching nobility which was present even in the most delicate passages..." (Münchner AZ)
Festival première: Ariadne auf Naxos
The Bayerische Staatsoper new production of Ariadne auf Naxos Premières July 24th at the Prinzregententheater.
Staring Adrianne Pieczonka as Ariadne
Conductor: Kent Nagano
Live Radio Broadcast: Ariadne auf Naxos
On Thursday, July 24 at 7.00 p.m., the Radio Bavaria 4th Program will broadcast the première of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Adrianne stars as Elsa in a new recording of Lohengrin on the Hännsler label, due to be released in 2009 which also features Johan Botha as Lohengrin, Petra Lang as Ortrud, and Falk Struckmann as Telramund. Semyon Bychkov conducts the WDR Orchestra and Chorus.
Adrianne Pieczonka as Tosca with Juan Pons as Scarpia in the LA Opera production of Tosca, May 2008 (photo: Robert Millard)
"Pieczonka was consistently compelling, a popular and charmingly self-absorbed Tosca drawn, through her ignorance, into intrigues beyond her ken. Vocally, she delivered a full-bodied precision and effortless legato throughout the range. Her "Vissi d'arte" was strong and determined, yet wrung the heart. It was just the right mix of confidence and vulnerability." (Downtown LA News, 23 May 2008)
"The company's "Tosca" has been around. Ian Judge's regularly revived production is 19 years old and returns with its original tenor, Neil Shicoff, and veteran Juan Pons. But Tosca is new: Adrianne Pieczonka sang the role for the first time Saturday. The Canadian soprano will surely be singing it for a long time. She was radiant. (LA Times, 19 May 2008) Read more here
"Our Tosca, Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, was imperious and imposing, mercurial and gorgeous, impetuous and smitten. A Diva-in-Full. She has a creamy mid-range, a crystalline top, solid anchoring, she projects effortlessly, she's got power to burn. In a world in which the value of an extended ovation has seen continuous hyperinflation, the cheering she received for "Vissi d'arte" was fully earned. Desperate lyricism defined." (OC Register, 19 May 2008)
"HOW do you add sparkle to a fatigued operatic war horse? Bring out the jewelry and let it shine under the spotlight...
"To wear this talisman -- I have to pinch
myself," says soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who shares the role of
Tosca in this revival with Georgina Lukacs. "People were taken aback
by how bright they were during rehearsals. It doesn't bother me,
but I hope it won't be a distraction for the audience."" Read
the full LA Times article
See Adrianne in the beautiful jewels here
Adrianne speaks on the LA Opera podcast, Behind the Curtain, about her role debut as Tosca. "She describes this monumental moment in her career and why she chose LA Opera to make such an important step. She talks about her approach to Tosca and how she tackles the role’s most poignant passages."Listen to it here
Adrianne spoke with the Downtown LA News
about her role debut in Tosca.
"Blood, Passion and the Soprano. Why Adrianne Pieczonka Gets Emotional Over Puccini's Cinematic 'Tosca'" Read the full article
Beethoven: Ideals of the French Revolution
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Kent Nagano, Adrianne Pieczonka, Maximilian Schell
Original work written by author, critic, librettist, and musicologist Paul Griffiths as a tribute to Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, features the OSM and Kent Nagano
"Adrianne Pieczonka makes crystalline sounds" (The Montreal Gazette, 5 April 2008)
Buy or download the album here
".....with her lovely timbre, Adrianne Pieczonka sang movingly into the hearts of the Staatsoper audience" (Wiener Zeitung, 29 March 2008)
"Adrianne Pieczonka was the highlight of the evening. Her voice is equally at ease in the highest and lowest registers and her middle voice simply blooms. Her technique is flawless, and her clarity of text, her delicate "piani" are to be marveled at. We have not had such a wonderful Ariadne in a very, very long time. What a Strauss voice!" (Der Neue Merkur, 27 March 2008)
records have just released the Aldeburgh Connection's newest CD
called "Our own Songs" featuring commissioned works and various
Adrianne Pieczonka soprano, Monica Whicher
Elizabeth Turnbull mezzo, Colin Ainsworth tenor,
Mark Pedrotti baritone
Stephen Ralls & Bruce Ubukata pianos
This CD may be ordered from Marquis Classics
"The most impressive voice belonged to American [sic] soprano Adrianne Pieczonka. If Wagner could have a bel canto soprano, she was it, with a voice of an almost unearthly purity...her farewell to Brünnhilde (much of it lying down) was as thrilling as anything I have ever heard in Wagner. Her replacement for the last performances will be the great Deborah Voight, but I don’t see how she could be improved upon." (ConcertoNet, 8 January 2008)
"Adrianne Pieczonka...has a clear, silvery lyric sound that easily penetrates the orchestra, and her acting is forthright and altogether winning." (Associated Press, 8 January 2008)
"...the lustrous soprano Adrianne Pieczonka as Sieglinde." (New York Times, 9 January 2008)
"Adrianne Pieczonka [was] a strong, strikingly sensuous Sieglinde." (Time Out New York, 9 January 2008)
"Adrianne Pieczonka is a lovely Sieglinde, her voice as fresh and pliable as her youthful appearance." (Musical America, 9 January 2008)
"[Adrianne Pieczonka] was a touching, affecting Sieglinde, as well as a strong one. And she showed considerable musical smarts." (New York Sun, 9 January 2008)
"Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka was radiant as Sieglinde recognised and fell in love with Siegmund, the twin brother from whom she had been separated in childhood, and her voice was thrilling in the third act when, upon being told that she bears Siegmund's son, Sieglinde abandons her wish to die and beseeches Brünnhilde and her Valkyrie sisters to save her." (ClassicalSource, 14 January 2008)
"Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka offered an exquisitely musical Sieglinde." (Gay City News, 17 January 2008)
"...a strong-voiced Sieglinde." (New York Post, 9 January 2008)
"Clifton Forbis as Siegmund and Adrianne Pieczonka as Sieglinde were in radiant voice throughout." (New York Daily News, 8 January 2008)
"As the sibling lovers Siegmund and Sieglinde, Clifton Forbis and Adrianne Pieczonka were youthful and eminently watchable." (Bloomberg, 8 January 2008)
Ottawa, December 28, 2007....She is recognized "for her contributions as one of the top opera singers of her generation and as an artistic ambassador for Canada." Adrianne will be invited by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, to Rideau Hall to accept her insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.
The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour. Appointments are made on the recommendation of an Advisory Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada. The Governor General is Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order.
Kammersängerin Award from the Minister for Education, Arts and Culture, Dr. Claudia Schmied, 27 March 2007
Adrianne has been invested as the newest Austrian Kammersängerin - the highest award a singer can receive in Austria. The official ceremony took place in Vienna on March 27, 2007. Adrianne and tenor Michael Schade (who was also invested the same day) are the first Canadians to be given this honoured title.
Originally bestowed by the royal courts, the title "kammersänger", or chamber singer, is given by the Austrian government to distinguished singers who have made significant careers in Austria. On the recommendation of Ioan Holender, Director of the Vienna State Opera, Adrianne joins an illustrious list of "kammersängers" including Fritz Wunderlich, Edita Gruberova, Richard Tauber, José Carreras, and Placido Domingo.
Adrianne has appeared on the stage of the Vienna State Opera over 100 times.
Adrianne received her 1st JUNO nomination in the category of Classical Album Of The Year: Vocal or Choral Performance for her recording of arias by Wagner and Strauss.
Classical Music critic Robert Everett-Green
picked Adrianne for her banner year of successes, particularly for
her world-renowned performances as Sieglinde both in Bayreuth and
Find out more about Adrianne's spectacular year in the full article
ADRIANNE PIECZONKA TALKS ABOUT HER CAREER & BEING SIEGLINDE
ON THE COVER OF OPERA CANADA - September 2006 issue
In conversation with Toronto Star chief Music Critic John Terauds
About her phenomenal success as Sieglinde and her recital program with Robert Everett-Grenn of the Globe and Mail
“Canadian Adrianne Pieczonka was radiantly warm and elegant as the Feldmarschallin; her rich, glorious voice was totally natural with no operatic pretensions, just like her acting.” (American Record Guide, November-December 2007)
“Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, whose previous LAO appearances include Countess Almaviva and the Marschallin, was riveting in the Libera Me, singing with steely resolve and credibly portraying a character pleading for salvation. Throughout the Requiem, she displayed focused, gleaming tone, secure top notes and beautifully floated high pianissimos.” (Opera News, December 2007)
"Pieczonka's powerful soprano positively glowed with emotion and deep understanding, climaxing in an exquisitely phrased "Toi qui sous le néant." Pieczonka and Hendricks offered clear French diction and proved themselves natural, involving actors." (Opera News, January 2008)
"Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka was looking radiant and singing magnificently, developing the character of Elisabeth, Philip's reluctant young queen, visibly and touchingly." (The Globe & Mail, 15 October 2007)
"The undisputed vocal stars are soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, as Elisabeth, and bass-baritone Terje Stensvold, making his COC debut as Philippe II. Both had the vocal power and dramatic depth to shine in these difficult roles." (Toronto Star, 15 October 2007)
"Adrianne Pieczonka's feminine, radiant and musical Sieglinde proved an oasis of lyricism in a desert of high voices. " (Opera, November 2007)
"In this wonderful atmosphere, Sieglinde, radiantly portrayed by Adrianne Pieczonka, creates a very complete character , vigorous, not deprived of dreams, but with a fragility that is both passionate and real."(Altamusica, 10 August, 2007)
"The Rusalka excerpt (Song to the Moon) and the famous aria from Catalani's La Wally were sublime in a different way, so beautifully clear in sound and intention. Pieczonka is one of those singers whose invocation of the ideal values of her art somehow makes you feel like a better person, for participating even vicariously in that appeal." (Globe and Mail, 11 June 2007)
Last Updated: February 26, 2014