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Amy HansenEarly years – the Chintimini Connection

While growing up in Corvallis, Amy studied with Karen Knutson and took State honors. She attended Oberlin College Conservatory, graduating with honors. After studies at Indiana University, she concertized extensively as a resident artist with Portland Opera 1996-98. For Opera Theatre Corvallis she was Norina in Don Pasquale and Adele in Die Fledermaus. Local audiences remember also her Portland Opera performance as Despina in Così fan tutte, which received lavish praise from the Portland critics.
Amy was a Metropolitan Opera Auditions regional finalist, Ellen Faull Gordon vocal competition winner, Eleanor Lieber Awards winner, and Petri grant recipient. She especially enjoys championing 20th Century music, having performed works by Crumb, Henze, and newer American composers. She sang Pat Nixon in the Midwest premiere of Adams’ Nixon in China at Indiana University, of which the British journal Opera said Hansen “sang Pat Nixon, purse dangling from her arm, with sweetness, handling the high tessitura breezily.”

Soprano Amy Hansen’s lithe, exquisite voice and breath-taking acting have won her acclaim on operatic and symphonic stages alike. Opera Canada wrote of her title role performance with Calgary Opera, “Hansen was the complete Lakmé…she encompassed the virtuoso writing with ease, the top of her voice radiant, her lyrical singing meltingly beautiful…her acting pointed and convincing at every turn.”

amy-hansen-2017aAfter her appearance as a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center, the Washington Post reported “[the National Symphony Orchestra] accompanied soprano Amy Hansen, who lavished impressive coloratura skills on arias of Mozart …” The Oregonian called her “stellar,” “adorable,” and, when she debuted with the Oregon Symphony, “Hansen sang the wickedly high “Queen of the Night” aria with poise and drama… she absolutely nailed the infamous high F’s… and the audience loved her.

Ms. Hansen’s contagious joy and effortless beauty continue to make her an audience favorite, hailed as “electrifying,” her voice “clear yet rich and vibrant,” and her favorite appellation: “a Helen Hunt with pipes.” Concert highlights include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Oregon Symphony and opera arias with the New Israeli Opera Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Vermont Symphony.

Ms. Hansen’s operatic roles include Leila in Pearl Fishers and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Edmonton Opera (“… Amy Hansen’s coloratura is silver and crystal in Donna Anna’s grieving arias.”  Edmonton Journal), Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, Marguerite in Faust, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Anina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Norina in Don Pasquale, Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, Gretel in Hansel & Gretel, Die Zauberflöte’s Queen of the Night with the National Philharmonic, and Despina in Portland Opera and Brooklyn Philharmonic productions of Così fan tutte. “But the prize of the evening goes to Hansen’s adorable Despina…Hansen delivered splendidly…” Willamette Week.

amyHer exciting career has taken her across the United States, Europe and Asia, where she has graced the stages of the National Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., North Carolina Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, Taiwan National Theater, Tel Aviv Theater, Teatro di Urbania, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Michigan Opera and Sacramento Opera among others.

Here in Oregon, you may have heard Ms. Hansen singing soprano solos for Mozart’s Requiem, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Verdi’s Requiem, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She is regularly featured at the Astoria Music Festival, with Salem’s Masterworks Chorale and Festival Chorale. Perhaps you saw Ms. Hansen performing with the Oregon Symphony, the Eugene Symphony, Portland Opera, Third Angle, the Portland Symphonic Choir, at the Cascade Festival of Music, or Portland’s Festa Italiana. For Portland Summerfest’s Opera in the Park, in the Washington Park Rose Garden, her roles include Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, Micaela in Carmen, and Adele in Die Fledermaus. She has enjoyed singing with Opera Theater Corvallis, Rogue Valley Opera, at Mt. Angel Abbey and River Rhythms at Monteith Park.

amyRecitals of art song are one of Ms. Hansen’s favorite ways of connecting with her audience. In support of the Friends of Chamber Music, she has given a performance of Richard Strauss songs as well as a Scandinavian Schubertiade, featuring songs by Sibelius and Grieg, and lesser known but gorgeous songs by Stenhammar and Peterson-Berger. As a child, she lived with her family in Brazil, where she learned to speak Portuguese and enjoy the beautiful melancholy culture. She also studied Russian and enjoys singing songs and arias by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky. Collaborating with lutenist Hideki Yamaya, she has championed earlier works by composers such as Dowland, William and Henry Lawes, Rossiter, Morley, Campion, and Spanish composers Briceño, Durón, Mudarra and de Fuenllana. Of course, she has performed many recitals of more traditional repertoire, including Schubert, Schumann and Mahler lieder, Debussy and Milhaud chansons and songs of Purcell, Handel, Haydn and Mozart. The more obscure Villa-Lobos portuguese songs, Manuel de Falla French songs, and film composer Erich Korngold’s exquisite song repertoire hold her fascination. Ensemble recitals are great fun – Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, a performance with friends of The Complete Works of Clara Schumann, and the vigorous Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer are a few she’s shared.

amyMs. Hansen graduated with honors from Oberlin College Conservatory and, after graduate studies at Indiana University, concertized extensively as a resident artist with the Portland Opera. She lived in New York City, working with the Metropolitan Opera, but now she is happily returned to Oregon.

“Hansen sang the wickedly high “Queen of the Night” aria with poise and drama” Oregonian 9/24/98 Soloist with Oregon Symphony

“Soprano Amy Hansen (Despina) was a refreshing oasis of vocal and histrionic nuance. Her voice was the smallest of the cast, but even in a 3,000-seat theater, her singing made the most impact, and her characterization was the most vivid.” Mark Mandell, Opera News