18 to Watch: Heidi Stober
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18 to Watch: Heidi Stober

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© Simon Pauly

HEIDI STOBER'S lustrous voice sounds custom-made for almost everything she sings—and she sings almost everything. Audiences across the U.S. and Europe have heard the Wisconsin-born soprano in roles ranging from Susanna, Semele, Adina, Micaela and Gretel to Ada in Theodore Morrison’s Oscar, Magnolia in Show Boat and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. Stober’s instrument is the type of distinctly American lyric soprano that makes the rest of the world listen.

Few singers of her generation have achieved Stober’s level of stateside success; fewer still have also opted to commit to a fest contract with a European house. In 2008, Stober began a residency with Deutsche Oper Berlin and established the German capital as her home base. A decade later, Stober remains a regular at the West Berlin house, singing Donna Elvira, Pamina, Oscar and Marguerite while also sojourning across the rest of Europe and the U.S. in principal roles. This month, you can catch her Zdenka in San Francisco, and next month she adds another role to her repertoire when she sings Antigone in George Enescu’s Oedipe in Amsterdam. 

Stober’s interpretive prowess finds its purest expression in Pamina, a role that she’s sung countless times in major international and U.S. houses, in both German and English. Her approach to the character, as related to OPERA NEWS in 2014, neatly sums up the soprano’s strategy for her whole career. “You have to be very, very clean, and you can’t mess around—you can’t fuss with it. It’s really true, pure technique, and I think that’s just wonderful.” —A.W.



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