Praised as “the kind of performer who makes it all look easy,” Heather Buck has established herself internationally as a consummate singing actress, “combining agile, liquid soprano, a bright, natural stage presence, and the timing of an expert comedienne,” (Opera News). She performed as Lulu Baines in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera, which was recorded for the Naxos label (released in 2011), received two Grammy awards, and was voted No. 1 by Opera News “Best of the Year”.
In the 2016-17 season, Heather Buck is Ku in the world premiere of Prestini’s Gilgamesh with New York’s Beth Morrison Projects, Persephone in the world premiere of Julian Wachner’s Rev. 23 at Prototype Festival, soloist in Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 5 with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, and joins Opera America’s New Works Forum with performances at Town Hall, New York. In the summer of 2016, Heather Buck was soloist in the American premiere of Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen Mit Den Schwefelhölzern at Spoleto Festival USA, and in the 2015-16 season she reprised the Maid in Adès’ Powder Her Face with Bilbao’s Teatro Arriaga Antzokia. In the 2014-15 season, she returned to Nashville Opera as Musetta in La bohème, to Florentine Opera as Isabella Linton in Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights, sang Argento’s “Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night” with Odyssey Opera of Boston, and was soloist in Felder’s Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux and Saariaho’s Leino Songs with the Center for 21st Century Music (Buffalo and NYC).
In 2013-14 she created the role of Alma Beers in the world premiere of Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain with Teatro Real, Madrid (just released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques), debuted with Nashville Opera as Leila in Les pêcheurs de perles, with Pittsburgh Opera as La Princesse in Glass’ Orphée, sang Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte in a return to Virginia Opera, and reprised Carmina Burana with North Carolina Symphony. Recent engagements include a return to Virginia Opera as Leila in Les pêcheurs de perles; to Opera Naples as Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; reprising the role of Medea in Medeamaterial, by Dusapin with Teatr Wielki, Opera Naradowa (Warsaw, Poland); semi-staged productions of Jonathan Berger’s operas Theotokia and The War Reporter for Stanford Live; soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with American Symphony Orchestra at Bard College; and in works of Holliger and Schubert with the Riverside Symphony (NY).
Other highlights include La Princesse in her debut with Virginia Opera in Orphée; Hero in Béatrice et Bénédict in a return to Opera Boston; soloist in Medeamaterial, by Dusapin with Teatr Wielki, Opera Naradowa; Carmina Burana with North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, under Grant Llewellyn; soloist in a chamber version of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 at Yale University; her return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Nixon in China; her reprisal of Angel in Dusapin’s Faustus: The Last Night at the Concertgebouw; Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Toledo Opera; Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Columbus, also Indianapolis Opera; soloist with American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Fanny Mendelssohn’s Musik für die Toten der Cholera-Epidemie and Louis Spohr’s Die letzten Dinge;Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, also performed with American Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Leon Botstein); Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Toledo Opera; the title role in The Ballad of Baby Doe with Intermountain Opera; the title role in the American premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s monodrama Proserpina with Spoleto Festival USA; Gilda in Rigoletto with Nickel City Opera; Henry Cowell’s Atlantis with American Symphony Orchestra; Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Maria in West Side Story (both semi-staged), and as soloist in a concert titled Stars Under the Stars, all with Opera Naples; featured soloist in an evening of opera highlights with Kentucky Symphony Orchestra; Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with Florentine Opera; and Ännchen in Der Freischütz with Opera Boston.
On the concert stage she has performed songs by Thomas Larcher and George Crumb for the American Composers’ Forum; Previn’s Vocalise for Soprano, Solo Cello and Orchestra at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge in celebration of the composer’s 80th Birthday; soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics; in Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society and Pacific Symphony; Carmina Burana with San Antonio Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Jeptha with Choral Society of Durham; Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew at the White Nights Festival in Russia; and both Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mozart’s Requiem with Westchester Philharmonic. She has sung Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at the Bard Music Festival; Beethoven’s Die Ruinen von Athen with the American Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the National Arts Centre Orchestra; Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Baltimore Choral Arts Society; and the world premiere of Ezra Laderman’s Brotherly Love with the Philadelphia Singers.
Other successes include her English National Opera debut singing the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte; her returns to Opera Birmingham as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and to Arizona Opera as Queen of the Night; her first performances of Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Connecticut Opera; Valencienne in Die lustige Witwe with Florentine Opera; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images after Sappho with the Utah Symphony; Schubert’s Mass in E-flat with North Carolina Symphony; Bach’s Magnificat at Duke University; her debut with Central City Opera as La Fée in Cendrillon; her appearance as Angel in Pascal Dusapin’s Faustus, the Last Night in a return to Spoleto Festival USA; Iris in Semele with Arizona Opera; Laoula in L’Étoile with Opera Boston; Belinda in Dido and Aeneas in a re-engagement with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, also with the Spoleto Festival USA; Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice with Opera Birmingham; and as Stella in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Washington National Opera. She has performed the role of Queen of the Night with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Birmingham, Opera Delaware, Wolf Trap Opera, Calgary Opera, and for her Santa Fe Opera debut.
Heather Buck made her New York City Opera debut creating the title role in Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, for which New York City Opera presented her with the 2005 Kolozsvar Award, recognizing artists who excel at new and unusual repertory. She returned the following season as the Comtesse de Folleville in Il viaggio a Reims. Ms. Buck’s first performances of Maid in Thomas Ades’ Powder Her Face occurred at Aspen Opera Theater and she subsequently reprised the role with Brooklyn Philharmonic, at London’s Almeida Theatre, Opéra-Théâtre de Metz at the Aldeburgh Festival, and Boston Modern Opera Project. Other international credits include appearing with De Vlaamse Opera as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and with Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu as both Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos and First Niece in Peter Grimes. She also performed at the Britten-Pears School (UK) in the role of Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Ms. Buck holds a Master of Music degree from Yale, where she studied with Doris Yarick-Cross. She received her B.A. in music from Tufts University and a B.F.A. in studio art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
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