Praised by Opera News as “the kind of performer who makes it all look easy,” Heather Buck is best described by opera critic David Shengold as “a lithe and impactful actress with an uncommonly beautiful soprano for the high-lying and testing repertory she serves.” In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Buck returns to New York City Opera for a reprisal of the title role in Argento’s monodrama Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night, and Alma Beers in Wouronin’s Brokeback Mountain, a role she first created with Teatro Real Madrid. She returns to Odyssey Opera as Joan of Arc in a semi-staged performance of Dello Joio’s The Trial at Rouen, and also retuns to Virginia Opera as Tytania in A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
In the 2016-17 season, Ms. Buck made her LoftOpera debut in a staged production of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, for which the New York Times wrote, “Ms. Buck was wonderful, her vocalism soaring, strong and pure,” and the Observer hailed her as “an astonishing actress with the face of the young Katharine Hepburn.” She also created the role of Ku in Paola Prestini’s Gilgamesh with Beth Morrison Projects, and Persephone in Wachner’s Rev. 23 at Prototype Festival. Ms. Buck sang as soloist in Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 5, with both the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center and Trinity Church Wall Street, and she joined Opera America’s New Works Forum at New York’s Town Hall. Ms. Buck recently sang in Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children and the American premiere of Lachenmann’s The Little Match Girl at Spoleto Festival USA, and she reprised the Maid in Adès’ Powder Her Face with Teatro Arriaga Antzokia, Bilbao. She first performed the Maid for its American stage permiere with Aspen Opera Theater, and reprised the role with Brooklyn Philharmonic, Almeida Theatre (London), Aldeburgh Festival, Boston Modern Opera Projects, Opéra-Théâtre de Metz, and additionally filmed it for the BBC.
An exemplary interpreter of contemporary and modern repertoire, Ms. Buck received critical acclaim for her performance in Spoleto Festival USA’s American premiere of Walfgang Rihm’s monodrama Proserpina, which the Wall Street Journal described as “a vocal roller coaster, just over an hour long, in which the soprano never gets a break.” She created the title role in Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories (NYCO), and also performed Isabella Linton in the world premiere recording of Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights (Florentine Opera), La Princesse in Glass’ Orphée(Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera), Stella in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Washington National Opera), Medea in Dusapin’s Medeamaterial (Teatr Wielki), the Angel in the U.S. premiere of Dusapin’s Faustus: The Last Night (Spoleto Festival USA, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw), joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Nixon in China, and performed Lulu Baines in Florentine Opera’s Grammy awarded Elmer Gantry.
Heather Buck’s versatility allows her to shine equally in traditional repertoire. Of her debut performance with English National Opera in Die Zauberflöte, The Times of London wrote “The American soprano Heather Buck is quite a find as the Queen of Night: statuesque of bearing, surefire in the vocal stratosphere, and a powerfully ambiguous presence.” She has sung Queen of the Night with Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Calgary Opera, Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Birmingham, Opera Delaware, and Wolf Trap Opera. Other roles include Musetta (La bohème), Leïla (Les pêcheurs de perles), Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Gilda (Rigoletto), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Baby Doe (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Comtesse de Folleville (Il viaggio a Reims), and La Fée (Cendrillon).
As concert performer, Ms. Buck was soloist at the Beijing Summer Olympics, sang the world premiere of Laderman’s Brotherly Love with the Philadelphia Singers, sang the U.S. premiere of Saariaho’s Leino Songs with the American Composers Orchestra, and performed Felder’s Les Quatre Temps Cardinaux with the Center for 21st Century Music’s June in Buffalo festival. She has also sung Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (American Symphony Orchestra), Previn’s Vocalise for Soprano, Solo Cello and Orchestra (New York’s Le Poisson Rouge), Handel’s Jeptha (Choral Society of Durham), Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew (White Nights Festival in Russia), Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mozart’s Requiem (Westchester Philharmonic), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images after Sappho (Utah Symphony), Druckman’s Counterpoise (Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group), Carmina Burana (North Carolina Symphony, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra), and Messiah (Handel and Haydn Society, Pacific Symphony).