Pace, pace mio dio! - Verdi's La Forza del Destino
Mařenka's Aria - Smetana's The Bartered Bride
Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for a “winningly liquid” voice as well as for her “dramatic vividness and vocal flourish,” Santa Fe native Rena Harms recently brought her signature role of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly to productions at English National Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In the 2022-23 season, she made a role and company debut as the Stepmother in Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella with Opera San Jose. The artist returns to OSJ for Tosca. During the pandemic, Ms. Harms joined Avaloch Farms as an artist-in-residence, culminating in a 2020 recital tour. Recent performances include the Grand Théâtre de Genève for Wagner’s Ring cycle, covering the title role in Korngold’s rarely performed opera Das Wunder der Heliane with Bard SummerScape, and a collaboration with Peter DiMuro’s Public Displays of Motion dance company for a site-specific performance with Now + There, as well as an appearance at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Her performance as Nell Gwynn in the regional premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players at Florentine Opera was recorded live for international release and received a Grammy nomination.
Ms. Harms’ “breathtaking intensity” (NDR Kultur) was on display in her French debut as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra at Opéra National de Bordeaux, and her Florentine Opera debut as Beatrice in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. She also reprised her interpretation of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Opera Santa Barbara, a role she has performed in Milwaukee, Basel, and San Francisco.
Ms. Harms joined the Seattle Symphony as the soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and Opera America for their New Works Sampler, and Seattle Opera for Don Giovanni. She has appeared as Helmwige in Die Walküre with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Desdemona in Otello with the Oldenburgishes Staatstheater, and as the title role in Sigfried Matthus’ Judith with Staatstheater Braunschweig and Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg. Additional credits include the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus covering Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Florentine Opera as Micaëla in Carmen and Liù in Turandot, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte for Staatstheater Braunschweig. She sang the title role of Fibich’s Sárka, Marenka in The Bartered Bride, and Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, all in new productions with Staatstheater Braunschweig.
Ms. Harms made her English National Opera debut as Amelia in a new Dmitri Tcherniakov production of Simon Boccanegra and joined Theater Basel for Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the High Priestess in Calixto Bieito's Aida, and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. In the U.S. performances include Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara and Opera Southwest as well as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Ericlea in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Wolf Trap Opera. She sang Mimì in La bohème with Los Angeles Opera, where she was a member of the company’s prestigious Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. With that same company, she sang Barena in Jenufa, Erste Magd in Der zerbrochene Krug and Zweite Magd in Der Zwerg in a double bill conducted by James Conlon and released on DVD, Sylvaine in The Merry Widow, as well as their Grammy Award-winning production of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Ms. Harms was a participant in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and was a proud member of the apprentice artist program at Santa Fe Opera.
On the concert stage, Ms. Harms recently made her Mexican debut with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica Simón Bolívar in a program of opera arias, and sang Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Burbank Philharmonic and Santa Fe Community Orchestra. She twice joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a series of concerts for children, and was the soprano soloist with Music Academy of the West for Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Ms. Harms was a previous Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, winner of the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition, second-prize winner of the Marcello Viotti International Vocal Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, and recipient of an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music and attended the Music Academy of the West, where she was awarded a merit fellowship.