archive of soloists

Heather Engebretson

Heather Engebretson

Lyric soprano Heather Engebretson is becoming known throughout Europe for her "innate sense of phrasing and touching intensity," her "irresistible, seductive presence," and for her "nicely full-bodied, silvery" voice.


In 2016, Ms. Engebretson makes a return to the Royal Opera stage in the role of Sophie (Werther), which will also serve as her HD Cinema debut. Thereafter, Engebretson debuts as Liù (Turandot) for l'Opéra Royal de Wallonie Liège, and joins the solo ensemble of Staatsoper Hamburg. She will also return to Wiesbaden in the title role of La traviata and as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Other notable appearences in 2016-2017 include Engebretson's debut with the Hamburg Symphoniker in Mahler's Symphony Number Eight, her house debut with Opera Kassel as Konstanze, her house debut with West Green House Opera, and her house debut with Opera Stuttgart in the title role of Alcina.


Engebretson's future seasons include her first performances of the Heroines in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Donna Elvira and Mimi. Coming seasons will also see a return to the Dresdener Philharmonie and house debuts with Berlin's Komische Oper and with Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Engebretson made her debut with Royal Opera Covent Garden as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro). Other notable debuts in the 2015-2016 season included Frasquita (Carmen) for Staatsoper Hamburg and the soprano solo in Messiah with the Dresdener Philharmonie.

 Before joining the solo ensemble in Hamburg, Ms. Engebretson spent two seasons in the solo ensemble of Staatstheater Wiesbaden where she appeared in such diverse roles as Violetta in La traviata, the title role of Alcina, Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice) and Musetta in La bohème. Prior to her time in Wiesbaden, Ms. Engebretson was engaged by Staatsoper Hannover.

In the summer of 2012, Ms. Engebretson was the first place winner of Finland’s prestigious Savonlinna Opera Festival Competition.  She was also awarded the Sonderpreis der Oper Graz in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition, after which she appeared in concert at the Stadttheatre of Baden bei Wien.  In the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Engebretson’s appearences included her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut as the soprano soloist in Schubert’s G Major Mass, Gretel (Hansel und Gretel) with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the title role (cover) in The Cunning Little Vixen  at Juilliard, the soprano solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Kirchenmusik an St. Sebald in Nürnberg, and the soprano solo in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Virginia Consort.

The 2011-2012 season marked Ms. Engebretson’s debut with the Saint Louis Symphony as the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte) and Alice Tully Hall debut as soloist in Bach’s Magnificat. She appeared as Li in the American premiere of Kommilitonen! with Juilliard Opera in November, and covered the role of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Juilliard in April. Previously performed roles include Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), the Queen of the Night and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Grilletta (Lo Speziale), and Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors).

As a 2009 Crested Butte Music Festival young artist, Ms. Engebretson performed the role of Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro). She returned for the 2010 season to perform the roles of Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel) and Musetta (La bohème). In the 2011 season, Ms. Engebretson was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where she covered Yniold (Pelleas and Melisande).

In the spring of 2013, Ms. Engebretson earned a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Edith Wiens and coached with Steven Blier. Her studies at Juilliard were supplimented with frequent work with New York area coach Earl Buys.


Prior to her studies at Juilliard, Ms. Engebretson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied voice with Mary Schiller and violin with David Russell. While at CIM she also completed a minor in music theory.  An accomplished violinist, Ms. Engebretson has appeared on National Public Radio's From the Top, and studied with esteemed pedagogues Connie Heard and Robert Lipsett. Ms. Engebretson's studies were made possible in part by The Davidson Institute, by whom she was awarded the Davidson Institute Laureate Fellowship in 2006.

Ms. Engebretson still studies with world-renowned soprano Edith Wiens.