Critically acclaimed soprano Rochelle Bard has been described as an ‘exquisite singing actress, brilliant and heartbreaking.’ Ms. Bard recently performed her second Donizetti queen Maria Stuarda, as well as her debut as Norma, for which critics proclaimed her:
"beautifully constructed and achingly gorgeous delivery, at times soft as a whisper, and at others thrilling in its altitude.
She carried off the dramatic contrast between the grandeur of confident matriarchal strength and the rage of a spurned woman with as much believability as can be wrung out of the role."
The much-anticipated 2022-23 season begins with the debut role of warrior princess Odabella in Attila with Sarasota Opera, followed a return to the role of the intense daughter of Nabucco, Abigaille, with a house debut with Opera Ithaca in November. Ms. Bard returns to the pinnacle role of Norma, with Opera Tampa in Feb 2023, with a stunning ensemble cast under the baton of Jorge Parodi. Looking ahead to 2024, she will debut as the soprano soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.
2019 included exciting role debuts as Abigaille in Nabucco with Sarasota Opera and the title role in Aida with Washington Opera Society, along with a company debut with Hawaii Opera Theater in the title role of Tosca.
Previously, she performed her first Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Tampa, covered the title role in Norma with
Sarasota Opera, and performed the title role in Tosca with Opera Theater of CT. Recent performances also include the ruthless
Lady Macbeth in Macbeth in Middlebury, Vermont, and Tosca with MidAtlantic Opera and in concert in Boston. She debuted
the ill-fated Donizetti queen Maria Stuarda, the title role in Norma, as well as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera,
and performed Violetta in La Traviata with Opera Company of Middlebury and Shreveport Opera. She was also the cover for Ms. Mariella Devia as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
In concert, Ms. Bard performed excerpts from Esclarmonde, Norma, Adriana Lecouvreur, Semiramide, and Maria Stuarda,
where she was described as ‘stunning’ and ‘exquisitely gorgeous.’ At Lincoln Center, Ms. Bard was the soprano
soloist in Carmina Burana in a wonderful production with dancers from Alvin Ailey. She has performed a concert of arias with the Opera Orchestra of New York under the baton of maestro Eve Queler and has also been a soloist on the mainstage of
Carnegie Hall in Mozart’s Vespers and Requiem. Ms. Bard has been the soprano soloist in the Mozart Requiem with the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and in Beethoven’s 9th, Rachmaninoff Vocalise, Exsultate Jubilate, and Bachianas Brasileiras with
various orchestras including Tanglewood and the Hartford Symphony. She has been recognized with prestigious awards from
various competitions including Gerda Lissner, George London, the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Licia Albanese-Puccini, and the Seoul International Competition.
"Bard became Violetta by not only convincing acting, she incorporated the character and her joys and woes into her vocal delivery, much in the way that made Maria Callas a legend."
Additional opera roles include the tour de force performance of the heroines Olympia/ Antonia/ Giulietta/ Stella in Les
Contes d'Hoffmann. She has performed the title role in The Merry Widow with Opera Tampa and Utah Festival Opera; as well
as Magda in La Rondine with Opera Tampa under the baton of Maestro Anton Coppola; the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor
with Opera Idaho and Opera San Jose; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Utah Festival Opera; and Musetta in La Boheme
with Sacramento Opera. As the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Boston Lyric Opera, she was deemed by Opera News to be
‘a deliciously evil enchantress.’
Jim Lowe, Vermont Today
Described as 'stunningly poignant' as Violetta in La Traviata, critics declared ‘Bard became Violetta by not only convincing acting, she incorporated the character and her joys and woes into her vocal delivery, much in the way that made Maria Callas a legend.’
NORMA in Norma with Knoxville Opera.
As Abigaille in Nabucco, critics proclaimed: ‘The star of the night was the Abigaille of Rochelle Bard. Her arias were simply
sensational.Ms. Bard’s soprano was both dazzling and stunning, a brilliant meteor that beguiles and fiercely taunts. She has a
very rare talent combined with instinct that will place her in the pantheon of the very greatest of the great.’‘Bard ably navigates the coloratura demands yet achieves a threatening edge in the lower range, which is where she spends her time with
vengeance.’ As the title role in Maria Stuarda, ‘Bard’s performance exemplified the gentle nuance and outward clarity of a
heroine in true bel canto style, while reserving startling power and strength for the inevitable conflict. Her performance revealed a leading lyrical edge to her voice that is not only gorgeously crystalline but also has stunning depth. In her confrontation scene with Elizabeth, Bard’s dramatic power emerged as she hurls a “vil bastarda” at Elizabeth as if it were a dagger.’ As Tosca,
‘Bard’s large, rich soprano proves a match for Scarpia, and her delivery of Vissi d’arte was absolutely magical. The sheer
beauty of her voice, coupled with impressive control on high pianissimo notes, raises goosebumps.’
As the four heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, ‘Bard’s transformative ability is uncanny — I had to double check the program to make sure that they were all the same woman. Her appearance, her acting and singing were adjusted, in each case resulting in an astonishing display of versatility.’
A recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Music from her alma mater the College of the Holy Cross, Ms. Bard also earned a
Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory. A pianist before finding her classical voice, she is also the Music Director of St. Thomas & St. Timothy Parish in West Hartford, CT.
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