In her home state of Utah, Ms. Shafer frequently performs with the Utah Symphony & Opera where she appears this season as Rosina in their staging of Il barbiere di Siviglia. She returns to the Phoenix Symphony for performances of Carmina Burana with music director Michael Christie and to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for Bach’s Mass in B Minor led by music director Robert Spano.
Some of her operatic highlights include Johanna in Sweeney Todd for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Aithra in Die ägyptische Helena with the American Symphony Orchestra recorded for Telarc, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Concertgebouw, Nanetta in Falstaff with the Los Angeles Opera, and Gilda in Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera. She has returned several times to the Santa Fe Opera, most recently as Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring.
As Marie in La fille du régiment with Cincinnati Opera, she was hailed for her “agile coloratura” and “ravishing tone” (The Cincinnati Post). In Die Fledermaus, her performance was “the embodiment of Viennese style and the binding ingredient of the production” (The Vancouver Sun). For her role in Die ägypstiche Helena, Ms. Shafer “was brilliant as Aithra, a sorceress, singing with bright, focused sound and utter confidence.” (The New York Times)
Guest Artist, International Opera Star
After two summers as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, the career of Soprano Celena Shafer was launched to critical raves as Ismene in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto. Anne Midgette in the New York Times wrote, “It takes the debutante Celena Shafer, an alumna of the apprentice program here, to show how it should be done, singing the Oriental princess Ismene with flair, vocal balance and great cadenzas.”
Since that breakthrough debut, Ms. Shafer has garnered acclaim for her silvery voice, fearlessly committed acting and phenomenal technique. She spends much of her time on the concert stage where she appears regularly with orchestras in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and with leading conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Alan Gilbert, Loren Maazel, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas McGegan, Kent Nagano, Donald Runnicles, Michael Tilson Thomas and David Robertson and Sir Andrew Davis.