Madeline Bender was recently praised in Opera News for her “glowing, full-bodied lyric soprano” and “haunting timbre.” Recent performances include Violetta in La Traviata with Vancouver Opera; the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Birmingham; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Théâtre Du Capitole, Toulouse; Violetta in La traviata, and Elvira in L’Italiana in Algeri with Santa Fe Opera; Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and at La Monnaie in Brussels, Ippolito in Ippolito ed Aricia with Opéra de Montpellier, Violetta and Mimi in La bohème with Opera Birmingham, Ismene in Mitridate for the Châtelet, conducted by Christophe Rousset; Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and in Luxembourg, Tigrane in Radamisto with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Eurydice in a new Robert Wilson production of Orphée et Eurydice at the Théâtre du Châtelet, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, and the role of Sister in Kurt Weill’s Der Protagonist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis. In addition, she recently recorded Herbert’s Babes in Toyland and Kern’s Have a Heart, both under the direction of John McGlinn. She has appeared as Beauty in the world premiere of Paul Schoenfield’s The Merchant and the Pauper with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Micaela in Carmen and Pannotchka in Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night at the Sarasota Opera, Marzelline in Fidelio for Connecticut Grand Opera, Mimi for Capital City Opera, Valencienne in The Merry Widow for Opera Illinois, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte for Teatro Lirico d’Europa.
In demand as a concert soloist, she has sung the Bach B-minor Mass with the Handel & Haydn Society; the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a concert of operetta gems with the Saint Louis Symphony, Jack Everly conducting, a series of holiday concerts with the Saint Louis Symphony, Richard Hayman conducting, Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis, and concerts with the National Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Madeline Bender graduated from the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater where she first came to critical attention for her performances in Weber’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, The Coloratura in Weisgall’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Gontran in Chabrier’s Une Education manquée, and Serafina in Donizetti’s Il campanello di notte. She appeared as Dectora in the world premiere of David Gilbert’s I Follow the Grey Wings at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. Ms. Bender is a winner of the 1995 Amadeus Fund Grant, the Judith Raskin Memorial Award from the Santa Fe Opera Apprenticeship program, and was a 1996 finalist in the George London Competition, and the 1996 recipient of Manhattan School of Music’s Richard F. Gold Career Award Grant and Master of Music Degree. During the summer of 1998, she was an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera.