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 has recently brought her signature role of Cio-Cio-San to Madame Butterfly productions at English National Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In the 2018/19 season, Ms. Harms returns to the Grand Théâtre de Genève for its Ring cycle, and collaborates 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 will be recorded live for international release.
Ms. Harms’ “breathtaking intensity” (NDR Kultur) was on display in her recent French debut as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra at Opéra National de Bordeaux, and in her return to Florentine Opera for her role debut as Beatrice in Heggie’s Three Decembers. She also brought her celebrated Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, a role she has performed in Milwaukee, Basel, and San Francisco, to Opera Santa Barbara.
Ms. Harms recently 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 also appeared as Helmwige in Die Walküre with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, as Desdemona in Otello with the Oldenburgishes Staatstheater, and as the title role in Sigfried Matthus’ Judith with Staatstheater Braunschweig and Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg. Previously, she joined the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus to cover Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Florentine Opera as Micaëla in Carmen and Liù in Turandot, and Staatstheater Braunschweig as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. 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., her other recent performances include Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Santa Barbara and Opera Southwest as well as first performances of 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. Also with the company, she sang Barena in Jenufa, Erste Magd in Der zerbrochene Krug, along with Zweite Magd in Der Zwerg in a double bill conducted by James Conlon, and Sylvaine in The Merry Widow, in addition to joining the company for its Grammy Award-winning production of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. She also sang Nedda in Pagliacci in performances featuring the resident artists as well as Antonia in excerpts of Les contes d’Hoffmann. Ms. Harms was a participant in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program where she sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the title role in excerpts of Arabella in concert. As an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera, she sang Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Barena in Jenufa in the company’s scenes program.
On the concert stage, Ms. Harms recently made her Mexican debut with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica Simón Bolívar with a program of opera arias, and has sung Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Burbank Philharmonic and Santa Fe Community Orchestra. She has also twice joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a series of concerts for children and the Music Academy of the West Orchestra for Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Ms. Harms was a 2010 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the winner of the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition, received second prize in the Marcello Viotti International Vocal Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, and received an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music and attended the Music Academy of the West, where she was awarded a merit fellowship.