VALERIE GIRARD, SOPRANO
New York, NY Soprano Valerie Girard was born in New York and began her vocal studies with tenor Felix Knight. After finishing her musical education in New York (among others as full-scholarship student to the American Opera Center of the Juilliard School), and honored with many prizes from notable American competitions, she came to Europe: first to the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera, and then as leading lyric-coloratura soprano at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, one of Germany's most prestigious opera houses, where she sang over 22 major roles.
Later she joined the ensemble of the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, this time as lirico-spinto soprano with roles including the title role in Strauss' "Arabella", Antonia in "The Tales of Hoffmann" and Lisa in Pique Dame." She was also featured as soloist with the Staatskapelle Weimar in Verdi's "Requiem" and Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs."
As guest artist, Ms. Girard was also featured in leading roles with the Semperoper in Dresden, the Aalto Theater in Essen, the Frankfurt Opera and the Stuttgart Opera, the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, the Marseille Opera and in the USA with the Wolf Trap Festival, the Michigan Opera Theater and the New York City Opera.
As concert soloist, she sang with symphony orchestras in major European cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, the Ottorino Respighi Music Festival in Assisi, the Festival for Early Music in Innsbruck and with the Konzertverein in Vienna, Austria. Valerie Girard was also chosen as featured Mozart soprano for the International Mozart Festival in Prague and for the most important Mozart Gala of the year in the country of Guatemala in 2006.
She has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Florence and in most of the large cultural centers in Germany. In the United States, she was concert soloist at the Ravinia Festival, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the New York Choral Society, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Ensemble.
She has been featured in radio broadcasts in both Europe and the USA and can also be heard on CD recordings including "Mozart Concert Arias" and Ravel's "Scheherazade".
She is the founder and artistic director of "Camerata di Colombaia", a summer music festival located in the Casentino valley surrounded by the Apennine Mountains. She has taught vocal technique and its application in repertoire privately in the USA, Italy and Germany, as well as on the faculty of the University of Koblenz. She is also the director of "Casentino Voice" a summer program for classical singers and is available to do masterclasses internationally.