Artist of the Week: Ellie Dehn Makes Role Debut as ‘Manon’

By David Salazar

It will be a fun week for Ellie Dehn. A few months ago, soprano Nadine Sierra was slated to be the artist to lead the San Francisco Opera’s new production of “Manon.”

But Sierra pulled out of the role and Dehn was called upon to take the torch of one of the hardest roles in the lyric soprano repertoire. It will also be Dehn’s first run of performances in the role.

Dehn is no stranger to San Francisco audiences, having been showcased in a run of performances of Puccini’s “La Bohème” during the 2016-17 season. She earned raves for her interpretation of Musetta, the San Francisco Chronicle noting that she put on a “sumptuous, sparkling turn as the sexually irresistible Musetta—her Act 2 rendition of the showpiece ‘Quando me’n vo’ was as joyous and witty as ever.”

In addition to her great success in San Francisco, the soprano has appeared at major houses around the world including, London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera and Naples’ Teatro di San Carlo, among others.

Among her many career highlights are her debut at Covent Garden as Countess Almaviva in a new production of “Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni” with the Metropolitan Opera, Alice Ford in Verdi’s “Falstaff” with San Diego Opera, and her debut at La Scala as Antonia in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.”

Her career got a boost when she was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions in 2005. She was also featured on Garrison Keillor’s famed “A Prairie Home Companion” as a special guest on multiple occasions.

After “Manon,” the soprano is slated for a run of performances of Handel’s “Messiah” in New York City and Florida before taking on Musetta at the Teatro di San Carlo. She will also sing “Don Giovanni” in Dallas next spring.

She appeared on a recording of Saint-Saëns’ “Henry VIII,” conducted by Leon Botstein.


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