About Irene

American mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts brings her “plush, opulent voice” (San Jose Mercury News) to opera houses and concert stages across the country in the 2013-14 season, beginning with her house debut at New Orleans Opera where Roberts makes her role debut as Janthe in the company’s season-opening new production of Marschner’s Der Vampyr. The mezzo-soprano makes another major role debut this season when she embodies Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for her return to Palm Beach Opera. Roberts reprises her acclaimed portrayal of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia for her house debut at The Atlanta Opera – The Modesto Bee declared that “Irene Roberts is a delight as Rosina” in her most recent performance of the role. On the concert stage this season, Roberts delves into the music of Wagner for a concert at Duke University in December.

Wagner played an important role in Roberts’ 2012-13 season, as she made her debut in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series while performing in their new production of Parsifal opposite Jonas Kaufmann, Renè Pape and Peter Mattei, conducted by Daniele Gatti. Roberts was also seen at the Met last season in the final performances of Jonathan Miller’s beloved production of Le Nozze di Figaro and as Suzy (cover) in La Rondine. The northern-California native also made her debut with San Francisco Opera in their new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, for which the New York Times praised the “vocally plush and lovely mezzo-soprano” and led the San Francisco Chronicle to declare “Irene Roberts gave a fine, tonally resplendent company debut.” Roberts also made her debut with Miami’s New World Symphony.

Previous seasons have seen Roberts performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in a concert performance of Rigoletto conducted by Gustavo Dudamel; portraying Siébel in Lyric Opera Baltimore’s new production of Gounod’s Faust, for which Opera News and Baltimore Sun critic Tim Smith said: “Roberts excelled as Siébel, offering a rich, burnished tone and colorful nuances, both musical and dramatic, that helped flesh out the character greatly”; making her role debut in the titular role of Carmen in a performance the Fresno Bee called “first rate… an intriguing blend of sex and steely determination”; and singing Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Palm Beach Opera, where Roberts spent two years as a young artist and took 2nd prize in the Advanced Division at the 41st Annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition. Other roles in her repertoire include Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw, Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.