Artistic Director: Career highlights have included Abigaille in NABUCCO and Lucrezia in I DUE FOSCARI with the Teatro alla Scala; Abigaille in NABUCCO and the title role in TOSCA with the Arena di Verona; Odabella in ATTILA and Lina in STIFFELIO with the Teatro alla Fenice; Leonora in IL TROVATORE with the Vienna State Opera; the title role in TOSCA, Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, Odabella in ATTILA, and Herodias in SALOME with New York City Opera; Lady Macbeth in MACBETH with the Teatro Massimo Bellini (Catania), the Teatro Municipal (Santiago), and L’Opéra de Montréal; Abigaille in NABUCCO with the Teatro Massimo Bellini, the Teatro de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), the Teatro Municipal, L’Opéra de Montréal, the Herodiade Amphitheater (Athens), and also in Naples, Ravenna, and Marseille; Odabella in ATTILA in Nîmes and Nice; the title role in GIOVANNA D’ARCO in Verona; the title role in TURANDOT with Portland Opera; the title roles in TOSCA and JENUFA with the Opernhaus Zürich; Maddalena de Coigny in ANDREA CHÉNIER with New Orleans Opera; Herodias in SALOME with Kentucky Opera; and the Mother Abbess in THE SOUND OF MUSIC with Tulsa Opera. Concert highlights have included Abigaille in NABUCCO with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; Sieglinde in DIE WALKÜRE with L’Orchestre Métropolitain; Brünnhilde in SIEGFRIED with the Nashville Symphony; the VERDI REQUIEM with the London Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra; and Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY with the Teatro alla Fenice. Ms Roark-Strummer is currently Co-director of LAND OF ENCHANTMENT OPERA INSTITUTE in Gallup, New Mexico. She has also joined Marco Oswald as a teaching assistant and has successfully produced professional singers across Europe and North America.
In Europe, Ms. Roark Strummer has appeared at the Vienna State Opera as Leonora in IL TROVATORE, and at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala as Abigaille in Nabucco (debut) and as Lucrezia in I DUE FOSCARI. At the Arena di Verona she was awarded the Zenatello D’Argento award as debutante of the year when she first appeared as Abigaille in NABUCCO and, as TOSCA, she was compared by critics to the great Caniglia:
“Roark-Strummer has brought back the character [of Tosca] in the highest dramatic tradition (that which in her time, as a point of reference, Caniglia did), displaying the gifts of a profound actress by surrendering herself almost spasmodically to the most hidden details. Almost a revelation, and a personal – therefore more than legitimate – success.” Bruno Moreschi for Verona’s L’Arena.
At the Teatro alla Fenice in Venice, Ms. Roark-Strummer has appeared as Odabella in a new production of ATTILA (her debut, to be followed by two subsequent re-engagements in the same role) and as Lina in STIFFELIO. She debuted at the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania as Lady Macbeth in MACBETH, and returned shortly thereafter as Abigaille in NABUCCO; at the Arena de Nîmes and the Théâtre de l’Opéra de Nice as Odabella in ATTILA; in Athens (at the Herodiade Amphitheater), Bilbao, Naples, Ravenna, Trieste, and Marseille as Abigaille in NABUCCO; in Verona and Brescia in the title role of GIOVANNA D’ARCO; in Las Palmas as Lucrezia in I DUE FOSCARI; and in London as soprano soloist in the VERDI REQUIEM with the London Philharmonic conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini.
In South America, she has appeared at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Abigaille in NABUCCO and at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, as both Abigaille in NABUCCO and Lady Macbeth in MACBETH. At the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, she has appeared as Abigaille in NABUCCO.
In New York, Ms. Roark-Strummer has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti as Abigaille in NABUCCO (PBS broadcast), and with Opera Orchestra of New York under Eve Queler as Krasava in Smetana’s LIBUSE (PBS broadcast). With New York City Opera, she has appeared as Odabella in ATTILA (NYCO debut / with Samuel Ramey, conducted by Christopher Keene); again as Odabella in ATTILA and a return engagement (with John Cheek); in the title role of TOSCA; as Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST; as Fata Morgana in the Corsaro/Sendack production of Prokofiev’s THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES; as Katisha in the highly acclaimed Jonathan Miller production of THE MIKADO; and as the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL.
Elsewhere in North America and abroad, she has appeared as Abigaille in NABUCCO with L’Opéra de Montréal, Opera Hamilton, Manitoba Opera, Calgary Opera, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera, Connecticut Opera, Opera Columbus, and Baltimore Opera; as Lady Macbeth in MACBETH with Opera Columbus, New Orleans Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal, Opera Hamilton, and Manitoba Opera; as Lucrezia in I DUE FOSCARI with Opera Hamilton (to be followed by a subsequent re-engagement in the same role); as Leonora in IL TROVATORE with Florentine Opera, Calgary Opera, and Landestheater Linz; as Leonora in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO with Landestheater Linz; in the title role of TURANDOT with Portland Opera; in the title role of TOSCA with Atlanta Opera, New Orleans Opera, Florentine Opera, Manitoba Opera, and the Opernhaus Zürich (conducted by Nello Santi); in the title role of NORMA with Opera Hamilton; in the title role of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with Florentine Opera; as Maddalena de Coigny in ANDREA CHÉNIER with New Orleans Opera and Florentine Opera; as Mère Marie in LES DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES with Portland Opera and Landestheater Linz; as Donna Elvira in DON GIOVANNI with Orlando Opera and Landestheater Linz; as Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST with Tulsa Opera and Landestheater Linz; and in the title role of JENUFA with the Opernhaus Zürich (conducted by Christian Thielemann).
Concert engagements in North America and abroad have included the VERDI REQUIEM with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. and at Wolf Trap, and also with the Festival de Lanaudier under Semyon Veckstein (CBC broadcast); the MOZART REQUIEM with the Österreichisches Rundfunkorchester (ORF); the BRAHMS REQUIEM with the ORF (with bass soloist Karl Ridderbusch); BEETHOVEN’S NINTH SYMPHONY with the Bruckner Orchestra and with the Teatro alla Fenice Orchestra under Eliyau Inbal; Abigaille in NABUCCO with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music (PBS broadcast); Haydn’s KRÖNUNGS MESSE and LORD NELSON MASS, Mozart’s EXULTATE JUBILATE, and CARMINA BURANA with the Bruckner Orchestra; Sieglinde in DIE WALKÜRE with the West Virginia Symphony and with Montreal’s L’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal; a role-debut as Brünnhilde in SIEGFRIED with the Nashville Symphony; Lady Macbeth in MACBETH with Boston’s Chorus pro Musica; and OPERA GALA appearances with L’Opéra de Montréal and with Edmonton Opera (in honor of Irving Guttman).
During the formative years of her career, Ms. Roark-Strummer thrived in the lyric soprano and lyric coloratura soprano repertoire. Some highlights included the title role in ARABELLA with Landestheater Linz; the Marschallin in DER ROSENKAVALIER with the Santa Barbara Academy of Music; the Countess in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Western Opera Theater; Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg, and Landstheater Linz; Micaela in CARMEN with Landestheater Linz; Adina in L’ELISIR D’AMORE with Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg and Landstheater Linz; Lauretta in GIANNI SCHICCHI with Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg; Anne Trulove in THE RAKE’S PROGRESS with Städtische Bühnen Krefeld & Mönchengladbach and Landestheater Linz; Titania in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM with Landestheater Salzburg and Landestheater Linz; and Saffi in DER ZIGEUNERBARON with Landestheater Linz.
Among the conductors with whom she has performed are Kurt Herbert Adler, David Agler, Spiros Argiris, John Bell, Karl Böhm, Boncompanie, Richard Bonynge, Christian Thielemann, Thomas Conlin, Serge Commissione, Anton Coppola, John Demaine, Plácido Domingo, David Effron, Kurt Eichorn, Arthur Fagen, Gabriele Ferro, Thomas Fulton, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Carlo Maria Giulini, Manfred Graff, Bohomil Gregor, Anton Guadagno, Theodor Guschelbauer, Eliahu Inbal, Ingo Ingensand, Christopher Keene, Konrad Leitner, Raymond Leppard, Daniel Lipton, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Oren, George Manahan, Gerry Steichen, Nello Santi, Pinchus Steinberg, Alfredo Silipigni, Roman Zeilinger, Ernst Dunshirn, Joseph Rescigno, Fred Scott, Louis Salemno, Julius Rudel, Marcello Panni, John Moriarty, Christopher Mactasoris, Manfred Mayerhofer, Edoardo Müller, Eve Queler, Jeffrey Rink, Charles Rosekranz, Louis Salemno, Gerhard Schaeffer, Kenneth Schermerhorn, Alessandro Siciliani, Calvin Simmons, Hubert Soudant, David Spears, Ottmar Suitner, Christian Süss, Emil Tchakarov, Silvio Varviso, Semyon Veckstein, Michelangelo Veltri, William Anthony Waters, Johannes Wetzler, and Roman Zeilinger.
Among the stage directors with whom she has collaborated are Daniele Abbado, Christopher Alden, Ronald Bentley, Frank Corsaro, Roberto de Simone, James DeBlasis, Brian Deedrick, Gian Carlo del Monaco, Dan Demenyanuk, Gian Franco Di Bosio, David Edwards, Michael Esser, David Gately, Lou Gualterio, Irving Guttman, Gita Hager, Bodo Igez, Ian Judge, Nikolaus Lehnhoff, Jay Lessinger, Antonello Madau Diaz, Lotfi Mansouri, Fabrizio Melano, David Morlock, Christopher Nelson, Patricia Panton, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Dr. Günter Rennert, David Ritch, James Robinson, Vittorio Rossi, Ernst Sagemüller, Ellen Schläffer, Arnold Schönolt, Luigi Squarzina, Alfred Stögmüller, Jan Strassvogel, Michael Tannenbaum, Michael Temme, Bernard Uzan, and Marc Verzatt.
Ms. Roark-Strummer as Lucrezia in the Teatro alla Scala production of I DUE FOSCARI is available on commercial video as part of the RAI La Scala series of live performances. She has appeared on film as Anne Trulove in THE RAKE’S PROGRESS for Austria’s ORF, and as Odabella in the Teatro alla Fenice production of ATTILA for RAI Italy. In the United States, she has filmed the title role in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS for PBS, and Abigaille in NABUCCO for Canada’s CBC TV. At the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, her performance of Abigaille in NABUCCO was filmed for Mexican television.
Linda Roark-Strummer began her professional career with Western Opera Theater, and appeared with San Francisco Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis before joining the roster of Germany’s Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg, and Austria’s Landestheater Linz. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ms. Roark-Strummer is a graduate of Tulsa University, and attended the graduate-studies program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is the recipient of grants from both the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation and the National Opera Institute. In August of 2002, she joined the faculty of the University of Tulsa as Associate Professor of Voice, Vocal Diction, and Director of the Opera Workshop. She lives with her husband, bass-baritone Peter Strummer, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.