Lisa Saffer

Biography

Born: June 3, 1960; Madison, WI  
American soprano Lisa Saffer has achieved distinction in an amazingly wide variety of roles, though she is identified particularly with the operas of Handel. She has sung Dalinda from Ariodante, the title role in Partenope, Atalanta from Xerxes, Cleopatra from Giulio Cesare, and numerous others, generally to critical acclaim. Her repertory extends to Mozart (Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro), Verdi (Gilda, from Rigoletto), Wagner, Richard Strauss, Read more and the moderns, a category that includes the title role in Berg's Lulu and such lesser-known fare as Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers (Hilda Mack), Birtwistle's Punch and Judy (Polly/Witch), and Oliver Knussen's Higglety Pigglety Pop! and Where The Wild Things Are. She has also regularly appeared in concert, again in broad repertory, from Bach's B minor Mass to Knussen's Rilke Songs.

Saffer was born in Madison, WI, on June 3, 1960. Her educational background is impressive: she received a bachelor's degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and a master's (1984) and artist diploma (1986) from the New England Conservatory of Music. Her principal teacher throughout her student years was Helen Hodam, with whom she worked for about 20 years, beginning in 1978. She began studies with Rita Shane in 1998.

Saffer received the Anna Case Mackay Award while serving as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera in the mid-'80s. In 1988 she was named a recipient of the National Music Theater Institute grant. She soon began attracting attention on U.S. stages for her work in several Stephen Wadsworth productions of Monteverdi operas. Beginning in the early '90s she made a series of Handel recordings for Harmonia Mundi, for which she achieved international acclaim. The series included Agrippina (1992), Ottone (1993), Judas Maccabaeus (1995), and Ariodante (2002).

During the 1990s Saffer was already branching out into repertory far afield from the Baroque: for New World Records she recorded Bright Sheng's Chinese Love Songs (1992), and for the Arabesque label, she recorded songs by Ralph Shapey (1999). Her highly imaginative portrayal of Lulu in the English National Opera production in 2005 garnered a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award in operatic performance and received the Royal Philharmonic Society's vocal performance award. The Chandos recording of Lulu, based on that acclaimed English-language production, was issued in 2006, Saffer drawing virtually unanimous critical praise for her interpretation of this enormously difficult role. Read less
Browse 1-12 of 12 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Carter: Concerto for Orchestra; Knussen: Oceans de terre
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 96354 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Elliott Carter,  Oliver Knussen
    Performer:  Ole Böhn,  Lisa Saffer,  Lucy Shelton,  Peter Serkin
    Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta,  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    CD: $12.99
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  • 2.
    Glass: Orphee / Manson, Cutlip, Jarmen, Saffer, Portland Opera
    Label: Orange Mountain Music   Catalog: 68 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Philip Glass
    Performer:  Philip Cutlip,  Georgia Jarmen,  Lisa Saffer,  Ryan MacPherson
    Conductor:  Anne Manson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Portland Opera Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Handel: Arias For Cuzzoni, Durastanti, Senesino, Montagnana
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908284 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Lisa Saffer,  David Thomas,  Drew Minter
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    On sale! $61.98
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  • 4.
    1+1  Handel: Judas Maccabaeus / Mcgegan, De Mey, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2907374 Release Date: 08/08/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lisa Saffer,  Patricia Spence,  Guy de Mey,  David Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berkeley Chamber Chorus,  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    Opera In English - Berg: Lulu / Daniel, Saffer, Perry, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3130 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Graeme Danby,  Jane Powell,  Anna Burford,  John Graham-Hall  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paul Daniel,  English National Opera Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 6.
    Handel: Ariodante (Highlights) / Mcgegan, Lieberson, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907277 Release Date: 01/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Rufus Müller,  Lisa Saffer,  Juliana Gondek  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wilhelmshavener Vokalensemble,  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Knussen: Higglety Pigglety Pop, Where The Wild Things Are
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469556 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Oliver Knussen
    Performer:  Lisa Saffer,  Rosemary Hardy,  Christopher Gillett,  David Wilson-Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
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  • 8.
    Imbrie: Requiem, Piano Concerto No 3 / Rothman, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9091 Release Date: 08/17/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Imbrie
    Performer:  Alan Feinberg,  Lisa Saffer
    Conductor:  George Rothman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Riverside Symphony,  New York Virtuoso Singers
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  • 9.
    Handel: Ariodante / McGegan, Hunt, Gondek, Saffer, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907146 Release Date: 03/11/1996   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Jörn Lindemann,  Nicolas Cavallier,  Lisa Saffer,  Jennifer Lane  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wilhelmshavener Vokalensemble,  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
    On sale! $38.98
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  • 10.
    Purcell: Dido & Aeneas / Mcgegan, Hunt, Saffer, Elliott
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907110 Release Date: 09/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Paul Elliott,  Lisa Saffer,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Donna Deam  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Clare College Choir
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  • 11.
    Sheng: H'un, My Song, 3 Chinese Love Songs / Schwartz
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80407 Release Date: 12/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bright Sheng
    Performer:  Lucia Lin,  Paul Neubauer,  Bright Sheng,  Lisa Saffer  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Chamber Symphony
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 12.
    Handel: La Resurrezione / Mcgegan, Saffer, Nelson, Thomas
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907027/28 Release Date: 03/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Jeffrey Thomas,  Patricia Spence,  Michael George,  Judith Nelson  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    CD not available
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    MP3:  $16.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Biography

Born: June 3, 1960; Madison, WI  
American soprano Lisa Saffer has achieved distinction in an amazingly wide variety of roles, though she is identified particularly with the operas of Handel. She has sung Dalinda from Ariodante, the title role in Partenope, Atalanta from Xerxes, Cleopatra from Giulio Cesare, and numerous others, generally to critical acclaim. Her repertory extends to Mozart (Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro), Verdi (Gilda, from Rigoletto), Wagner, Richard Strauss, Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: i. Inscription
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: ii. Hum
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: iii. The Hundred Acre Wood (Nocturne) - Piglet meets a Heffalump
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: iv. Hum, continued, and Little Nonsense Song
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: v. Hum (instrumental)
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: vi. Vocalise (Climbing the tree)
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms: vii. Codetta
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983): II. Bee Piece and Cadenza (The Fall of Pooh)
Four Late Poems and an Epigram of Rainer Maria Rilke Op. 23 (1988): epigram - I. Idol
Four Late Poems and an Epigram of Rainer Maria Rilke Op. 23 (1988): replica - II. Gravity
Four Late Poems and an Epigram of Rainer Maria Rilke Op. 23 (1988): double - III. Imaginary Life
Four Late Poems and an Epigram of Rainer Maria Rilke Op. 23 (1988): IV. Gong
Judas Maccabaeus: Overture: Grave - Allegro - Lentement - Allegro
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Chorus: Mourn, ye afflicted children
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: Well may your sorrows
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Duet: From this dread scene
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Chorus: For Sion lamentation make
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: Not vain is all this storm of grief
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: Pious orgies, pious airs
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Chorus: O Father, whose almighty pow'r
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: I feel the deity within
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: Arm, arm, ye brave! - Chorus: We come, we come
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: 'Tis well, my friends
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: Call forth thy pow'rs, my soul
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: To heav'n's Almighty king
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: O liberty, thou choicest treasure
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: Come, ever-smiling liberty
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: O Judas, may these noble views
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: 'Tis liberty, dear liberty alone
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Duet: Come, ever-smiling liberty
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Chorus: Lead on, lead on!
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: So will'd my father
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Semi-chorus: Disdainful of danger
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Recit: Ambition!
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Aria: No, no unhallow'd desire
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 1. Chorus: Hear us, O Lord
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Chorus: Fall'n is the foe
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: Victorious hero!
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria: So rapid thy course is
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: Oh let eternal honours
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria: From mighty kings
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Duet & Chorus: Hail, hail, Judea
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: Thanks to my brethren
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria: How vain is man
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: O Judas, O my brethren!
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria & Chorus: Ah! wretched Israel!
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: Be comforted
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria: The Lord worketh wonders
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: My arms! Against this Gorgias
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria: Sound an alarm! - Chorus: We hear the pleasing, dreadful call
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: Enough! To Heav'n we leave the rest
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Aria: With pious hearts
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Recit: Ye worshippers of God
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 2. Duet & Chorus: Oh! never, never bow we down
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Aria: Father of Heav'n!
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Recit: See, see yon flames
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Recit: Oh grant it, Heav'n
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Aria: So shall the lute and harp awake
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Recit: From Capharsalama
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Chorus of Youths: See, the conqu'ring hero comes - Duet: See the godlike youth - Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. March
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Duet & Chorus: Sing unto God
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Recit: Sweet flow the strains
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Aria: With honour let desert be crown'd
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Recit: Peace to my countrymen
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Chorus: To our great God be all the honour giv'n
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Recit: Again to earth
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Duet: O lovely peace
Judas Maccabaeus: Act 3. Aria & Chorus: Rejoice, O Judah!; Hallelujah! Amen
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act II, Recit: Well may we hope
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act II, Duet & Chorus: Sion now her head shall raise
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act II, Aria: Wise men, flatt'ring, may deceive us
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act I, Aria: Far brighter than the morning
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act II, Recit: Sweet are thy words
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act II, Aria: Great in wisdom, great in glory
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Recit: Not vain is all this storm of grief
Judas Maccabaeus: Appendix. Act I, Aria: Pious orgies, pious airs
Prologue: Roll up, roll up for the menagerie (Animal tamer)
Act I Scene 1: Am I trespassing? (Alwa, Dr. Schon, Lulu)
Act I Scene 1: Gnadige Frau ... Frau Medizinalrat ... (Painter, Lulu)
Act I Scene 1: You are far too slow to capture me (Lulu, Painter)
Act I Scene 1: What's happening? (Painter, Lulu)
Act I Scene 1: Open the door! (Professor of Medicine, Lulu, Painter)
Act I Scene 1: Just wait, he'll jump right up ... (Lulu)
Act I Scene 1: Can't you help him recover his senses? (Painter, Lulu)
Act I Scene 1: You make me jealous, you lucky bastard! (Lulu)
Act I Scene 1: Please help me do this up (Lulu)
Act I Scene 2: Eva! - What is it? (Painter, Lulu)
Act I Scene 2: Eva! - What is it? (Painter, Lulu)
Act I Scene 2: He's not quite what I imagined him to be (Schigolch, Lulu, Dr. Schon)
Act I Scene 2: If you and I married (Dr. Schon, Lulu, Painter)
Act I Scene 2: So? - Your marriage has made you at least a million marks ... (Painter, Dr. Schon, Lulu)
Act I Scene 2: Don't talk so loud (Dr. Schon, Alwa, Lulu)
Act I Scene 2: Verwandlung (Transformation)
Act I Scene 3: I've never in my life known an audience so excited (Alwa, Lulu)
Act I Scene 3: More for me, please (Lulu, Alwa)
Act I Scene 3: That girl and her lovers (Alwa)
Act I Scene 3: I met her first at Dr. Schon's (African Prince, Alwa)
Act I Scene 3: She's had a sort of fainting fit (Dresser, Alwa, Theatre Manager, Prince, Lulu)
Act I Scene 3: What's wrong with her? (Dr. Schon, Alwa, Lulu, Dresser, Theatre Manager, Prince)
Act I Scene 3: How dare you attempt to ruin my well-laid plans? (Dr. Schon, Lulu)
Act I Scene 3: Take this pen and paper (Lulu, Dr. Schon)
Why am I longing (Jennie, Potted Plant)
You have two windows (Potted Plant, Jennie)
Hello little Lady (Pig, Jennie)
Change of scene - "If I could eat experience" (Jennie)
You must be going to (Cat, Jennie)
Interlude 1: The Journey to the Big White House
Thank you very much for the ride (Jennie, Cat, Rhoda)
Are you all right, Miss? (Rhoda, Jennie)
Baby, here is Nurse (Rhoda, Jennie)
Yum, yum (Jennie, Baby)
Who can help me? (Jennie, Baby's Mother)
How black it is (Jennie, Lion, Baby)
Quiet in there! (Jenny, Baby, Lion)
Now I have nothing (Jennie, Ash-Tree)
Adagio: A little meditation
Jennie! Jennie! (Rhoda, Cat, Pig, Jennie, Mother Goose, Lion)
Interlude 2. The Ride to Castle Yonder
Hello, as you probably noticed (Jennie)
Fanfare I - Higglety. Scene 1 - Rhyme 1 (Rhoda, Jennie, Cat, Pig, Lion)
Fanfare II - Higglety. Scene 2 - Rhyme 2 (Rhoda, Jennie, Cat, Pig, Lion)
Higglety. Scene 3 - Rhyme 3 (Rhoda, Jennie, Cat, Pig)
Overture
Max - Scherzino: "I'm Max! (Max)
Mama - Scherzo A "Sshh! Sshh!" (Max, Mama)
Scherzo A: Reprise
Max's Room - Pantom./Ariette 1:"In the wildest woods" (Max)
Transformation/Arietta 2: "I jump and bump" (Max)
Sea Interlude
The Wild Things - Recit/Musica interna "It must be" (Max, Wild Things)
Coronation: "... Eat you up" (Wild Things, Max)
The Wild Rumpus: "Now stop!" (Max, Wild Things)
Max alone: "I dreamed that once" (Max)
Parting: "Fe...! Oh please don't go" (Wild Things)
Second Sea Interlude - "I was very far to" (Max, Mama)
Max's Room (Max)