Michèle Crider studied voice at the University of Iowa in America. She won first-prize twice in the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and was chosen to sing with Simon Estes for the governor's 1987 Homecoming Benefit in Des Moines. Following the performance Mr. Estes made a personal recommendation for Ms. Crider to join the Zurich Opera Studio that ultimately marked her departure from Iowa. In 1988 she was a finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti competition and in 1989 she won one of three first-prizes in the Geneva International Music Competition. The latter prize included an opportunity to sing the role of Leonora in Il Trovatore in Dortmund, Germany and a chance at the International Grand Prize, which she went on to win.
Ms. Crider has been invited to sing at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, at the Arena di Verona, Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, at the Deutsche and Staatsoper Berlin, in Wiesbaden, at La Scala in Milan, in Florence, Zurich, St. Gallen and Barcelona. Ms. Crider has interpreted many roles which include Leonora (Il Trovatore
and La Forza del destino
), Amelia (Un Ballo in maschera
), Odabella (Attila
), Lucrezia (I Due Foscari
), Luisa Miller
, Giselda (I Lombardi alla prima crociata
and Madama Butterfly
She has worked with acclaimed conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, James Levine and Zubin Mehta and has already made four recordings: Gerhilde in Die Walküre
for Decca with Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting, Amelia in Un Ballo in maschera
for Teldec conducted by Carlo Rizzi, Elena and Margherita in Mefistofele
conducted by Riccardo Muti for BMG Classics and Verdi's Requiem
with Richard Hickox conducting and the London Symphony Orchestra for Chandos Records.
Ms. Crider is a prolific concert singer and sings at the Salzburg Festspiele, the Maggio Musicale, the Orange, the Ravenna and the Edinburgh Festivals, at the Frankfurt Alte Oper, at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, at the Barbican London, and with such orchestras as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, the Orchestre Nationale de Paris, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Oslo Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
In America Ms. Crider made her debut in San Diego in 1996 in a new production of Aida
. This was followed by her debut in San Francisco also as Aida
and then at the Metropolitan Opera New York as Madama Butterfly
Since 1997 Ms. Crider has sung in several prestigious productions such as: Aida
at Dresden's Semperopera, Madama Butterfly
at the Bastille Opera in Paris and Aida
at the Munich Staatsoper. In December 1998 she returned to the Vienna State Opera to perform Elvira in a new production of Verdi's Ernani
The season 2000/2001 started in October with the opera Il Trovatore
in the opera house in Zurich. In December 2000 she had a very successful opera house debut in the Teatro Real in Madrid where she sang Leonora in a new production of Verdi's Il Trovatore
under the musical leadership of Garcia Navarro. In 2001 the San Francisco Opera recognised her successful return by awarding her the San Francisco Opera Award of Merit.
The high point of the season 2001/2002 was Ms. Crider's debut role as Norma in Gent, Antwerp and Brussels. Further productions brought her to Hamburg where she performed in Un Ballo in maschera
and to the Arena di Verona, where a new production of Aida
Ms. Crider's engagements for the 2002/03 season include several special performances in places like the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Mannheim, Triest and Tel Aviv. In July 2003 a new production of Aida
is being staged in Barcelona where Michèle will once again perform the lead role of Aida
Michèle Crider is one of the leading sopranos of the Italian opera repertoire today.