Meet the Guest Artists

Judith Forst

Judith Forst mezzo-soprano

Canadian born mezzo-soprano Judith Forst has been highly acclaimed for her operatic and concert performances throughout North America and in Europe in many of the world’s most prestigious theaters which have included the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Netherlands Opera, Dallas Opera, Washington Opera, Vancouver Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera among many others.

Judith Forst began the 2009-2010 season with her return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Katya Kabanova.  She also made her debut at Houston Grand Opera as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw and returned in the spring as The Countess in Pique Dame.  2010-2011 engagements included the world premiere of Lillian Alling with Vancouver Opera as well as the world premiere of The Inventor for Calgary Opera.  She was also heard as Herodias in Salome for L’ Opera de Montreal.  2011-2012 engagements included Salome at the Manitoba Opera, The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera and The Inventor at Vancouver Symphony. In the 2012-2013 season she returned to Vancouver Opera in Pirates of Penzance,  to Canadian Opera Company in Dialogues des Carmelites among other engagements. Engagements for the 2013/2014 season include a return to the Metropolitan Opera in Two Boys.

During the 2008-2009 season Judith Forst appeared with as Mrs. Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with Portland Opera, and returned to Vancouver Opera as Herodias in Salome.  Other recent engagements for Ms Forst have included Salome at Dallas Opera and Vancouver Opera and the world premiere of Transit of Venus for Manitoba Opera.  She has appeared in concert with the Vancouver Symphony  and at the Santa Fe Opera as Mme de la Haltiere in Massenet’s Cendrillon, in Vancouver in Jenufa and in the Calgary premiere of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.  She made her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Herodias during the 2006-2007 season, and also returned to the Metropolitan Opera as the Kostelnicka in Jenufa.

In 2006 she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan as the Kabinicha in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova.  Recognized as one of Canada’s most distinguished artists, she has been honored with the Order of Canada.

Judith Forst is now most identified with roles such as the Kostelnicka in Janacek’s Jenufa, Klytemnestra in Strauss’s Elektra, Herodias in Salome and Mme de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, the Countess in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Augusta Tabor in Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe, the Baroness in Barber’s Vanessa and the Witch in Hansel und Gretel.  Prior to expanding into this repertoire, she had sung a repertoire of extraordinary versatility and one which encompassed virtually all styles and periods and which has extended into the soprano repertoire as well.

Judith Forst began her career at the Metropolitan Opera when, after her participation in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, General Manager Sir Rudolf Bing immediately offered her a contract with the company. Her first roles at the Metropolitan included Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino, Stephano in Romeo et Juliette and Siebel in Faust and she has returned to the Metropolitan regularly all through her career for roles such as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni under James Levine, Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Countess Adelaide in Arabella, and the Kabinicha in Katya Kabanova. After her firs seasons at the Metropolitan, Forst was soon heard at most of the operatic theaters in North America in  roles such as Dorabella in Cosi Fan tutte, Rosina in Il Babiere di Siviglia, the title role in La Cenerentola,  Adalgisa in Norma Charlotte in Werther, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and Bizet’s Carmen.  She made her Seattle Opera debut as Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena and subsquently appeared in this role opposite Dame Joan Sutherland in San Francisco, Toronto, Detroit, Washington, DC and in New York where the concert was also televised as part of the “Live from Lincoln Center” series. Forst made her European debut in Paris in 1985 in a concert performance of Hoffmann and her Munich debut as Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino. She made her London debut in the spring of 1992 in the British premiere of Rossini’s Ermione and starred as the Composer in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at the English National Opera in 1994.

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