Johanna Meier, 1956-1958

Johanna Meier, 1956-1958Johanna Meier, 1956-1958, received the first ever University of Miami School of Music Distinguished Alumni award in 1984. Recognized as one of the foremost Wagnerian sopranos of her era, Meier made her debut with the New York City Opera in 1969, followed by a major international career as a fourteen-year member of the Metropolitan Opera.

Meier performed with most of the major symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and l’Orchestre de Paris, among many others. Her European appearances included performances at the Vienna Staatsoper, the English National Opera, and with the opera companies of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Venice, Madrid, Barcelona, Zurich, and the Netherlands.

Meier was the first American ever to sing the role of Isolde in Tristan and Isolde for the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. She also appeared with the Canadian Opera, and at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, as well as in Japan, Mexico City, Israel, and at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. Her major roles encompassed the entire range of opera repertory from the Countess in the Marriage of Figaro to Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Meier founded the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute in South Dakota in 1998, serving as Artistic Director. She also taught at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Ithaca College, as well as privately. She regularly judged the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions and the Liederkranz Competitions. Meier received the 2014 National Opera Association Lifetime Achievement Award.