September 15th, 2018 - I've learned of the death of Audrey Stottler (above), who I met in 2003 when she was in New York City to cover - and sing a single performance of - the Dyer's Wife in FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN at The Met.
Audrey came in the opera room at Tower Records where I was working at the time, and my boss Bryan and I chatted her up. Bryan had seen her as Turandot at Virginia Opera in 1993. and I'd seen her 2002 Met Turandot - a role she sang worldwide - and we were looking forward to the FRAU. She was most gracious during our long conversation.
Audrey had a notable success as the Dyer's Wife; I recall being especially impressed by her juicy upper tones, the unusual richness of her lower range, and the sense of lyricism in her singing.
This scene from WALKURE displays her vocal attributes quite well:
And this is thrilling, grand-scale Wagner singing:
At the time of her unexpected death, Audrey was running a popular voice studio in Minneapolis.
Bryan took this photo of me with Audrey the day we met her. There are some lovely tributes to her on Norman Lebrecht's blog.