by Alicia Dziak
Stephanie Welge, a local opera singer, has recently released a new CD entitled “Stephanie Welge Sings Wagner” and celebrated this week with a meet-and-greet event held at The Heartstrings Gift Shop at The Bradford Regional Medical Center.
Welge, born and raised in Germany, currently resides in Bradford, Pa., with her husband.
“At age 19, I knew I wanted to be a professional singer, and I took a vacation to New York City,” Welge said. Through a friend of a friend, she had the opportunity to audition for a renowned opera instructor. The audition went well and Welge decided to move to New York to pursue her dream.
“It took me about a year to convince my parents to let me study there,” Welge laughed.
Her husband’s job took them to Bradford, and the couple realized they had missed the countryside and the fresh air.
“Today, I split my time between Bradford, New York and Germany,” Welge explained.
In her CD, Welge shares her love of Richard Wagner, a famous German opera composer from the 1800s.
The CD was recorded by Leszek Maria Wojcik, the recording studio manager at Carnegie Hall in New York City, who came out to Bradford this past year to record Welge at the Bromeley Family Theater.
“I believe people are born with a certain voice to perform certain music,” Welge said. She describes herself as a “dramatic soprano.”
At home in the Wagnerian repertoire, Welge has sung the roles of Sieglinde and Gerhilde in ”Die Walkure” and Elizabeth and Venus in “Tannhauser” under the baton of David Gilbert at the Mannes Wagner Theater Festival in NYC. Previous roles performed include Mother Marie in “Dialogues of the Carmelites” under the direction of Ariel Bybee, according to a recent press release.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Welge has performed concerts in New York and Germany. Concert venues in New York include the German Consulate and the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace.
Welge was recently featured at the 50th Anniversary Gala at the Bromeley Family Theater in honor of Marilyn Horne, a famous opera singer from Bradford, and in support of the Marilyn Horne Archive Collection Project at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
Welge feels lucky to have the opportunity to practice her roles in this theater as well.
“I’m able to practice here and then perform in New York and Germany,” she said.
Welge is planning a future CD recording with Wojcik, at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in NYC.
Welge’s new CD is currently available at Nature’s Remedy in Ellicottville and will soon be available on Amazon.com. She is also planning other CD meet-and-greet sessions in the near future.