Soprano Lea-ann Dunbar begins the 2023/24 season as the Feldmarschallin in Richard Strauss’ Der
Rosenkavalier at Staatstheater Cottbus. In early 2024 she then returns to the Semperoper
where she can be heard as Falke in a new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten under the baton
Christian Thielemann. She made her Dresden debut in 2023 in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen
Woglinde, the role with which she also made her Wagner debut at the Bayreuther Festspiele in
At a young age Lea-ann developed a fascination for singing. Having grown up in a family of musicians,
she studied voice at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, USA and then at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck,
Germany, before beginning her professional career as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
As an ensemble member at the theaters in both Hildesheim and Krefeld- Mönchengladbach, Lea-ann had
the opportunity to try out her vocal capabilities in a wide rage of repertoire from baroque to
contemporary world premiere operas. She won over audiences and critics alike with both lyrical and
coloratura roles. Germany’s leading opera magazine, OPERNWELT, nominated her as “Young Singer
of the Year” for her touching portrayal of Mimi in La Boheme. In response to her role debut
as Lucia di Lammermoor, a critic of the Opernglas magazine wrote, “Instead of simply
presenting a solid, flexible vocal technique, she explored love and insanity, sorrow and despair
with a wide range of colors in her well-focused, warm soprano voice. This she did so perfectly that
the audience justifiably lay at her feet.”
After several years as an ensemble member, Lea-ann chose the freedom of working as a freelance
artist. Her overwhelming success as Lucia continued with productions in Innsbruck, Mainz, and
Augsburg. For multiple seasons Lea-ann was a regular guest with the opera company in Lübeck, where
she sang Violetta in La Traviata, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the
title role in Massenet’s Thais. For many years Donna Anna remained an important role in her
repertoire, taking her to the Komische Oper Berlin as well as the theaters in Chemnitz and Augsburg.
Parallel to her professional career, she has continued to refine her artistry by studying with
teachers including Bernd Weikl, Margreet Honig and the late Mirella Freni. Lea-ann now works
regularly with Kirsten Schötteldreier, focusing her repertoire on lyrico-spinto roles.
Throughout her work as a performing artist, Lea-ann continually strives for honesty and emotional
depth in her singing. The simple intimacy of Agathe in Freischütz is as much a part of her
dramatic spectrum as is the ecstasy and fragility of Violetta or the other- worldliness of Lucia.
Lea-ann attempts to uncover the human essence of opera’s larger- than-life figures, immersing
herself in roles with unconditional commitment. Critics repeatedly note her warm sound, effortless
technique, and convincing role portrayals.