»The dramatic potential this graceful singer
showed, both vocally as well as in her acting,
was astounding and touched the heart…
Her singing truly comes from the soul.«
Der Opernfreund


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 Dresden, where she can be heard as Falke in a new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten under the baton of Christian Thielemann. She made her Dresden debut in 2023 in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen as Woglinde, the role with which she also made her Wagner debut at the Bayreuther Festspiele in 2022.

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.

Portraits: Simon Pauly
Stage photos:
Detlef Kurth, Rupert Larl, Olaf Malzahn, Lutz Roessler, Matthias Stutte


Der Rosenkavalier / Staatstheater Cottbus
Opernwelt 12/2023

In her role debut Lea-ann Dunbar successfully presents a Marschallin that need not shy away from comparison with more famous colleagues. Her easily flowing voice exudes compassionate generosity, wisdom, and magnanimous maturity as if she had been long familiar with the role of Princess von Werdenberg.

Lausitzer Rundschau

When, at the end of Act I, Lea-ann Dunbar as the Marschallin says farewell to her youth … it is pure operatic bliss.


Lea-ann Dunbar’s Feldmarschallin has an expansive presence. With little physical movement and a graceful voice, she lays her crumbling world at our feet, then to rise strengthened from the ashes.

Das Rheingold / Semperoper Dresden

And the evening proved something else: The roles of the Rhinemaiden can be sung without a big wobbly vibrato! The ladies Dunbar, Pučálková and Lapkovskaja sing so clearly, brightly and together, like it is, unfortunately, very seldom heard.

Thais / Theater Lübeck
Das Opernglas

Lea-ann Dunbar was an exceptional Thais. Her acting made the transition from narcissistic courtesan to chaste nun utterly convincing. Her singing on opening night left absolutely nothing to be desired: the timbre of her strong, creamy upper register is somewhat reminiscent of Renée Fleming's sound. Her voice carried effortlessly over all the tutti, presented well supported pianissimi again and again, while still having powerful reserves for the exhausting final duet with Athanael.

Der Opernfreund

The singer of the title role, Lea-ann Dunbar, was anxiously awaited after her enthralling Violetta in Lübeck. The intensity of her acting made the transition from whore to saint believable. The high tessitura of the role was perfect for her voice and her singing sounded effortless. The audience presented her with ovations for an exhilarating performance!

Online Musik Magazin

The star of the evening was Lea-ann Dunbar, who filled the title role with wonderfully lyric phrases and whose voice cut through even the thickest orchestration without problem.

Britten War Requiem / Lübeck Marienkirche
Lübecker Nachrichten

The American soprano Lea-ann Dunbar also emphasized the music's international language and message of peace. Her male colleagues were very good; she, however, was outstanding. Her voice was creamy and warm all the way to high C, and it filled the enormous church with an immense radiance and musical depth to the farthest corners.

La Traviata / Theater Lübeck
Der Neue Merker

Lea-ann Dunbar as Violetty Valery…Her powerful voice mastered the difficulties of this role with seeming effortlessness. Her expressive acting was profoundly moving.

Kieler Nachrichten

Lea-ann Dunbar has all the necessary vocal qualities at her disposal for the role of Violetta: a strong upper register, secure coloratura, and a delicate piano.

Schleswig-Holstein Zeitung

…the cast is simply to die for….But no one delved so deeply into emotions as Lea-ann Dunbar whose bell-like voice developed the greatest strength in Violetta's most difficult moments.

Lucia di Lammermoor / Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach
Das Opernglas

Opening night would have been "perfectly normal" had it not been for Lea-ann Dunbar in the title role. Her performance was fascinating in its delicate fragility and enthralling in its vocal virtuosity, leaving the listener absolutely speechless. The young American used the artificialness of the role "Lucia"….as a natural means of expressing emotion. Instead of simply presenting a well-rounded, 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.

Der Opernfreund

The star of the evening was Lea-ann Dunbar as Lucia. The dramatic potential this graceful singer showed, both vocally as well as in her acting, was astounding and touched the heart…Her singing truly came from the soul and her voice carried effortlessly to the last row.

Rheinische Post

Dunbar can claim a voice her own that is sparkling and sturdy up through dizzying heights, a voice completely dependable through to the end of the opera despite the almost unreasonable demands of the murderous role. Her two famous arias…were the highlights of the evening. Furthermore, she created a figure that was believable not only in her passionate love for Edgardo but also in her madness to which she was driven by her brother Enrico.

La Bohème / Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach
Der Neue Merker

Lea-ann Dunbar was a beguilingly evocative Mimi…She not only filled the shell of the ailing figure with tenderness and warmth, but also showed the extreme fragility of this sick woman. Her interpretation of "Mi chiamano Mimi..:", soaring from fragile to heroic, was brilliant and deeply moving. The critic was not the only one with tears in his eyes.

I Masnadieri / Theater Hildesheim
Klassik Heute

Listening to Lea-ann Dunbar's bubbling coloratura and brilliant high notes, one can't help but think of the "Swedish Nightingale" Jenny Lind, for whom Verdi wrote the role of Amalia.


Benjamin Britten War Requiem (excerpts)

“Lacrimosa / Sanctus / Benedictus / Libera me”

Francesco Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur

“Io son l’umile ancella”


Video – Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding - Der Rosenkavalier - Richard Strauss
Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding – Der Rosenkavalier – Richard Strauss


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Tel. +49(0)89-3087092

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