"...raw, no-holds-barred performance..."
-New York Times
ARIADNE GREIF, praised for her "luminous, expressive voice" (NYTimes), her "elastic and round high notes" (classiqueinfo), and her "mesmerizing stage presence" (East Anglian Daily Times), began her opera career as a ‘boy’ soprano in the Los Angeles area and at the LA Opera, eventually making an adult debut singing Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the American Symphony Orchestra. She starred in roles ranging from Therese/Tirésias in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, singing a “thoroughly commanding and effortless” run at the Aldeburgh Festival, to Sappho in Atthis by Georg Friedrich Haas, for which the New York Times noted her “searing top notes,” and “dusky depths,” calling it “a solo high-wire act for Ms. Greif,” “a vehicle for Ms. Greif’s raw, no-holds-barred performance,” “one of the most searingly painful and revealing operatic performances in recent times.”
Ariadne began this season with a “spectacular” staged recital in Sydney, Australia at the Resonant Bodies Festival. In September, she performed with William Kentridge in his production of the Dada masterpiece Ursonate at the Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. For the past four years, she has participated in an eccentric annual benefit concert for Animal Haven Shelter in New York, where this year she sang a collection of Schubert songs with orchestra, with dogs for adoption in the audience. She sang the role of Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea directed by David Paul with Bare Opera, made an appearance with Momenta Quartet, introduces her duo with Lucy Dhegrae, called Dhegrae & Digression, and tours in Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan with Ensemble Mélange (formerly SHUFFLE Concert). 2019 includes a new collaboration at Roulette with pianist and composer Mary Prescott, a concert performance of Victoria Bond’s new opera Gulliver’s Travels, directed by Doug Fitch, as well as a staged workshop of a new opera adaptation of The Passion According to G. H. by Dara Malina and Lacy Rose and an appearance in a new work by Malik Gaines at The Park Avenue Armory. She sings Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 with JACK Quartet, a concert of chamber music with Listen Closely in Wisconsin, and a benefit concert at Caramoor with Eric Jacobsen and friends. She tackled Schumann’s Dichterliebe for the first time in recital with pianist Conor Hanick, along with early songs of Alma Mahler and Alban Berg; and sang selections of Gustav Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn at Juilliard “under the baton” of conductor Elinor Rufeizen. She appears in William Kentridge’s “Let Us Try for Once” exhibition at the Marian Goodman Gallery in footage from Ursonate and in an installation by Ander Mikalson entitled “Scores for a Black Hole” at Art in General. She was featured with Bridget Kibbey in Ljova Zhurbin’s soundtrack for Marta Renzi’s film Her Magnum Opus and made a cameo vocal appearance in v!va, a new album by Evan Shinners (a.k.a. WTF Bach), after making a casual guest appearance at his performance installation The Bach Store. In June she and violinist Alex Fortes are in residency at Avaloch Farm Music Institute.
Last season included concerts in France, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Ohio, Washington, and New York. In November, Ariadne made a cameo appearance alongside William Kentridge in performances of the Dada masterpiece Ursonate. She returned to the The Knights, Shuffle Concert, Floating Tower, and Metropolis Ensemble, and sang for the first time with the Northwest Sinfonietta, the Refugee Orchestra Project, the MATA Festival, and Alterity Chamber Orchestra. She appeared at the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, Washington Square Music Festival, and Festival Daniou. Repertoire included Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn's concert aria "Infelice!", Bach's Wedding Cantata, new songs by Angélica Negrón, various recital appearances of Viennese music from the 20th century including an all-star Degenerate Cabaret, and three workshops of new operas. In January she performed in 1933, a new theatrical cabaret of music from the eponymous year with Ensemble Mélange (at the time, known as SHUFFLE Concert). In her fourth project with director Doug Fitch, Greif was part of the premiere of the new opera Six. Twenty. Outrageous., by Daniel Thomas Davis, in February. Projects in the spring included David Gordon's 40 minute song cycle Mysteria Incarnationis at the MATA Festival with Miranda Cuckson and Blair McMillen, as well as a concert of Mozart and Haydn concert arias with Michael Feldman and The Orchestra at St. Veronica's, a new performance series in a deconsecrated church in the West Village. In May, Ariadne was featured singing opera arias in Classical Celebration, a gala event at the Sarasota Opera House, and in June she sang Mahler Symphony No. 4 with Eric Jacobsen and the Northwest Sinfonietta.
In 2016/17 she sang three performances of Carmina Burana, debuted as Musetta in La Boheme with Eric Jacobsen and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, appeared with The Knights for the first time, and returned to the Orlando Philharmonic as Adina in The Elixir of Love with Eric Jacobsen, where she was praised as a "sassy" Adina, with "tonally pleasing high notes and a delightful sparkling quality to both her singing and acting." In the fall, she sang the main role of Rhinemaiden Melania in eleven performances of Matti Kovler's opera The Drumf and the Rhinegold, directed by Doug Fitch, with a reprise in May, and returned to Metropolis Ensemble to perform solo Cage on roller-skates at their 10th Anniversary Musicircus. In spring she toured for a fourth time to the Middle East with Ensemble Mélange (at the time, known as SHUFFLE Concert). She made an appearance in Doug Fitch's Art Gallery Variety Show at National Sawdust, sang recitals of Crumb and Britten and 2nd Viennese School masterpieces, as well as a recital at Mainly Mozart Miami with pianist Marina Radiushina and baritone John Moore.
Concert performances in 2015/16 included Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Mozart Requiem, and Mozart Vespers K.321, concerts of chamber music in venues from Carnegie’s Weill Hall to Le Poisson Rouge, across the US, Canada, and in the Middle East, as well as several contemporary music projects. She created and executed a twenty-composer commissioning project of her own, called DREAMS & NIGHTMARES, subject of an upcoming documentary, Only a Dream, by filmmaker Caroline Mariko Stucky. In 2016 she performed Milton Babbitt’s Solo Requiem with Joel Sachs and Robert Fleitz at the Juilliard Focus! Festival, went on a recital tour with the AW Duo in the American South, and made an American Midwest tour with Ensemble Mélange (at the time, known as SHUFFLE Concert), with whom she has performed over 250 concerts. She made a repeat performance of Ricardo Romaneiro's Coarse Air with the Metropolis Ensemble, sang a concert with Gabriel Kahane of music by Kahane and David Lang at the Meidän Festival at the Finnish National Theatre in Helsinki. In April she sang the role of Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with the Orlando Philharmonic.
A champion of new music since her teens, she has premiered over fifty large-scale pieces and a half-dozen new operas, which have included the role of Yaga the Witch in Matti Kovler’s Ami & Tami, where she played a villain for the first time, and a nameless main role in Gabrielle Herbst’s disturbing masterpiece BODILESS. Though the opera is hardly ‘new’ at a hundred years old, Ariadne sang the main female role, Lady Madeline, in the US premiere of Debussy’s unfinished opera La Chute de la Maison Usher in its most complete form, with the Opera Français de New York.
Other roles have included the title role in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges, Ivona in Jeff Myers' The Hunger Art, the title role in Rusalka, Lucy in Menotti's The Telephone, Sandmann in a concert version of Hänsel und Gretel, the title role in the workshop of Aleksandra Vrebalov's Mileva.
Ariadne sang a "riveting" recital on the 2013 Resonant Bodies Festival, where she sang George Crumb's Apparition for the first time, in a performance deemed "dramatic and seductive" by the New York Times, and returned to Resonant Bodies in 2014 to premiere her pet commissioning project, DREAMS & NIGHTMARES for a sold-out room. On the 2014 FERUS Festival, she premiered Albert Behar's evening-length song-cycle Calligrammes, where she returned 2015 with DREAMS & NIGHTMARES. In the spring of 2016, Calligrammes struck again, with performances at Princeton University and Berkeley Art Museum in California.
Projects in recent seasons have included the role of Jesus in A Gnostic Passion by Brad and Doug Balliett with Cantori New York, after having premiered Dafne, a cantata by Doug Balliett. She was invited back by Contemporaneous to premiere her long-time collaborator Ryan Chase's Carroll Madrigals, and sang in the premiere of West 4th New Music Collective's Moby Dick Oratorio with Contemporaneous at a MATA Interval event at Issue Project Room. She gave a recital at Copland House with Gregg Kallor and the Bruno Walter Auditorium with Matthew Odell, joined Cantata Profana to sing Purcell, Vaughan Williams, and Birtwistle, and sang in the workshop of David Avshalomov's The Pearl in a concert at UnSung 2014 in California.
In 2012 she sang a week of ten concerts for children at Zankel Hall under the auspices of the Weill Music Institute, a series of semi-staged performances of La Testa di Santa Caterina, a mini-mono-opera by Matti Kovler, culminating in her Jordan Hall debut, and semi-staged performances of the first segment of Gabrielle Herbst's experimental opera BODILESS with Experiments in Opera and Hotel Elefant. She premiered The Jabberwocky, by Ryan Chase, in her first performance with Contemporaneous, and gave her debut performances with Manhattan-based Pierrot ensemble Lunatics at Large, the Millennials, and 20-21. She tackled Schubert's Winterreise and Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments for the first time and gave a shared recital of Barber's complete vocal works at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center; a shared recital of unaccompanied music with the avant garde's veteran champion, cellist Madeline Shapiro; a recital of Dadaist 20th century music; and a world premiere as Galileo in a piece by her dear friend Erol Gurol for eight cellos, soprano, and choir to the heretical text of Galileo's Starry Messenger.
In the summer of 2011 Dawn Upshaw invited her to perform at the 2011 Ojai Music Festival in California, where, Mark Swed wrote, “Greif, who sang an avant-garde piece by Georges Aperghis winningly, looks to be a boon to new music” (LA Times). In the same summer, Ariadne was the first resident young singer in more than a decade at Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont and sang as a Britten-Pears Young Artist in Aldeburgh, UK. Ariadne was invited to return to the 2012 Aldeburgh Festival as a Britten-Pears Young Artist and the 2012 Yellow Barn Music Festival, appeared in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella at the 2012 Greenwich Music Festival, and sang a concert at the Cape May Music Festival with the New York Chamber Ensemble, Alan Kay, and William Schimmel.
Ariadne founded Uncommon Temperament, a Manhattan-based baroque ensemble, with whom, among other things, she toured three times, created a traveling production of Bach's Coffee Cantata, thrown a birthday party for Telemann, and made her Poisson Rouge debut, hailed as "…accomplished and winning…" by the NY Times. She also performs and tours regularly with SHUFFLE Concert, with whom she has made more than six tours in North America and the Middle East, and has released a debut album.
With Uncommon Temperament, SHUFFLE Concert, and the concert accordionist Merima Kljuco, she has done teaching/performing chamber music residencies at the Gettysburg College Conservatory, Odessa College, Cal State Chico, Mirman School, Philips Exeter Academy, and the Detroit Institute of Art.
As a student, she won the Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition singing Witold Lutoslawski's Chantefleurs et Chantefables, and premiered The Door, by Ryan Chase, with the Mannes Orchestra.
A California native, in her early career as a "boy soprano," she toured internationally with the Los Angeles Childrens Chorus, performed as "Sem" in Britten's Noye's Fludde, and sang in the premiere of Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox at the Los Angeles Opera under the baton of Peter Ash.
"...a voice of crystalline clarity and incision and a sparkling stage personality..."