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The 2005/06 season for soprano CELENA SHAFER includes her Chicago Symphony debut in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 led by Michael Tilson Thomas; her Carnegie Hall debut in Mozart's Requiem with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and Donald Runnicles; Mozart's Coronation Mass on Mozart's 250th birthday with the New York Philharmonic and music director Lorin Maazel; Mozart's Mass in C minor with the Kansas City Symphony and Nicholas McGegan; her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in Handel's Messiah; and Poulenc's Gloria conducted by Raymond Leppard and Lisette in La Rondine with Utah Symphony and Opera. With Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony she will sing Berg's Lulu Suite in San Francisco, Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Kennedy Center, with a return to San Francisco later in the season for Mahler's Symphony No. 8. Recital appearances include the Libby Gardner Virtuoso Series at the University of Utah, and the Signature Series at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Career highlights include back-to-back debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic in Handel's Messiah, Johanna in a new production of Sweeney Todd with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Nanetta in Falstaff with the Los Angeles Opera, Aithra in Die Aegyptische Helena with the American Symphony Orchestra, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Concertgebouw, and Gilda in a new production of Rigoletto with the Welsh National Opera. In the summer of 2005 she received wide critical acclaim for her stunning portrayal of Giunia in Mozart's Lucio Silla, as a follow up to her appearances as Ismene in Mitridate and Hero in Beatrice and Benedict with the Santa Fe Opera, where she was an apprentice in 1999 and 2000.