Death of a great Turandot

Death of a great Turandot


norman lebrecht

September 11, 2018

We have been notified of the death of Audrey Stottler, a formidable Turandot at the Met and elsewhere.

In recent years she has been a director and voice coach.


  • Christian Quilici says:

    She will be greatly missed.

  • N S Bach says:

    she was an inspiration to all who knew her ~

  • Christine says:

    Rest in peace, Audrey. So sad that you left us so young.

  • Jim Reilly says:

    Audrey’s friends, colleagues. and students here in Minnesota (where she has been living and teaching) are in a state of shock. She had just finished moving her studio and was eager for the fall to get going. No hint that this was to happen, at least that I knew of. I will miss my dear colleague!

  • Christian Quilici says:

    Such a shock and a heartbreak. She will be greatly missed.

  • Cailin M. Gudio says:

    For those of us lucky enough to know and love Audrey and to be her students, I think we will be in shock for a long time. There is no one like Audrey and there never will be. As I wrote in my personal post on Facebook, to the world, Audrey was a fearless dramatic soprano who sang to great acclaim. To her students, she was a warm-spirited guiding light. I cannot believe I will never see her or share a big hug with her again. I will never have her guidance again. She is irreplaceable. I will miss her dearly.

  • Megan M O'Leary says:

    I am one of the many voice students that have had the true privilege of working with Audrey. She was one of the greatest artists and teachers that I have ever met. Her voice, her love for all of us in her studio, her true integrity and calling as an artist was a sincere gift. She will be greatly missed. I will never forget all that she has shared with me. Her honesty, wisdom, and true ability to bring out the best voice in me and in all her students was without compare. I was just lucky to be in her studio and learn from one of the greatest singers I know. I will miss her deeply and my best tribute to her now is to remember and give of my voice to all that I can. Much love to her family in their grief. We are all a community that loved her.

  • Emily Howard says:

    Audrey was a force of nature in every way and a wonderful friend. I will miss her so much.

    I saw her sing Turandot multiple times, as well as Lady Macbeth. She was superb in both roles. Of course, Turandot was her role. She knew that Princess inside and out and brought this wonderful vulnerability to her. I saw her Met debut in the role. The night of her debut was the first night she was ever allowed to actually try the full costume which was very heavy. The stage set was raked and glossy. She had brought her own ballet slippers to wear. She told me that when she made her first entrance to sing , she felt herself sliding down the glossy raked stage, pulled by the weight of her costume. She, being a Minnesota gal, thought about ski positions and pointed her toes together in a “V” to stop. She then went on to sing a blazing “In questa reggia”.

    What I, personally, can never forget is her performance as the Dyer’s Wife in a matinee at the Met. It was astounding. And she had been given the role, I think, as a sort of German gauntlet thrown by the Met. And god did she deliver! It is a pity she didn’t do that role more. It’s a pity that the Met never seemed to understand what they had with her.

    Audrey sang all over the world with devoted fans following her from performance to performance. She was one of the greats, and a great teacher too. She was a supremely talented, wise and compassionate person. She was also funny as hell!

    I am devastated that she is no longer with us.

    • Julie says:

      I was one of her students and was about to re-up with her for the fall/winter session. This is utterly shocking and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to her family.

      • Cailin says:

        I know. I was set to resume my lessons for the Fall next week. I was so looking forward to it. Of course, I had a million questions brewing in my head that only Audrey could answer. Now, we’ll be attending her funeral. I don’t think I’ve ever suffered a shock like this. Our work was not done. Our friendship was certainly not done.

    • Christian Quilici says:

      Thank you for these stories. I got to see her Turandot as a teenager and couldn’t believe I got to meet/study with her as a young man all those years later. I had heard of her Dyer’s Wife “gauntlet” and heard that what she’d managed to pull together was formidable. I wish I could’ve seen it. I wish I could’ve had more time with her. I am just in pieces.

  • Janet Wood Holdorf says:

    Audrey was a delightful colleague whose students here in Minneapolis I enjoyed accompanying along their various paths. I will miss her presence and hold her family in thoughts of peace.

  • Peggy O'Connell says:

    Audrey was indeed one of the greats. I am having trouble processing this. We were scheduled to work today. She was the kindest, brightest light in my life and many others will say the same. Her enormous talent, heart, compassion, and brilliance will forever remain a part of us all. What a sad, sad day for the world to lose Audrey Stottler. Everytime I sing I will hear her voice in my head encouraging, correcting, guiding and bringing in the light to me.

  • Michele Mitteness Westlund says:

    I knew Audrey from her home town of Kerkhoven MN. She was a great talent!

  • Isabel says:

    As one of her many students Audrey will be greatly missed. She was always full if so much energy and joy, she made every student who walked through her door feel important and special. She made you want to work harder, be better, and put everything you had into your music, because that’s what she did for you every lesson. I will greatly miss my once a week tortures (as she liked to call them) with her, as well as her kind big heart.

  • Thao Do says:

    I was very saddened and could not believe Audrey left us so soon. She has been a great teacher who taught me so many great things in vocal and life. I will miss you very much. Rest in peace, Audrey!

  • Algot says:

    She was the greatest Turandot ever! I will never forget the first rehearsal in Copenhagen when she came into the rehearsal hall at the Royal Danish Opera, standing right behind the brass section. Now, these guys were not exactly known for playing softly, so it was quite funny to watch them hunker down, almost in fear, when this this force of nature broke loose behind them !

  • Clare says:

    It is impossible to describe just how dear this brilliant, wise, compassionate woman was to me, and equally challenging to express just how much I miss her. She is truly irreplaceable. I never imagined losing her and the loss is absolutely devastating. She has so powerfully impacted me and so many others. Having known her is an incredible blessing. I’ll forever keep her guiding light in my heart. Rest in peace, Audrey.

  • Carol says:

    I knew Audrey when we sang in the Concordia Choir. Upon seeing her after graduation and she said with great conviction, “You are going to see my name up in lights some day”. For a girl coming from humble roots in Kerhoven, MN this was a tall order, but her passion and drive was so strong I never forgot what she said and how passionate she was about it. I was convinced it would happen. She is a great example of what one can do and I have heard her voice speaking to me many times when I doubted myself.

  • Keith Williams says:

    Audrey’s passing leaves a hole in all of our hearts and lives.

    What an amazing person we have been lucky to know.

    Thank you Audrey for touching our lives and making us better people.

    Do any of you have details regarding the funeral?

  • Dan Folden says:

    I have thought often about Audrey in these past several days. I am sad. She was so hospitable towards us. So generous. Possibly most memorable was the time we drove up from Seattle to Vancouver, BC to attend the Turandot opera there. Not only did she invite up back into the dressing room after her performance to meet several of the cast, but invited us to her hotel room to reminisce into the wee hours about all the good times back in big-hearted Kerkhoven, Minnesota. It was her brother, Allen, my best friend in high school, who was my entrée to Audrey. She will be greatly missed, so evident by the multiple tributes that have already been written.

  • Jeffrey Springborg says:

    I met Audrey when we were both students at a Paul Christiansen choral clinic in Bemidji, MN. We were both so young then! Our relationship continued when we both wound up studying voice at Concordia College, Moorhead. And, in one of the practice rooms, we even worked on a duet from “Fidelio”, but never performed it. I knew all along that Audrey would go a long way, because she was so god-damned persistent in all she did, and wanted to be the best she possibly could be. Her passing was a shock to me; I thought she was so stubborn she refused to die! I will miss her greatly, but at least my memories of her will always be there!