Christine Brewer (born October 26, 1955) is an American soprano. She grew up in the Mississippi River town of Grand Tower, Illinois. She attended McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois and concentrated on music education. She was a music teacher for several years before embarking on a professional music performing career. She was recently named among BBC's Top 20 Sopranos of the 20th Century.
Brewer began her career in St. Louis, Missouri with the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus. She auditioned in 1981 for the chorus of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL), in the start of her career in opera. Her first OTSL work was in the chorus of "The Beggars Opera" in 1982. Her first major role with OTSL was as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes in 1990.
In 1989, she participated in a masterclass with Birgit Nilsson, and was one of the 10 winners of the National Council auditions sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera. Whilst her daughter Elisabeth was in school during the academic year, Brewer deliberately limited her work in staged opera productions. She returned more actively to the opera stage after her daughter's high school graduation. She began to accept roles including a debut in the title role of Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera in 2003, which has become a signature role for Brewer.
Brewer is most famous for her interpretations of roles by Wagner, Strauss and Britten including Isolde, Ariadne, Färberin (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) and Queen Elizabeth I (Gloriana). She made her debut at the San Francisco Opera in 2006 singing the title role in Beethoven's Fidelio and returned the following season singing the role of Isolde in Tristan und Isolde.
Brewer and her husband Ross, a retired social studies teacher, live in Lebanon, Illinois. They have a daughter, Elisabeth, who works as a social worker in the Chicago area. Brewer continues to work with young students in the sixth grade classroom at Marissa, Illinois where she had formerly taught music, in an outreach program in conjunction with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
In late March 2009, Brewer had to withdraw from the complete Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera in order to undergo knee surgery to repair injuries she suffered a few months before when she slipped on ice on her driveway.
Brewer has made a number of recordings, which include:
Brewer was honored at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Album for her work on Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience.