Dietrich Henschel - Bass

Dietrich Henschel © KJO Photography

„Baritone Dietrich Henschel is a towering figure, physically, intellectually, musically and theatrically. His prowess as an interpreter, by which I mean precisely his ability to get below the surface of a song and right into its soul, is extraordinary.” Herald Scotland Baritone

Dietrich Henschel captivates audiences as a regular guest at major opera houses, an esteemed interpreter of lieder and oratorios as well as with his multimedia vocal music projects. His repertoire stretches from Monteverdi to the avant-garde.

Born in Berlin and having grown up in Nuremberg, he made his debut in 1990 at the Munich Biennale for New Music and first became known internationally from 1997, following a period as an ensemble member of the Opera Kiel. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin he took the title role in Hans Werner Henze’s Prinz von Homburg, staged by Götz Friedrich, and he made an outstanding lead performance in Busoni’s Doktor Faust at the Opéra de Lyon and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, for which he was awarded a Grammy.

The singer’s major roles include Rossini’s Figaro, Wolfram in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Monteverdi’s Ulisse and Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beckmesser in  agner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Dr. Schön in Lulu, Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. He makes regular appearances with these roles at the major European opera houses in cities including Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Florence, Munich, Hamburg, Zürich and Brussels. Contemporary composers such as Péter Eötvös, Detlev Glanert, Manfred Trojahn, Unsuk Chin, Peter Ruzicka and José-Maria Sanchez-Verdu have all dedicated leading operatic roles in their operas to the baritone.

In addition to his operatic work, Dietrich Henschel is committed to the performance of lieder and concert works for voice. In orchestral concerts he has worked with great conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling and Riccardo Muti. His collaborations with John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Colin Davis is documented on numerous oratorio recordings. Dietrich Henschel has a particular focus on theatrical and multimedia presentations of vocal music. He has performed staged versions of Schubert lieder cycles at the Théâtre la Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Den Norske Opera Oslo and the Komische Oper Berlin, among others. In the project IRRSAL – Triptychon einer verbotenen Liebe, featuring the orchestral songs of Hugo Wolf, he combined film and live concert; his most recent project featuring songs by Gustav Mahler, WUNDERHORN, was also a collaboration with director Clara Pons, and was developed as a co-production between several European partners including De Doelen, La Monnaie
and the BBC Symphony Orchestra London.

The current season began with three concerts at the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, where Dietrich Henschel performed selections of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder and biblical songs by Dvořák with the pianist Shai Wosner. Following this he gave a performance of Haydn’s The Creation with the
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir under the direction of Kazushi Ono. Another highlight was a tour with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées under Philippe Herreweghe with Hugo Wolf’s orchestral songs and Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder. At the opening concert of the Oxford Lieder Festival he performed Mahler’s Lied von der Erde with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; he subsequently went on to perform at the opening concert of Wien Modern, where he took the part of Jean Charles in Hans Werner Henze’s Floß der Medusa under the direction of Cornelius Meister.

In November he will tour Asia with the Choir of the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna for performances of Mozart’s Requiem and Brahms’ Ein  deutsches Requiem. Further highlights of the coming season are Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski, Haydn’s The Creation with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège under Christian Armind, a programme of music by Luigi Dallapiccola at La Monnaie, Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the Orchestre National de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin, performances of Lied von der Erde at the Beethovenfest in Warsaw and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Orchestre de La Monnaie under the direction of chief conductor Alain Altinoglu.