Sophie Harmsen travelled extensively at an early age, her parents being German diplomats, and continues this in her professional career as an internationally successful and acclaimed mezzosoprano.Concerts and Opera productions have enabled her to experience some of the worlds most beautiful concert halls and opera houses as the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro Real in Madrid, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Wien, Philharmonie de Paris, Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Sophie is frequently and recurringly invited to perform with symphony orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, SWR Symphonieorchester, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester (Constantinos Carydis), Swedish Royal Symphony Orchestra (Daniel Harding), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (Andreas Spering), Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest (Jos van Veldhoven), Orchestre National de Paris (Vaclav Luks), musicAeterna (Teodor Currentzis), Konzerthausorchester Berlin (Iván Fischer), Düsseldorfer Symphoniker (Ádám Fischer), NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (Thomas Hengelbrock) and the Freiburger Barockorchester (Jeremie Rhorer).
In the past years Sophie has continually extended her repertoire. After numerous concerts, solo recitals and CD recordings with some of the the most celebrated baroque ensembles she is glad to now feel equally at home in more romantic repertoire. Concerts and CD recordings with Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (Kent Nagano), Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde as well as the “Rückert Lieder” (Markus Stenz), Dvorak’s Requiem (Philippe Herreweghe), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Frieder Bernius, René Jacobs) and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Teodor Currentzis, Pablo Heras-Casado) are now equally represented in her calendar. Many of her CD recordings have received awards, for example Bruckner’s Missa Solemnis with the RIAS Kammerchor (Diapason d’Or) and the complete recording of J.S. Bach’s Luther Kantaten with Christoph Spering (Echo 2017).
After her beginnings at Cape Town Opera with roles including Hermia (Britten, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Graf Orlowsky (Strauss, Die Fledermaus), Mercedes (Bizet, Carmen) and Cherubino (Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro) she expanded her repertoire performing Annio (Mozart, La Clemenza di Tito) at the Teatro Real Madrid, Dorabella (Mozart, Cosi fan tutte) at the Opéra de Dijon and the Opéra de Luxembourg, Stephano (Gounod, Romeo et Juliette) at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Argene (Myslivecek, L’Olimpiade) at the opera houses Prague, Caen and Theater an der Wien to now singing repertoire by Richard Strauss (Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier). In her work with renowned directors such as Robert Wilson, Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann, William Kentridge and Andreas Dresen she was able to hone her already convincing and much praised acting skills.
Sophie is a frequent performer at international festivals. The Salzburger Festspiele, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Rheingau Musikfestival, International Händelfestspiele Göttingen and Halle and the Bachfest Leipzig, amongst many others.
This season she looks forward to her debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier in the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg, a return to the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Ballett John Neumeier for Bach’s B Minor Mass, a tour of Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with Christophe Rousset, her first Verdi Requiem with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Philippe Herreweghe, Mahlers Das Klagende Lied at the Mahler Festival Leipzig with the Gewandhausorchester and Dennis Russel Davies and Mendelssohn’s Walpurgisnacht with SWR Synfonieorchester under Pablo Heras-Casado.
Sophie Harmsen studied at the University of Cape Town and with Prof. Dr. Edith Wiens, has been mentored by Tobias Truniger for many years and now lives in Berlin with her family.