„Die Frau ohne Schatten“
Die Frau ohne Schatten
Opera in three acts, text byen Hugo von Hoffmannsthal
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since autumn 2017. The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski takes on all challenges whether they be stylistic, technical or music-historical.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin – conducting with Rolf Reuter; correpetition and song accompaniment with Semion Skigin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the British Wexford Festival with Rimski-Korsakov’s “Mainacht” and in the same year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with “Nabucco”. Subsequently he was, among other things, First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997- 2001) and Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013). In 2003 Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has been its Principal Conductor since 2007 and will stay on until summer 2021. He is also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until summer 2021, Artistic Director of the International George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He works regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the ensemble unitedberlin. With the start of the 2021/2022 season, Vladimir Jurowski will take on one of the most prestigious roles in German musical life in addition to his engagement with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, by becoming General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, a position for which he signed a contract in 2018.
Vladimir Jurowski is in high demand around the world as a guest conductor. He has conducted the major orchestras of Europe and North America, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Vladimir Jurowski conducted Prokofiev’s “Semyon Kotko” with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, made his debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden, debuted with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performed with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival and conducted a unique project with the London Sinfonietta in Moscow to mark the UK-Russian Year of Culture. Together with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin he performed in Japan in spring 2019 and at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in autumn 2019.
The first joint CD by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin from 2015 immediately marked a milestone. Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3 was followed in 2017 by a Strauss/Mahler recording and a CD of violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith with soloist Arabella Steinbacher. In 2020, a critically acclaimed recording of Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” was released.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2020, Jurowski will be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Tenor (Der Kaiser)
Torsten Kerl - Tenor (Der Kaiser)
The German singer Torsten Kerl is one of the most sought-after Heldentenors in the world. In the 2018/2019 season opera projects lead him to the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Paul in “Die tote Stadt”, as Tannhäuser to the New National Theatre Tokyo and as Rienzi to the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In concert he sang Siegmund with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Edo de Waart.
In the season 2017/18 he performed as Max in “Der Freischütz” at the New National Theatre in Tokyo and at the Semperoper Dresden. Furthermore he sang the leading role in Wagners Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in Odense as well as at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe. At the Enescu Festival he sang Albrecht von Brandenburg in Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” under the baton of Lawrence Foster. As a concert singer he sang Mahler’s “Lied von der Erde” in Berlin and Breslau, Waldemar in Schönberg’s “Gurrelieder” in Aarhus and Berlin and in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in several renowned European concert halls.
Torsten Kerl has a wide repertoire. Therefore he is one of the few tenors who are regularly interpreting all the big Wagner parts like Erik, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Loge, Siegmund, Tristan, Rienzi and both Siegfrieds. Furthermore he was repeatedly seen as Max (Der Freischütz), Paul (Die tote Stadt), Florestan (Fidelio), Pedro (Tiefland), Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Kaiser (Die Frau ohne Schatten). Other important roles are Don José (Carmen), Samson (Samson et Dalila), Äneas (Les Troyens), Grigori (Boris Godunow), Egyptian Pharaoh (Moses), Herrmann (Pique Dame), Otello (Otello) and Dick Johnson (La Fanciulla del West).
He has also been seen on the most important stages in the world, including, among others, the Wiener Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera New York, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Semperoper Dresden, Scala di Milano, New National Theatre Tokyo, Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Gran Teatro del Liceo Barcelona, Palau de les Arts Valencia, Opéra National de Paris (Bastille), Châtelet Paris, Opéra du Lyon, Staatsoper Hamburg, Teatro Carlo Felice Genova, Den Norske Opera Oslo, Opera de Munt Brussels and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Torsten Kerl is a permanent guest at international Opera Festivals like the Bayreuther Festspiele (Der fliegende Holländer, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), the Salzburger Festspiele (Mozart-Requiem, Die Liebe der Danae and Die tote Stadt), the Edinburgh Festival, the Glyndebourne Festival and the Opera Festival in Savonlinna in Finland. In 2000 he won the Grammy Award for the best international recording of the year.
Beyond that Kerl is regularly working with the most important orchestras in the world: the Wiener Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Amsterdam Cocertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Radio France, Dresdner Staatskapelle and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma.
Sopran (Die Kaiserin)
Anne Schwanewilms - Sopran (Die Kaiserin)
Anne Schwanewilms is recognised as one of the leading interpreters of the works of Richard Strauss. Her extensive repertoire covers roles such as Arabella, Ariadne („Ariadne auf Naxos“), Chrysothemis („Elektra“), Feldmarschallin („Der Rosenkavalier“), Empress („Die Frau ohne Schatten, Danae („Die Liebe der Danae“), Elsa („Lohengrin“), Elisabeth („Tannhäuser“), Desdemona („Otello“), Marie („Wozzeck“) and Madame Lidoine („Dialogues des Carmélites“). She has appeared at many of the major opera houses of the world including Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, New York and Tokyo. At the Semperoper Dresden, Anne Schwanewilms enjoyed a great success as Arabella and Chrysothemis under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann, roles which she reprised at the Vienna National Opera under the baton of Ulf Schirmer and Franz Welser-Möst. Anne Schwanewilms is a regular at the Bayreuth and the Salzburg Festivals, where her performances as Carlotta in „Die Gezeichneten“ by Franz Schreker and as the Empress in Richard Strauss’ „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ were particularly significant. Engagements in 2017 included Marschallin („Der Rosenkavalier“) in Munich, Elisabeth („Tannhäuser“) at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and Eva in the new production of „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ at the Bayreuth Festival in 2017. In 2019 she sang the role of Isabella in the new production of Krenek’s „Karl V“ (director: Carlus Padrissa – La Fura dels Baus) at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Leonore at the Vienna State Opera and Empress in a concert performance of „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ at the Berlin Philharmonie. She also had a great success with a recital at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. In 2020 she sang at the Semper opera house Dresden the title role in a new production of Jacques Offenbach’s „Die Großherzogin von Gerolstein“.
Anne Schwanewilms appears regularly with conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Stefan Soltesz, Vladimir Jurowski, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Simone Young, Christoph Eschenbach and Riccardo Chailly. Her prolific concert career takes her to the foremost halls of Europe and she appears with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France.
One of the leading exponents of Lied, Anne Schwanewilms has appeared in recital at the Wigmore Hall London, at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Lincoln Center New York and at the Edinburgh Festival.
She is a member of the jury of the international Louis Spohr-Competition and leads masterclasses. A British music critic described her as a ‘veritable sound painter’. Accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, Charles Spencer and Roger Vignoles, Anne Schwanewilms has set artistic standards with her interpretations of songs by Schumann, Wolff, Wagner, Liszt, Mahler, Strauss and Schönberg. Music critics praise her unfailing sense of the subtlest details of phrasing, lustre and suppleness of voice and great technical expertise. „Recitals are my staging“, Anne Schwanewilms said once in an interview. „Here I can create something from the beginning with very simple means – the voice and the piano.“
Anne Schwanewilms has a comprehensive discography. Her opera recordings include DVDs of „Die Gezeichneten“ (Salzburg Festival, Kent Nagano, DSO, 2005), „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ (Salzburg Festival, Christian Thielemenn, Vienna Philharmonic), „Der Rosenkavalier“ (Fabio Luisi, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, 2007) and „Dialogues des Carmélites“ (Simone Young, Hamburg State Opera, 2008). In addition, she has presented a Richard Strauss CD („Vier letzte Lieder“ and excerpts from „Der Rosenkavalier“, „Capriccio“ and „Arabella“, Markus Stenz, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra), a Richard Wagner CD with „Tristan and Isolde“, „Tannhäuser“ and the „Wesendonck-Lieder“ (Cornelius Meister, RSO Vienna) as well as several recital discs including works by Liszt, Mahler, Schumann, Wolff, and Schönberg. In May 2016 her CD „Schöne Welt…“ with Lieder by Schubert, Schreker and Korngold has been released.
A recipient of many awards, she was „Singer of the year“ in 2002. In 2014 she received a GRAMMY Award nomination for her CD recording of Richard Strauss’ „Elektra“ with Christian Thielemann. Her recording of „Wozzeck“ with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony Orchestra received the ECHO Klassik Award 2017 and the GRAMMY Award 2018 in the category „best opera recording“. In 2019 the DVD “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” from the Bayreuth Festival with Anne Schwanewilms as Eva received an OPUS Klassik.
Mezzosopran (Die Amme)
Tenor (Hüter der Schwelle des Tempels)
Tenor (Erscheinung eines Jünglings)
Sopran (Stimme eines Falken)
Alt (Stimme von oben)
Karolina Gumos - Alt (Stimme von oben)
Karolina Gumos is engaged as a house soloist at the Komische Oper Berlin. Her parts here include Octavian in Strauss´s “Der Rosenkavalier” and the title role Prince Charmant in „ Cendrillon“ by Massenet, Idamante in „Idomeneo“, Polina in “Pique Dame”, Prinz Orlofsky in “The Fledermaus”, Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” and Dorabella in Mozarts “Cosi fan tutte”.
The mezzosoprano Karolina Gumos was born in Gdynia (Poland). She studied the violin before turning to singing. After successfully completing her Recital Diploma at the Poznan Music College with Professor Wojciech Maciejowski she decided to continue advanced studies as a mezzo-soprano with Professor Anneliese Fried at the Hanns Eisler music college in Berlin.
She performed frequently in oratoros by Bach, Händel, Mozart and Pergolesi. Karolina Gumos attended masterclasses and took part in numerous radio and television broadcasts with ARTE and the ZDF in Germany and Polish Radio 1. She has been invited to festivals such as “Ruhrtriennale” in Duisburg and Bochum, „Händel-Festspiele“ in Karlsruhe, “Vratislavia Cantans” in Wroclaw, Schloss Rheinsberg Chamber Opera Festival and the Lutoslawski Festival.
She has been a prizewinner in the international Ada Sari Singing Competition.
Karolina Gumos was engaged as a house soloist at the Dortmund Opera by the director of opera, Christine Mielitz. Here she was singing such roles as Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Annina (Rosenkavalier), Fenena (Nabucco), Cherubino (Figaro), Olga (Eugen Onegin), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly) and Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte).
She was also engaged as a house soloist at the State Theater Braunschweig. Here she sang roles such as Nicklausse / La Muse (Contes d´ Hoffmann), Ottavia (L´incorinazione di Poppea), Sextus (La Clemenza di Tito) and the title role in the first performance in Germany of Philippe Boesmans´”Julie”.
She has performed with famous conductors (such as Reinhard Schwarz, Peter Schneider, Peter Gülke, Wladimir Jurowski, Friedermann Layer, Sebastian Weigle, Stefan Soltesz, Michael Boder, Michael Hofstetter, Ion Marin, Pedro Halffter, Alexander Vedernikov, Marcus Bosch, Jörg Peter Weigle, Eugeniusz Kus and Arthur Fagen) and she has also worked with opera producers as Willy Decker, Stefan Herheim, Heiner Goebbels, Hans Neuenfels, Barrie Kosky, Damiano Micheletto, Marco Arturo Marelli, Christine Mielitz, Udo Samel, Beverly Blankenship, Lucas Kindermann, Uwe Schwarz and Sebastian Baumgarten. She has guest contracts with the Teatro de la Maestranza in Sevilla, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Semperoper Dresden, the Hamburg State Opera , the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Opernhaus Frankfurt am Main, the BESETO Opera Seoul, and has given concerts in Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Latvia, Belgium, Norway and Korea.
Thomas J. Mayer
Sopran (Die Aufseherin)
Ricarda Merbeth - Sopran (Die Aufseherin)
The German soprano Ricarda Merbeth is one of the leading singers in her field. Audiences and critics alike regard her as one of the most outstanding interpreters of Wagner and Strauss of our time.
She made her debut as Marzelline in Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera House in 1999, and remained there as a member of the ensemble until 2005. Her roles at the Vienna State Opera House have included Contessa, Donna Anna, Pamina, Fiordiligi, Chrysothemis, Elisabeth, Eva, Irene, Elsa, Marschallin and Sieglinde. Her Daphne in a new production of Richard Strauss’s eponymous opera at the Vienna State Opera House in 2004 was a special highlight of Ricarda’s career to date, and it was this title role that cemented her breakthrough as an international singer. She was appointed as an Austrian Kammersängerin by the Vienna State Opera House in 2010. Regular engagements as a guest singer have maintained her strong relationship with the Vienna State Opera House to this day. Bayreuth Festival has been the venue for a number of other key milestones in her career, for example the roles of Freia and Gutrune in Jürgen Flimm’s production of the Ring Cycle in 2001, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser in 2002‐2005 and 2007 and Senta in the current production of The Flying Dutchman from 2013 to 2018.
Ricarda Merbeth has been singing on a freelance basis since 2006 in many leading opera houses: the Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera (Munich), La Scala (Milan), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), New National Theatre (Tokyo), Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Real (Madrid), Opera Amsterdam, Toulouse, Marseille, Barcelona, Helsinki, Stockholm, Zurich, Sydney, Vienna (including the Musikverein) and New York. Here she is singing important roles as Helen (The Egyptian Helen), Sieglinde (The Valkyrie), the title role in Ariadne on Naxos, Marietta (The Dead City), Marschallin (The Knight of the Rose), Senta (The Flying Dutchman), Leonore (Fidelio), Emilia Marty (The Makropulos Affair), Elsa (Lohengrin), Marie (Wozzeck), Isolde (Tristan & Isolde), Goneril (Lear), Chrysothemis (Elektra), Elisabeth and Venus (Tannhäuser) and Brünnhilde (Siegfried / Valkyrie / The twilight of gods). Ricarda Merbeth has worked with an array of renowned conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-whun Chung, Daniele Gatti, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan, Fabio Luisi, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Steinberg, Christian Thielemann, Constantin Trinks.
Current and future engagements up to and including 2019 include Brünnhilde (Siegfried) and the Marschallin (The Knight of the Rose) in Tokyo, Isolde in Turin and Amsterdam, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Copenhagen, Leonore (Fidelio) at the Vienna State Opera House, the title roles in Elektra and The Egyptian Helen at La Scala in Milan and the title role in Turandot at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.
Tenor (Der Bucklige, Bruder Baraks)
Bariton (Der Einäugige, Bruder Baraks)
Tom-Erik Lie - Bariton (Der Einäugige, Bruder Baraks)
Tom Erik Lie was born in Oslo and studied singing from 1986 to 1991 at the Conservatory and in the State Opera Academy in Oslo. In 1991 his first engagement led him to Düsseldorf. From 1993 to 1998 Tom Erik Lie was engaged in Gelsenkirchen. In the role of Wolfram in “Tannhäuser” he was nominated in 1996 by the magazine “Opernwelt” as “promising artist of the year”. In 1995 he received the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship for young Singers.
Guest engagements followed in Hannover, Essen, Nürnberg, Bonn, Leipzig and Dresden. From 1998 to 2001 Tom Erik Lie was a member of the ensemble at the opera in Leipzig. Here he sang Frère Léon in the German première of Messiaens “Saint François d’Assise”, Guglielmo, Papageno, Siegfried in Schumann´s “Genoveva” and Wolfram in “Tannhäuser”, a part which he also sang at the Royal Opera Copenhagen. As Don Giovanni and Robert Storch (in “Intermezzo” by R. Strauss) he celebrated great successes in Garsington Opera Festival. From 2001 to 2004 he was engaged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he sang Papageno, Wolfram, Sharpless, Albert, Schaunard and Frère Léon. In the Komische Oper Berlin he had his debut in 2003 as Edwin in “Die Csárdásfürstin”. Since 2004 he is a member of the ensemble there, and sings Marcello in “La Bohème”, Count Almaviva in “The marriage of Figaro”, the title parts in “Eugene Onegin” and “Don Giovanni”, Sharpless in “Madama Butterfly”, Papageno in “The Magic Flute”, Gabriel von Eisenstein in “Die Fledermaus”, Prince Jeletzky in “Pique Dame”, Horatio in Christian Jost’ “Hamlet” (world premiere) and Beckmesser in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”. He also had great success as Germont in “La Traviata”.
In May 2010 Tom Erik Lie sang the part of Phileas Fogg in Oslo in the premiere of “In 80 Days around the World” by Gisle Kverndokk.
Tom Erik Lie has sung numerous concerts in Europe, Asia and the USA with conductors including Kirill Petrenko, Christian Thieleman, Sir André Previn, Michael Jurowsky, Marcello Viotti, Paolo Carignani, Friedeman Layer, Jiri Kout, Peter Schneider and Mark Albrecht, and worked with directors including Peter Konwitschny, Hans Neuenfels, Calisto Bieto, Christof Loy, Kasper Holten and Andreas Homoki.
Bass (Der Einarmige, Bruder Baraks)
Christian Oldenburg - Bass (Wächterstimme)
Christian Oldenburg studied opera singing and dancing, and worked with Renate Faltin, Scot Weir, Julia Varady, and Wolfram Rieger at the Hanns Eisler University Berlin. He attended master classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Neil Semer, Elio Battaglia, Lucio Gallo, Snezana Brzakovic, Peter Konwitschny, and Willy Decker.
His operatic repertoire comprises roles such as Hans Scholl in Udo Zimmermann’s „Die Weisse Rose“, Papageno in „Die Zauberflöte“ , Albert in „Massenet’s Werther” , Eduard in Hindemith’s „Neues vom Tage“ , and Falke in „Die Fledermaus“ (Theater Lüneburg), Donner in „Der Ring an einem Abend“ production directed by Philippe Arlaud for Bayreuth, Gilberto in Donizetti´s „Enrico di Borgogna“ (Vadstena Summer Opera Festival, Sweden), the title part in Ristori’s Calandro at the Music Festival Potsdam/Sanssouci within the Young Baroque Opera Project under the baton of Olof Bomann, his debut as Don Giovanni at the Wernigeröder Schlossfestspiele, Germany, Haushofmeister in Strauss’ „Capriccio“ (Opéra de Lyon), Boris in „Moskau Tscherjomuschki“, „Hans im Glück“ , Kilian in „Der Freischütz“ , Mittlerer Bruder/König in „Der gestiefelte Kater“ , and Un servo in „Luci mie traditrici“ (all at Staatsoper Berlin).
He has collaborated with orchestras such as Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Oder, Staatskapelle Berlin, Dresdner Philharmonie, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and Hamburger Symphoniker.
Recent engagements include Spinelloccio/Amatio di Nicolao in „Gianni Schicchi“ for Szczecin Opera, Finocchio in the world premiere of Sciarrino’s „Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo“ with Teatro alla Scala and Staatsoper Berlin, „Carmina Burana“ with Collegium Musicum Symphony Orchestra, Haushofmeister in Strauss’ „Capriccio“ for La Monnaie Brussels, and the title part in „Hans im Glück“ at Staatsoper Berlin.
Current season comprises Wächter der Stadt in „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ with the RSB, Josef K. in Glass’ „The Trial“, Mercutio in „Roméo et Juliette“ , and Spinelloccio in „Gianni Schicchi“ for Szczecin Opera among others.
Philipp Alexander Mehr
Sopran (Dienerin, Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
Sophie Klußmann - Sopran (Dienerin, Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
With a voice that is warm, wide-ranging and dark-hued, and commanding a repertoire that extends from the baroque to the present day, German-born soprano Sophie Klussman is in demand as a concert singer, as a recitalist and on the opera stage.
In recent seasons her engagements have included a world tour of Mozart concert arias with Martin Haselböck and the Wiener Akademie, and performances and recordings of 20th century music with the Berlin’s Scharoun Ensemble, the pianist Oliver Triendl and a variety of other partners. Over her career to date she has collaborated with such conductors as Marek Janowski, Ingo Metzmacher, Helmuth Rilling, Michael Gielen, Michael Sanderling, Karl Heinz Steffens and, in the field of historically informed performance, Marcus Creed, Václav Luks and Attilio Cremonesi. Her career has taken her to such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Zurich Tonhalle, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, New York City Center and the Concert Hall of the National Grand Theatre Beijing.
Sophie Klussmann numbers Thomas Quasthoff, Dunja Vejzovic, Margreet Honig and Klesie Kelly-Moog among her mentors. From 2009 to 2011 she was a member of the Halle Opera, singing a variety of soprano role, and in Halle and at the Komische Oper Berlin she gave the world premieres of two operas by the composer Christian Jost. In 2013, at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, she covered Anna Netrebko in the role of Donna Anna, while 2016 brought her debut as Micaëla (Carmen) in Wuhan, China. She also enjoyed a long-term international collaboration with American actor John Malkovich on the theatre pieces The Giacomo Variations and The Infernal Comedy.
Sophie Klussmann is a keen interpreter of song and chamber repertoire and in 2015 her first solo CD, devoted to songs by Karl Weigl, was released on the Capriccio label.
Sopran (Dienerin, Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
Verena Usemann - Sopran (Dienerin, Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
Hamburg-born mezzo-soprano Verena Usemann performed a great variety of the lyrical mezzo repertoire as an ensemble-member of the Landestheater Coburg 2010-2017. She appeared as Rosina (Der Barbier von Sevilla), Varvára (Káťa Kabanová), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Olga (Yevgény Onégin) as well as in the leading role of Handel’s Rinaldo.
During the 2013/2014 season Verena was nominated for “Nachwuchssängerin des Jahres” (young artist of the year) by Opernwelt for her performances of Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande) and Orpheus (Orfeo ed Euridice).
Following maternity leave, she returned to the stage in 2016 as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Dido (Dido and Aeneas) and was critically acclaimed for her interpretations of Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro ) and The Raven by Toshio Hosokawa (German premier).
From 2008-2010 Usemann was engaged at the Theater für Niedersachsen (Hildesheim) where she started building up her repertoire with Frau Reich (Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor), Mercedes (Carmen), Zaida (Il Turco in Italia), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Prinz Orlowsky (Die Fledermaus), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel) and Magdalene (Die Meistersinger).
Usemann also appeared as Hänsel with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in Doha and as Dorabella (Cosí fan tutte) at the Opernfestival Gut Immling.
The young mezzo-soprano takes special interest in contemporary music. In December 2018, she jumped in a Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin production at the Konzerthaus Berlin under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski singing the mezzo part of John Adams´ “El Niño“.
She has performed with the LINOS-Ensemble, the ensemble risonanze erranti as well as with the Kammerensemble für Neue Musik Berlin and made her debut with the NDR symphony orchestra in „Moses and Aron“ (A. Schönberg) 2017 at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Verena Usemann studied in Leipzig (Regina Werner-Dietrich), Vienna (Claudia Visca) and Berlin (Prof. Robert Gambill) and graduated summa cum laude. The foundations of her musical education were years of training in cello and piano as well as her membership of the children’s choir at the Staatsoper Hamburg.
Since 2018 she has been working freelance and is based in Berlin.
Sopran (Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
Sopran (Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
Alice Lackner - Sopran (Kinderstimme, Ungeborene)
The young mezzo-soprano Alice Lackner is internationally acclaimed as an opera, concert and song performer.
Born in Munich, Alice Lackner studied with Prof. Kunz-Eisenlohr at the Musikhochschule Köln/Aachen until 2015 and worked with teachers such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Gerd Uecker, Robert Holl, Ulrich Eisenlohr and Sami Kustaloglu. She received a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and won prizes at the “Podium junger Gesangssolisten” competition in Essen (2015), the “cantatebach!” competition in Greifswald (2017) as well as the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg (2019).
Alice Lackner worked as a soloist with orchestras such as the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Russian National Orchestra of Kaliningrad, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder), or the L’Orfeo Barockorchester.
In June 2019, she gave her debut in the Berlin Philharmonie with Lili Boulanger’s “Psalm 130: Du fond de l’abîme” together with the Collegium Musicum Berlin. In September 2019, she performed in Richard Strauss’ “Die Frau ohne Schatten” at the Musikfest Berlin and the George-Enescu-Festival Bukarest.
In January 2020, Alice Lackner was the soloist in Mahler’s 4th symphony at the Konzerthaus Berlin, accompanied by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski.
As an opera singer, Alice Lackner recently performed in Bad Lauchstädt Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” with the lautten compagney Berlin. In 2019, she sang the role of Nancy in Friedrich von Flotow’s “Martha” as a laureate of the Rheinsberg Kammeroper Festival. Furthermore, while still in her studies, she performed various soloist parts at the Theater Aachen, in operas such as Rusalka (Antonín Dvořák), Les Brigands (Jacques Offenbach) or Jenufa (Leoš Janáček).
Her core repertoire on the concert stage includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Recent performances have also included lesser known concert repertoire such as Requiems by Maurice Duruflé or Franz von Suppè, the “Membra Jesu Nostri” (Dietrich Buxtehude) or “Der Sieg des Glaubens” (Ferdinand Ries).
With respect to the art song, Alice Lackner works on a regular basis with the pianist Imke Lichtwark in Berlin. Next to their standard repertoire of German romantic songs, they set their focus on foreign-language repertoire (such as Slavic or French) as well as contemporary music.
Alice Lackner is a frequent guest in various vocal ensembles such as the RIAS Kammerchor, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the SWR Vokalensemble, the Berliner Rundfunkchor, the NDR Chor and the MDR Chor.
Futhermore, she recently founded the Berlin-based trio meZZZovoce, with which she explores repertoire for three mezzo-soprano voices from the Renaissance up to contemporary music.
Alice Lackner holds a Master’s degree in sociology and works as a research assistant at the Berlin-based ZOiS (Centre for East European and International Studies) .
In 2019, she realized a project about Ukraine together with the London-based photographer Mark Neville. In this project, the artists shed light on the current political situation in Ukraine from an artistic point of view.
Rundfunkchor Berlin - Choir
With round about 60 concerts per season, CD-recordings and international guest performances the Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s outstanding choral ensembles. Three Grammy® Awards alone mark the success of the ensemble. The exceptional breadth of its repertoire, an unmistakable warm, richly nuanced sound, absolute precision and delight in experimentation all contribute to making it one of the chosen partners of international orchestras and conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, or Yannick NézetSéguin. It is the permanent partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as of Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and their Principal Conductors.
Rundfunkchor Berlin’s experimental project series has attracted great worldwide attention. In collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines, the chorus breaks down the classical concert formation and adopts new modes of choral music for a new audience. The interactive scenic version of Brahms’s »Ein deutsches Requiem« staged by Jochen Sandig and a team of Sasha Waltz & Guests – »human requiem« – became a milestone within the choir’s experimental repertoire with guest performances in New York, Hongkong, Paris, Adelaide and Istanbul. In its project »LUTHER dancing with the gods« the choir cooperated with director Robert Wilson and reflected upon Luthers impact within the arts in an extraordinary concert performance with music by Bach, Nystedt and Reich in march of 2017. In the season 2020/21 the Rundfunkchor Berlin presented the transdisciplinary project THE WORLD TO COME based on Beethovens »Missa solemnis«. Directed by Tilman Hecker, contemporary music genres are fusing with the masterpiece by Beethoven, guiding the audience on a musical journey into the world of tomorrow. National and international Artists including Moor Mother, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, Planningtorock, Colin Self and Birke J. Bertelsmeier, came together to realize the heart of the new season in Berlin’s Vollgutlager.
With its community projects for various target groups – the big Sing-along Concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Festival of Choral Cultures for international choirs and the Liederbörse (Song Exchange) for children and young people – Rundfunkchor Berlin invites people of all ages to become immersed in the world of singing. Its long-term education programme SING!, encourages singing in Berlin’s elementary schools as an ongoing staple in everyday classes. With its Academy and Schola for young professional singers as well as the Berlin International Masterclass for highly qualified young choral conductors it supports the next generation.
Founded in 1925 the choir celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. Since its foundation the ensemble was shaped by conductors including Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe, Robin Gritton and Simon Halsey. As of season 2015/16 Gijs Leenaars has taken up his post as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Rundfunkchor Berlin. Simon Halsey was appointed Conductor Laureate and will retain his ties to the ensemble as regular guest conductor.
Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of RundfunkOrchester und -Chöre gGmbH Berlin (Shareholders: Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin and Radio BerlinBrandenburg).
Benjamin Goodson - Chorus Master
In 2016/17 Benjamin Goodson took up his post as assistant of the principal conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin. Born in London in 1990 the British conductor studied music and musicology at the University of Oxford. Furthermore he studied conducting with renowned teachers and conductors like Sir Colin Davis, Paul Spicer and Ulrich Windfuhr.
In England he is the musical director of the award-winning Bath Camerata, which he took over in 2015. In the same year – by the age of 24 – he was named by the university to become Oxford’s youngest director of music, a position that he gave up for the Berlin engagement, while he still holds the position as chorus master at the Dorset Festival Opera. Moreover he is a regular guest conductor of various choirs and orchestras with a broad repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary works. In the season 2017/18 he worked with the, the MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig, the NDR Chor Hamburg, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the London Symphony Chorus, which he prepared for a performance at the BBC Proms.
In the Rundfunkchor Berlin’s 2018/19 season Benjamin Goodson prepares the choir for several works such as Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Sea Symphony” und Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. In 2020/21 he will become principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir.
Kinderchor der Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Kinderchor der Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Children's Choir
In recent years, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Children’s Choir has made a name for itself as an ensemble on the opera stage and in concert appearances in Germany and abroad. Repeated invitations to guest tours (to Dresden, Hamburg, Italy, France, Luxemburg, Poland, the Baltic States, and to Vietnam) and prizes at several competitions (including the gold medal at the international competition »Siauliai Cantat« in Lithuania, First Prize, Landeschorwettbewerb Berlin 2013, first prize at Deutscher Chorwettbewerb in Weimar 2014 and two gold medals at the international Choral Competition in Hoi An/Vietnam 2015) attest to the growing artistic quality of the choir, which has been under the direction of Vinzenz Weissenburger since 2007.
For some time now, the musical repertoire and the public presence of the chorus has been constantly expanding. Central are the chorus’ regular appearances on the stage at the Staatsoper in operas such as La Bohème, Un ballo in maschera, Tosca, Turandot, Boris Godunov, Pique Dame, Der Rosenkavalier and Carmen. In addition, the chorus also appears in its own concerts, with a cappella programs and a concert with the Staatskapelle Berlin once every season.
The chorus meets twice a week for rehearsal, and offers a thorough basic musical training for its young singers. Vocal training takes place with several experienced vocal teachers, who together with the choir conductor and his assistants work at improving the artistic standards. Recent concert tours have taken the chorus to Argentina, China and to the U.S.
Compassion beyond the limits of this world