Biography

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. Having studied at the University of Theatre and Music “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, it was in Magdeburg and Weimar that she began her career. She made her debut as Marzelline in Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera House in 1999, and remained there as a member of the chorus 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 honoured with the Eberhard Waechter Medal in 2001 and 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 sung on a freelance basis since 2006, taking important roles in both new and repertory productions at leading opera houses: 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 Venua (Tannhäuser) and Brünnhilde (Siegfried).
The many leading opera houses and centres of musical culture to have welcomed her to their stages include 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.
Ricarda Merbeth has worked with an array of renowned conductors such as Ingo Metzmacher, Pinchas Steinberg, Daniele Gatti, Semyon Bychkov, Philippe Jordan, Donald Runnicles, Christian Thielemann, Gianandre Noseda, Yannick Nézet‐Séguin, Kent Nagano, Fabio Luisi, Riccardo Chailly and Constantin Trinks to name but a few

 

photo © Mirko Joerg Kellner

Discography

Richard Wagner - Das Rheingold

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Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer

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Richard Wagner – The Operas

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Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen

Marek Janowski

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Engelbert Humperdinck - Hänsel und Gretel

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