Educated by the famous coloratura soprano Sylvia Geszty, Marlis Petersen began her career as an opera singer in 1994 at the Städtische Bühnen Nürnbergand subsequently in 1998 at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg.
She has been touring the world as a lyric soprano since 2003 and impressed with a variety of operatic roles, but especially with Alban Berg‘s heroine Lulu, which she presented in ten different productions in Europe and the USA. The last two productions at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Metropolitan Opera New York sparked worldwide attention and are both recorded on DVD. Her most important roles at the moment include Marschallin (Rosenkavalier), Marietta (The Dead City) and Strauss’ Salome, along with many other female characters. Petersen is also a deeply committed interpreter of contemporary music. In 2010 she sang Aribert Reimann’s world premiere of “Medea” at the Vienna State Opera with great success; In January 2017 she opened the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg with Jörg Widmann’s world premiere of “Arche” under the baton of Kent Nagano.
As a concert singer, Marlis Petersen gives guest performances around the world in collaboration with well-known orchestras and conductors in the classical concert area as well as with top-class baroque ensembles. The new roles for the next seasons are “Marschallin” in Rosenkavalier, Marschallin (Rosenkavalier), Bellini’s “Norma” and the first Wagner roles for the coming seasons.
For several years now, Marlis Petersen has devoted herself to the genre Lied with particular passion. She gave celebrated recitals, both as a soloist and with her vocal quartet, sang at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and in the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin and presented specially created programs at Carnegie Hall, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Wigmore Hall in London. With her LIED-trilogy DIMENSIONS Marlis Petersen created a complete new way of programming inviting the listener into a story through different worlds of being.
For the 2019/20 season, Marlis Petersen was awarded “Singer of the Year” for the fourth time by the magazine “opernwelt” for her interpretation of Marietta at the Bavarian State Opera and won the “Opus Klassik 2020”, also as Singer of the Year for the CD “INNENWELT” released by Solo Musica.