The nicest present I have received from my parents was the opportunity to have piano lessons as young as the age of seven.
At an early stage I came in contact with Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, even Bartok and Hindemith.
My teacher, Horst Weiss, paved the way for a deeper understanding of music, gave me a solid base for technique and interpretation, made me take part in youth competitions from which I proudly returned with awards and also prepared me for qualifying at the conservatoire in Stuttgart.
At the age of eleven I learned how to play the traverse flute which came very naturally to me. Interpreting chamber music and being in an orchestra of wind instruments made me appreciate the feeling of making music together with others – which proved to be very essential in my later life.
In grammar school my talent in singing was discovered. I was invited to participate in many concerts and came in touch with what is called the “boards, that mean the world”.
However the strongest call for singing came when I joined the church choir at the age of sixteen and realised how much I loved sacred music. Subsequently, the choirmaster, Siegfried Burger, offered me my first solo in Schubert´s Mass in G major. I was in seventh heaven and remember well that my parents could not believe that the voice they were listening to was mine!
My singing has always been shaped by the spirit of Mozart.
My voice loves his music and adores his strength of expression which easily communicates to and involves the listener despite its rigid classical form. I consider him an expert in showing even the finest detail of human relationships through his ingeniously placed notes.
Singing his music is a corrective force for me. If I want to centre my voice after doing Lulu, Medea or even Traviata, I sing Mozart.
My first encounter was at the age of fifteen when the opera ensemble of Pforzheim came to our little town to perform Rigoletto.
However this experience didn’t awaken my interest for the genre, presumably due to the fact that our family didn’t listen to classical music and therefore I couldn’t find a point of reference.
It still makes me laugh that even during the years of study I only listened to five live performances.
In this sense I am a true late bloomer with opera. Not until I joined the Nuremberg opera did I realise the expressiveness and communicative power of this kind of music.
This first engagement in Nuremberg had an incredible intensity and imprinting effect on me as a young singer. Looking back I would say that these years laid the foundation of my whole professional being thanks to the artistic director Eberhard Kloke. Eventhough his personality was despised by most of the orchestras and audiences due to his rebellious charisma (you could find “Kloke – no thank you!” -stickers at every second traffic light), he invented the most exciting programs and brought concepts to life a theater person can only dream of.
Stagings, sets and installations reached a new level, a level of revolt, innovation and confrontation, heavy to bear for a Franconian audience.What wild times for a young singer getting to know operas like Prokofiev´s “Fiery angel”, Schoenberg´s “Moses and Aaron”, Wolfgang Rihm`s “Conquest of Mexico” or Alban Berg´s “Lulu” in the first years of a career.
The opportunity to embody music and text, to bring notes, movements, spoken word and emotions on a stage is something really wonderful.It gives me the possibility to understand myself as a complete human being, even more, to discover inside me parts that I don´t know at all.Where do I find in me the ability to kill somebody, to retreat to a convent, to be a prostitute, a bird or a fox, to die…..and here starts the fusion of my own potential together with the idea of the director. Ideally all my experience, thoughts and feelings mingle into the conceptional framework of the director and create what later appears on stage. This can be uplifting and revealing to such an extent that it radiates straight into the audience and reaches directly their hearts. If this happens I am a happy human being!
Current Opera Repertoire
- Georg Friedrich Händel
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Le Nozze die Figaro (Contessa) in preparation
Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)
Die Zauberflöte (Pamina)
- Ludwig van Beethoven
Leonore 1805 (Leonore)
- Carl Maria von Weber
Der Freischütz (Agathe) in preparation
- Vincenzo Bellini
La Straniera (Adelaide)
Norma (Norma) in preparation
- Gaetano Donizetti
Maria Stuarda (Maria Stuarda)
- Ambroise Thomas
- Jacques Offenbach
Les Contes Hoffmann (Antonia, Giulietta)
- Leoš Janáček
Vêc Makropoulos (Emilia Marty) in preparation
- Johann Strauß
Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde)
- Franz Lehar
Lustige Witwe (Hanna Glawary)
- Richard Strauss
Der Rosenkavalier (Marschallin) in preparation
Ariadne (Ariadne) in preparation
- Alexander von Zemlinsky
Der Zwerg (Donna Clara)
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Die Tote Stadt (Marietta / Marie)
- Hans Werner Henze
- Manfred Trojahn
La Grande Magia (Marta di Spelta)
- Anno Schreier
With not one singing lesson I was asked to do my first “real” concert at the age of seventeen in our church in Tuttlingen: a mass of Franz Schubert. Sacred music was a revelation for me and still brings me deep satisfaction when I perform it.
The fascination lies especially in the encounter with many different orchestras and conductors. To understand for example why an orchestra is well-known for its fabulous interpretation of Mozart or Strauss I needed lots of music-making and experience.
The present to dive into a musical vision of Kirill Petrenko, Antonio Pappano, Simon Rattle, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Rene Jacobs and many more wonderful conductors, to share the stage with the Berlin Philharmonics, the Boston Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonics, the Concertgebouw Orchestra or Freiburg Baroque enriched the path of my career in a way that it made my own music making more profound and it is contagiously inspiring.
Current Concert Repertoire
- J. S. Bach
- L.v. Beethoven
- A. Berg
Sieben Frühe Lieder
- J. Brahms
Ein Deutsches Requiem
- W. Braunfels
Die Gott minnende Seele
- B. Britten
- G. Crumb
- J. Doderer
- G. F. Händel
Acis und Galathea
- J. Haydn
- E. Krenek
Kantate von der Vergänglichkeit des Irdischen
- G. Mahler
Sinfonie Nr.2 / Nr. 4
Sieben Lieder aus letzter Zeit
- F. Mendelssohn
- W. A. Mozart
- C. Orff
- C. Saint-Saëns
Oratorio de Noël
- F. Schreker
Zwei Lyrische Gesaänge
- A. Schönberg
- F. Schubert
- R. Schumann
Das Paradies und die Peri
- I. Strawinsky
- G. Ph. Telemann
- K. Thieme
Freiheit, mein Stern
Already ten years in my career as an opera singer I fell in love with LIED, a rich treasure box full of revelations. The stories told in songs don’t need a stage, they are just expressed by the voice and carried by the piano.
Together with Jendrik Springer I started off as a duo in 2002. We recorded the CD “Goethe – das Ewig Weibliche”.
Stephan Matthias Lademann and Camillo Radicke are the pianists of my “dimensions” – trilogy “WELT – ANDERSWELT – INNENWELT”, a musical journey through the chapters of human BEING and awareness, delicately presented in CD-form by the label Solo Musica.
In the year 2006 the label Harmonia Mundi offered me to join in on the Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer recording for vocal quartet and piano for four hands.
The days in the studio together with my colleagues Stella Doufexis, Werner Güra and Konrad Jarnot and the pianists Camillo Radicke and Christoph Berner were of such friskiness and joy that we immediately felt that this music needs more than just a CD. We performed over 20 performances in the celebration year of Brahms and then decided together with our new mezzo Anke Vondung to record the Spanish quartets by Robert Schumann as well as the solemn and gregarious quartets of Franz Schubert.
Current Lied Repertoire
- Robert Schumann
Frauenliebe und -leben
- Modest Mussorgsky
- Richard Strauss
Vier Letzte Lieder
- Walter Braunfels
Von der Liebe süß und bitt´rer Frucht
Fragmente eines Federspiels
Zwei Lieder nach Carossa-Gedichten
- Samuel Barber
- Wolfgang Rihm
- Gustav Mahler
- Robert Schumann
- Dimensions – WORLD
songs by Franz Schubert, Clara und Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Hans Sommer, Richard Wagner, Sigurd von Koch
- Dimensions – OTHERWORLDsongs by Carl Loewe, Johannes Brahms, Max Reger, Hugo Wolf, Hans Sommer, Franz Schreker, Alexander Zemlinsky, Nikolai Medtner, Edvard Grieg, Sigvaldi Kaldalóns, Wilhelm Stenhammar, u.a
- Dimensions- INNERWORLDsongs by Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss, Max Reger, Hans Sommer, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Gabriel Fauré, Henry Duparc, Reynaldo Hahn u.a.
- Blühendes hat sich ergeben
songs by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss
- Dimensions – WORLD
In my final school year, 1987, I joined a pop group called SQUARE performing vocals and keyboards. We were covering the hits back then from Whitney Houston to Pink Floyd. The nights were long and the days short, we had great fun and I earned enough money to finance my studies.
I met Matthias Baumhof, the keyboarder of the group “Boys and Girl” with whom I created a show with hits ranging from “The bat” to “The phantom of the opera”.
We toured as “Lisa&Sasse” and took part in many different presentations and events. I called our program “a journey through the epochs of singing”, appeared in big evening gowns for operetta, on rollerblades for “starlight express“, tap danced to “I got rhythm” and crawled on the floor in a cat’s costume to sing “Memories”.
Later, already engaged at the Dusseldorf opera house, I heard somebody playing Jazz on stage during a rehearsal break.
I found our coach Dirk Wedmann grooving on the piano and was again inspired to try something new beyond opera. Dirk taught me how to sing Jazz – as much as it was possible: a critic reckoned: “a little bit of „shubidu“ doesn’t make a Ella Fitzgerald”…of course not! This statement didn’t prevent me from inventing a crossover evening that bridged classical music and jazz.