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
Alcina * in preparation
Orlando Paladino (Angelica)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Il Re Pastore (Elisa)
Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Konstanze)
Le Nozze die Figaro (Susanna)
Contessa *in preparation
Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)
Die Zauberflöte (Pamina)
Carl Maria von Weber
Der Freischütz (Ännchen)
Les Huguenots (Marguerite de Valois)
La Straniera (Adelaide)
Il Turco in Italia (Fiorilla)
La fille du Regiment (Marie)
Don Pasquale (Norina)
Les Contes Hoffmann (Stella, Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta)
Un Ballo in Maschera (Oscar)
La Traviata (Violetta)
Příhody Lišky Bystroušky (Bystrouška)
Hänsel und Gretel (Gretel)
Die Fledermaus (Adele, since 2015 Rosalinde)
Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie)
Alexander von Zemlinsky
Der Zwerg (Donna Clara)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Die Tote Stadt (Marietta) * in preparation
Die Vögel (Nachtigall)
Die Verkündigung (Stimme eines Engels)
Hans Werner Henze
Was ihr wollt (Viola/ Cesario)
La Grande Magia (Marta di Spelta)
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 moment when it feels like dancing on a wave, the singing becomes bright and effortless and I know that the orchestra has understood the “tone” of the composer - the music has arrived in our collective musical core and from there goes out to the world increased by the devotion of each musician.
For me the Baroque ensembles embody these abilities to the uttermost. When I was auditioning for Ton Koopman years ago I had the opportunity to listen to his concert with the Amsterdam Baroque orchestra in the evening.I was speechless watching each and every musician embracing his instrument with vigour and care at the same time. They were sitting on the edge of the chair, their whole being present, playing full of joy and meaning - that was contageously inspiring!
Current Concert Repertoire
|G. Ph. Telemann||Johannes-Passion
|J. S. Bach||Kantaten
|G. F. Händel||Messias
Acis und Galathea
|J. Haydn||Die Schöpfung
|W. A. Mozart||Messen
C-Moll MesseConcert Arias:
Bella mia fiamma
No, no che non sei capace
Voi avete un cor fidele
Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle
Ah, lo previdi
|L.v. Beethoven||Missa Solemnis
|A. Alabiev||Die Nachtigall|
|F. Schubert||Salve Regina
|J. Brahms||Ein Deutsches Requiem|
|C. Saint-Saëns||Oratorio de Noël|
Das Paradies und die Peri
|G. Mahler||Sinfonie Nr.2 / Nr. 4 / Nr. 8
Sieben Lieder aus letzter Zeit
|F. Schreker||Zwei Lyrische Gesaänge|
|A. Schönberg||Die Jakobsleiter
|I. Strawinsky||Les Noces|
|W. Braunfels||Die Gott minnende Seele
|A. Webern||Fünf Geistliche Gesänge|
Sieben Frühe Lieder
|E. Krenek||Kantate von der Vergänglichkeit des Irdischen|
|G.C. Menotti||The Telephone|
|K. Thieme||Freiheit, mein Stern
|J. Doderer||Salve Regina|
In the year 2002 I met the coach and pianist Jendrik Springer at the Vienna State Opera. The way he played the Lulu score was mind-blowing.
His approach was so sophisticated that I thought I was hearing a whole orchestra out of his hands. We met each other to “finger through” some songs.
After just two hours we worked through several volumes of Schumann and Brahms Lieder and knew for sure that “this voice and these fingers want to join forces”.
We immediately started to work on a recital that shortly after was performed at the Opera at the Rhine.
Our mutual idea is to invent fine concepts and unexpected combinations, to create recitals that pass a message and inspire the listener for a deeper engagement in certain aspects of life and topics of literature and music.
One beautiful result of this inspiring time is the CD with Goethe-Lieder - "das Ewig Weibliche" that we recorded with Harmonia Mundi in 2010.
Very late in my career did I understand how rich the cosmos of Lied is and that just like opera, it also can tell stories, stories to be experienced only through the voice.
In the year 2006 the label Harmonia Mundi offered me to join in as soprano for the Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer recording for vocal quartet and piano for four hands.
The days with my collegues together in the studio were of such friskiness and joy that we immediately felt that this music needs more than just a CD.
Our agent managed the rather impossible task of bringing six independent artists together for around twenty performances!
The Brahms walzes, performed in the Brahms year 2008 were followed by the Spanish quartets by Robert Schumann in the Schumann year 2010 and Schubert in 2013.
And there is no end of ideas and plans.....
Current Lied Repertoire
|Robert Schumann||Frauenliebe und -leben|
|Modest Mussorgsky||Die Kinderstube|
|Walter Braunfels||Von der Liebe süß und bitt´rer Frucht
Fragmente eines Federspiels
Zwei Lieder nach Carossa-Gedichten
|Samuel Barber||Three Songs|
|Wolfgang Rihm||Das Rot|
Songs of Love
Songs of Johannes Brahms, Samuel Barber, Gabriel Fauré, Henri Duparc, Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss.
Goethe and his Literary Women
Songs of Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Hans Sommer, Max Bruch, Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowski, Robert Schumann, Alphons Diepenbrock, Hugo Wolf, Charles Ives, Nikolai Medtner, Walter Braunfels, Hermann Reutter, Ernst Krenek, Hans Eissler and Manfred Trojahn.
Schumann: Frauenliebe-und Leben, einzelne Lieder von Richard Strauss, Ophelia-Lieder, Mädchenblumen, Wolfgang Rihm: Das Rot
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.