RICARDA MERBETH - soprano
Ricarda Merbeth grew up in Chemnitz, Germany.
In 1989, upon completing her studies in voice and education at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy conservatory in Leipzig, she was offered a contract as lyric soprano with the Municipal Theater in Magdeburg, followed by a one-year’s engagement at the German National Theater in Weimar.
Since 1999 Ricarda Merbeth has belonged to the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera where she made her debut as Marzelline in FIDELIO. She has since been heard in Vienna as Freia in DAS RHEINGOLD, Gutrune in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Giulietta in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN, Countess in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI, Pamina in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and Chrysothemis in ELEKTRA. Extremely successful turned out to be her Daphne under the baton of Semyon Bychkov. Recent important role debuts at the Vienna State Opera had been the title role in JENUFA and Elsa in LOHENGRIN.
In the new production of DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN at the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth (2000-2001), Ricarda Merbeth was seen as Freia, Gerhilde/ Helmwige and Gutrune.
In 2002/2003 Ricarda Merbeth sang the role of Elisabeth in the new production of TANNHÄUSER, conducted by Christian Thielemann, which opened the Bayreuth Festival. In 2004, 2005 and 2007 she returned to Bayreuth, again as Elisabeth.
Important projects outside Vienna were: New production FRAU OHEN SCHATTEN- debut as Kaiserin – in Toulouse, her first WALKÜRE-Sieglinde in Köln, FIGARO-Contessa in Dresden, TANNHÄUSER- Elisabeth at the Bavarian State Opera, new production TANNHÄUSER in Tokyo, new productions FLIEGENDER HOLLÄNDER and ÄGYPTISCHE HELENA at the Deutsche Oper Berlin; new production NOZZE DI FIGARO in Toulouse.
Season 2009/10 opened with a much acclaimed production TOTE STADT at the Paris Bastille, followed by SALOME at the Vienna State Opera, Szymanowski-STABAT MATER at the Liceu Barcelona, concerts with Mahler 2 symphony under the baton of Mariss Jansons and LOHENGRIN at the Berlin Deutsche Oper. Ricarda Merbeth appeared as Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER in Torino (Samyon Bychkov) and at the Paris Bastille as Sieglinde (WALKÜRE). To the Vienna State Opera she returned for ROSENKAVALIER/Marschallin.
In april she was bestowed the title “Kammersängerin” at the Vienna State Opera
Future engagements include: revival ARIADNE at the Paris Bastille, new production OBERON in Toulouse, regular appearances at the Vienna State Opera, new productions LOHENGRIN at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and in Tokyo, Chrysothemis (ELEKTRA) in Amsterdam and Madrid, FIDELIO-Leonore in Torino.
Ricarda Merbeth’s many productions and performances in opera and concert in and outside Vienna offered her the possibility to work with many of the world’s finest conductors, such as Sinopoli, Mehta, Viotti, Albrecht, Schneider, Steinberg, Chung, Runnicles, Luisi, de Billy, Fischer, Bychkov, Thielemann, Gergiev and Welser-Möst.
The recent release of Ricarda Merbeth’s CD recording with Strauss-FOUR LAST SONGS and Brentano Songs was highly acclaimed (NAXOS, Weimar Staatskapelle, Michael Halász)