© Mirko Joerg Kellner
© Mirko Joerg Kellner

Ricarda Merbeth

– World management –

The German soprano Ricarda Merbeth is one of the leading singers in her field and is in demand worldwide as an interpreter of Wagner and Strauss. After studying at the “Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Academy of Music in Leipzig, she began her career in Magdeburg and Weimar. In 1999, she made her debut as Marzelline in Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera and was a member of the ensemble until 2005. Since then she has sung Contessa, Donna Anna, Pamina, Fiordiligi, Chrysothemis, Elisabeth, Eva, Irene, Elsa, Marschallin and Sieglinde, among others.


A particular highlight was her Daphne in a new production at the Vienna State Opera in 2004. Ricarda Merbeth achieved her international breakthrough with this title role by Richard Strauss. The artist is still associated with the Vienna State Opera today through regular guest engagements, in 2001 she was honoured with the Eberhard Waechter Medal and in 2010 she was appointed Austrian Kammersängerin.


Further milestones in her career were engagements at the Bayreuth Festival: in 2000 in the Jürgen Flimm Ring as Freia and Gutrune, from 2002 to 2005 and 2007 as Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER and from 2013 to 2018 she sang the role of Senta in the production DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER.


Freelance since 2006, she has appeared at the world’s leading opera houses, including the Bayreuth Festival, Hamburg State Opera, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera, La Scala Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, New National Theatre Tokyo, Opera Nationale de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Dutch National Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera House in London. She sings all the major roles in her repertoire: Elektra, Helena, Ariadne, Marietta, Marschallin, Senta, Leonore, Emilia Marty, Elsa, Marie, Isolde, Goneril, Elisabeth and Venus, as well as Brünnhilden in Wagner’s Ring. Her concert repertoire includes Wesendonck-Lieder, War Requiem by Benjamin Britten, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Stabat Mater by Szymanowski, Glagolitic Mass by Leos Janacek, Four Last Songs and Brentano-Lieder by Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.


She has worked with renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-whun Chung, Christoph von Dohnányi, Dan Ettinger, Daniele Gatti, Edward Gardner, Thomas Guggeis, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan, Vladimir Jurowski, Fabio Luisi, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli, Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Steinberg, Christian Thielemann, Constantin Trinks, Franz Welser-Möst.


In recent years, Ricarda Merbeth has developed her current most important roles – including Isolde, Brünnhilden, Senta, Elektra, Färberin, Ortrud, Turandot – in terms of vocal technique/interpretation together with Prof. Ks. Wolfgang Millgramm in Berlin.


In recent years, the artist has made important role debuts: Isolde at the Hamburg State Opera in 2016, the title role in TURANDOT and Brünnhilde in SIEGFRIED at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2017/2018, Elektra at La Scala in Milan in 2018 and at the Berlin State Opera under Daniel Barenboim in 2019. In autumn 2019, she once again sang the title role in DIE ÄGYPTISCHE HELENA at La Scala.


In 2020, she sang Brünnhilde / DIE WALKÜRE in Lisbon and Madrid, Isolde / TRISTAN UND ISOLDE at the Royal Opera House London, Senta /DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at the Berlin State Opera, Elektra at the Vienna State Opera and most recently Brünnhilde / GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG at the Teatro Real Madrid. For Radio France, she recorded Brünnhilde in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG/ SIEGFRIED with L’Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris under the baton of Philippe Jordan.


In 2022 and 2023 she sang Brünnhilde in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG at the Teatro Real de Madrid, TURANDOT at the Spring Festival in Tokyo, the title role in ELEKTRA at the Berlin State Opera, Brünnhilde / SIEGFRIED in concert at the Bregenz Festival and Leonore / FIDELIO and Ortrud / LOHENGRIN in Bologna, Kundry / PARSIFAL with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Isolde in Valencia and Brünnhilde in the RING cycle at the Semperoper Dresden and at the Vienna State Opera, Senta / DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at the Baltic Opera Festival and at the Hamburg State Opera and again ELEKTRA at the Berlin and Vienna State Operas.


Major roles are also on the calendar for 2024: Färberin / FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN at the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Gurrelieder at the Sidney Opera House, Elektra at the Leipzig Opera House, Brünnhilde / RING cycle at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Elektra at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and Isolde at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

January 2024 – For the most recent biography, please contact Iris Jedamski