© 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 a Wagner and Strauss interpreter. After studying at the Hochschule für Musik “Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, she began her career first in Magdeburg and Weimar. In 1999 she made her debut as Marzelline in Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera and was an ensemble member until 2005. Since then she has sung roles such as Contessa, Donna Anna, Pamina, Fiordiligi, Chrysothemis, Elisabeth, Eva, Irene, Elsa, Marschallin and Sieglinde.


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 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 field: Elektra, Helena, Ariadne, Marietta, Marschallin, Senta, Leonore, Emilia Marty, Elsa, Marie, Isolde, Goneril, Elisabeth and Venus, as well as the 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 Songs by Richard Strauss, and Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony.


She works 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 – Isolde, Brünnhilden, Senta, Elektra, Färberin, Ortrud, Turandot, among others – vocally/interpretatively together with Prof. Ks Wolfgang Millgramm in Berlin.


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


In 2020 she sang Brünnhilde / DIE WALKÜRE in Lisbon and Madrid, Isolde/ TRISTAN UND ISOLDE at the Royal Operahouse London, Senta /DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at the Berlin State Opera, Elektra at the Vienna State Opera, 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 conducted by Philippe Jordan.


In 2022, she will again sing Brünnhilde in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG at the Teatro Real de Madrid and TURANDOT at the Spring Festival in Tokyo. At the Berlin State Opera she will sing the title role in ELEKTRA and at the Bregenz Festival she will sing Brünnhilde in SIEGFRIED in concert as well as Leonore / FIDELIO and Ortrud in LOHENGRIN in Bologna. Major projects are also lined up for 2023: Kundry in PARSIFAL with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Isolde in Valencia and the Brünnhilde in the Ring at the Semperoper Dresden and the Vienna State Opera, Senta / DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at the Baltic Opera Festival and, in autumn 2023, ELEKTRA again at the Berlin State Opera. This will be followed in 2024 by Färberin / FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN at the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, the Brünnhilde / RING -Zyklus at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and ELEKTRA at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples.

July 2023 – For the most recent biography, please contact Iris Jedamski