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Biography

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Melanie Diener

Melanie Diener won huge international recognition in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. The extraordinarily beautiful timbre of her soprano voice and the intensity of her dramatic performance made her one of the most popular singers in opera houses and concert halls of the whole world. Her repertoire includes Wagner heroines like Isolde (“Tristan and Isolde”), Elsa in “Lohengrin”, Sieglinde in “The Valkyrie” and Elisabeth in "Tannhäuser", also the big Strauss parts like the Marschallin in “Der Rosenkavalier”, Ariadne in “Ariadne auf Naxos” and Chrysothemis (“Elektra”), as well as Beethoven’s Leonore (“Fidelio”), Agathe in Weber’s “Der Freischütz”, Janacek’s Katya (“Katya Kabanova”), Hindemith’s Ursula (“Mathis der Maler”) and Britten’s Ellen Orford in “Peter Grimes”. She has guested in the Opera Houses at Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Vienna, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Warsaw, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, New York, Washington, Toronto, Bogotá and Tokyo.

After celebrated performances as Fiordiligi at the Royal Opera House in London, at Palais Garnier in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera New York, in Ferrara, Dresden and Zurich, she made her much acclaimed Bayreuth festival debut in 1999 as Elsa in “Lohengrin”. Other important productions in her career were the title role in “Katya Kabanova” at Berlin State Opera and Ellen Orford in Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” at Vienna State Opera.  Her touching interpretation of Ursula in Hindemith's "Mathis der Maler" at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in 2010 won the acclaim of audience and critics, as did her emphatic portrait of the Marschallin at Helsinki Opera and at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. In 2013, she debuted as Isolde at the Canadian Opera in Toronto; subsequently she enjoyed huge success in this role at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and at the Opera at Warsaw. Melanie Diener also loves contemporary opera: In 2016, she sang the coloratura part of Die Sängerin in Philippe Boesmans’ opera “Reigen” at Stuttgart.

For her Senta in Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” at Croatian National Opera in Zagreb in 2018, in a production by Olivier Py, she earned a hymnic review in Opera Wire, where she was placed “in the same league as the great Sentas of the past. The voice is Nilsson-esque in size and volume”. Her latest successes came  2019 with her Leonore in “Fidelio” in a new production by Vera Nemirova at the Estates Theatre at Prague, and as Chrysothemis in “Electra” at the Opera Leipzig. In January 2020 Maestro Ulf Schirmer invited her again for Sieglinde in “The Valkyrie” at Leipzig. With the part of the The Dyer’s Wife (Die Färberin) in “Die Frau ohne Schatten” by Richard Strauss, Melanie Diener will discover a new, fascinating role in Autum 2020 in a production by State Theater Nuremberg under the baton of Joana Mallwitz, Conductor of the year 2019 in Germany.

As a concert and lieder singer, Melanie Diener is highly regarded by conductors for her remarkable combination of musicality, sensitivity and dramatic interpretation. She works regularly with the most prestigious conductors like Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink, Philippe Jordan, Marek Janowski, Simone Young, Kent Nagano or Franz Welser-Möst, she was appreciated by maestros like Claudio Abbado, Kurt Mazur and Lorin Maazel. She has appeared at numerous festivals, among them the Berliner Festwochen, Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Festival, Richard Strauss Festival at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Wiener Festwochen and Tanglewood Festival.

Melanie Diener dedicates herself intensely to the education of new artistic generations. She held numerous masterclasses, f.e. at Barcelona, at the Music Conservatories in Rotterdam and Stuttgart. In 2018, she was a juror at the First Pyongyang International Vocal Competition in North Korea. Together with Thomas Hampson she co-direct in September 2019 the first “International Opernwerkstatt Waiblingen”, an opera atelier with workshops and concerts at her hometown.

Throughout her career, Melanie Diener made an extensive number of recordings. Her recital “Puccini’s Heroines” was released in 2008. Her opera recordings include Puccini’s “Le Villi“ (Marco Guidarini, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France), Korngold’s „Die Kathrin“ (Martin Brabbins, BBC Concert Orchestra) and Weber’s „Euryanthe“ (Lukasz Borowicz, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra).  She recorded concert pieces and lieder by Schönberg, Berg, Berlioz, Mahler, Beethoven, Strauss, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Foccroulle. She also loves to delights audiences as a jazz singer.

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