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Christine Schäfer

About this Artist

CHRISTINE SCHÄFER is a graduate of the Berlin Conservatory, where she studied with Professor Ingrid Figur, the late Arleen Augér, Aribert Reimann, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Sena Jurinac. She enjoys one of the most successful international opera, concert, recital, and recording careers of her generation.

Schäfer’s diverse opera credits include the roles of Konstanze, Cherubino, and Donna Anna at the Salzburg Festival; Konstanze, Gilda, Sophie, and Asteria at Covent Garden; Lulu, Gretel, Sophie, and Gilda at the Metropolitan Opera; Messiaen’s St. François d’Assise, Donna Anna, Cherubino, and Traviata at the Opéra National de Paris; Pamina, Cleopatra, and Alcina for De Nederlandse Opera; Sophie in San Francisco; and Lulu at the Glyndebourne Festival. She is a regular guest at the Staatsoper Berlin, where her roles include Traviata, Konstanze, Adele, and Cherubino.

In an impressively wide-ranging concert repertoire, Christine Schäfer enjoys a flourishing career with regular appearances on the major stages of Europe and America and collaborations with many of today’s pre-eminent conductors including Abbado, Levine, Harnoncourt, Boulez, Eschenbach, Haitink, Harding, Gatti, Mehta, Metzmacher, Thielemann, and Rattle.

After a successful 1988 recital debut at the Berlin Festival singing Aribert Reimann’s Nachträume, Schäfer has gone on to develop an international recital career, making regular tours of North America and Japan, and frequent appearances at such renowned venues as London’s Wigmore Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein. As part of the inaugural Ruhr Triennale in 2002, she presented an acclaimed interpretation of Schubert’s Winterreise in a staging by Oliver Hermann and accompanied by Irwin Gage.

A much-recorded artist, Christine Schäfer has a discography which includes Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Les Arts Florissants/Christie (Erato); Mozart and Strauss arias with the Berlin Philharmonic/Abbado, Bach’s Wedding Cantatas with MAK/Goebel, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Boulez’ Pli selon Pli with the Ensemble InterContemporain/Boulez, and a recital disc of Debussy and Chausson, accompanied by Irwin Gage, all for Deutsche Grammophon. Together with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Schäfer has recorded for Teldec (Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mozart’s Missa Brevis) and for BMG (Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah). She is also featured on Graham Johnson’s acclaimed series of Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms lieder for Hyperion.

On the Capriccio label, Schäfer performs on the multi award-winning Zemlinsky Lyric Symphony (Eschenbach/Orchestre de Paris) and together with the Petersen Quartet in an Aribert Reimann collection of Mendelssohn/Schumann song transcriptions, “…. oder soll es Tod bedeuten?”, winner of the 2007 ECHO Klassik Award for Best Lied recording. A more recent collaboration with Onyx Classics has earned her outstanding reviews for Schubert’s Winterreise and her highly-personalized collection of Purcell and George Crumb, both together with Eric Schneider.

Operatic highlights of Christine Schäfer’s recent seasons have included Violetta in Marthaler’s controversial new production of La traviata at Paris’ Palais Garnier; her return to the Met for a new production of Hansel and Gretel, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski; and a first foray into Rossini in David Alden’s new Il turco in Italia as well as Konstanze in a new Die Entführung aus dem Serail, conducted by Philippe Jordan, both at Berliner Staatsoper. Her Vienna operatic debut as Handel’s Partenope in a new production at the city’s historic Theater an der Wien, conducted by Christoph Rousset, took place in 2009; she will return there for Ophelia in Hamlet in 2012.

Schäfer’s appearance at the 2009 Salzburg Festival in the title role in Handel’s Theodora was highly acclaimed. The year ended with Adele/Die Fledermaus, conducted by Zubin Mehta, at the Berliner Staatsoper. 2010 began with a return to the Met in Der Rosenkavalier and to Covent Garden with Asteria in Handel’s Tamerlano. Recent concert appearances took her to Berlin with Metzmacher, London with Haitink, Vienna with Jurowski, San Francisco with Eschenbach, and Paris with Gatti. Recital venues include Istanbul, Cologne, Frankfurt, Barcelona, New York, and Vienna. The immediate future features opera productions in Munich, Vienna, Berlin, and New York as well as concerts in Berlin (Jurowski), Los Angeles (Dudamel), Vienna (Gatti), and Munich (Thielemann). Recitals will include Munich, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, and Luxembourg.

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