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The mezzo-soprano Christa Mayer, a native of Sulzbach-Rosenberg in Bavaria, received her vocal training at the Bavarian Academy of Singing and the Munich Academy of Music, where she was a pupil of the tenor Thomas Moser. While she was pursuing her studies, she won several singing competitions, including prizes at the Meistersinger Competition in Nuremberg in 1999 and, in 2000, at the Robert Schumann International Competition and at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich. Since 2001 Mayer has been a member of the Dresden Staatsoper ensemble, where she has performed operas by composers from Handel to Wagner and Strauss. She has enjoyed particular acclaim for her interpretations of Erda in the Ring cycle, which she has performed not only at the Dresden Semperoper but at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Palau de les Ars in Valencia. Mayer’s repertoire extends to such Italian roles as Verdi’s Fenena (Nabucco) and Mrs. Quickly (Falstaff) and Puccini’s Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), as well as to classics of the 20th century like Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Auntie in Britten’s Peter Grimes, and the Countess Geschwitz in Berg’s Lulu. Christa Mayer’s credits also include appearances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bavarian and Hamburg Staatsoper companies, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. As a concert singer she has performed regularly with the Staatskapelle Dresden, working with such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Colin Davis, Charles Mackerras, and Zubin Mehta. In February 2013 she was a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem in a concert led by Christian Thielemann commemorating the devastating bombing attacks on Dresden during the Second World War.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 2 September 2007 as Erda in a concert performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold under Jonathan Nott.