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Born in Cologne, soprano Christiane Oelze completed vocal studies with Klesie Kelly-Moog at the Cologne College of Music and with Erna Westenberger in Frankfurt; she also profited significantly from the master classes of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. She began her stage career as a Mozart performer, becoming particularly known for the role of Susanna, which she has performed at the Salzburg Festival and elsewhere. But modern classics are also part of her repertoire, including such roles as Regina in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, Ann Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and Debussy’s Mélisande, which she has performed at Glyndebourne. To her spectrum of roles she added the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro in 2006 at the Paris National Opera, where she sang her first Marenka in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride in October 2008. At present concert singing is the central focus of Oelze’s career. She has repeatedly performed with Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, and Simon Rattle. In the last two years she has sung with such ensembles as the Bamberg Symphony, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Orchestre National de France; in addition she has appeared at the Aldeburgh, Schleswig-Holstein, and Budapest Festivals. As a lieder singer, Christiane Oelze has partnered with such pianists as Mitsuko Uchida (at Carnegie Hall), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (for the Mozartwoche in Salzburg), Julius Drake, Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, and Eric Schneider. She recently appeared on new recordings of Mahler’s Fourth and Eighth Symphonies under Markus Stenz and Riccardo Chailly, respectively. From 2003 to 2008 Oelze taught voice at the Robert Schumann Academy in Düsseldorf.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 17 September 2003 as Ilia in a concert performance of Mozart’s Idomeneo conducted by Simon Rattle.