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Following her vocal training at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy of Music in Leipzig, the soprano Ricarda Merbeth, who was born near Chemnitz, was engaged by the Municipal Theater in Magdeburg and subsequently by the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar. From 1999 to 2005 she belonged to the Vienna Staatsoper ensemble, where she enjoys a regular connection to the present and where she has since been named a Kammersängerin. There she has become known especially for her performances of roles by Mozart (the Countess in Figaro and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni), Wagner (including Eva in Die Meistersinger, Elsa in Lohengrin, and Sieglinde in Die Walküre), and Richard Strauss (the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Chrysothemis in Elektra,and the title role in Daphne). In 2000 Merbeth made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival: initially she sang Freia in Das Rheingold there, and, in the years following, she has undertaken the roles of Gutrune in Götterdämmerung, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, and (since 2013) Senta in Der fliegende Holländer. Other credits include with Dresden Semperoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Bavarian Staatsoper. Merbeth sang her first Fidelio Leonore in 2011 at Zurich Opera. She made her debut as Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck at the end of 2015 at La Scala in Milan, while with Wagner’s Isolde, which she sang in the spring of 2016 for the first time at Hamburg Staatsoper, she embarked on the high dramatic repertoire, which she will continue to pursue in the coming year with Brünnhilde in The Ring. Merbeth has also performed contemporary works, most recently in May 2016, when she sang Goneril in Aribert Reimann’s Lear at the Opéra National de Paris. She has appeared in concerts with such conductors as Vladimir Fedoseyev, Bernard Haitink, and Philippe Jordan.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 2 September 2007, when she sang Freia in a concert performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold with the Bamberg Symphony under Jonathan Nott.