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Swiss mezzo-soprano Yvonne Naef was educated in Zurich, Basel, and Mannheim before launching her career as a member of opera companies of St. Gallen and Wiesbaden. She soon made her home on the stage of Zurich Opera, where she has performed the roles of Eboli in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Marfa in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina, and Ariane in Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, among others. Yvonne Naef meanwhile regularly appears as a guest artist in many other leading opera houses around the world. At the Hamburg Staatsoper, she has appeared in Boris Godunov and Il trovatore as well as Carmen and had great success as Sieglinde in a new production of Die Walküre in the fall of 2008; at the Vienna Staatsoper she last sang Brangäne in Tristan under the baton of Simon Rattle, while the Salzburg Festival cast her as Didon in Les Troyens. She has also performed the great mezzo roles at La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London, Paris Opera, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Yvonne Naef has earned a special reputation as a Wagner interpreter, singing at the Bayreuth Festival, the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she recently performed in several Ring cycles. Her concert repertoire includes a focus on the symphonies and song cycles of Gustav Mahler. Yvonne Naef has collaborated with such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Franz Welser-Möst. Her discography includes works by Wagner, Mahler, Schoenberg, and Schoeck, but also by Bach and Rossini as well as lieder by Berlioz and Wagner.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on August 15, 1999, in the title role of a concert performance of Schoeck’s Penthesilea, with the Basel Symphony Orchestra under Mario Venzago.