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Herrenchiemsee Festpiele

Olivia Vermeulen, mezzo-soprano

The young mezzo-soprano Olivia Vermeulen has established herself as a versatile soloist on major international stages in recent years.

In 2016, she will make her debut at the Berlin State Opera in the leading role of Turno in Agostino Steffani’s baroque opera ‘Amor vien dal destino’ under the baton of René Jacobs.

Her debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 2012 with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie under Michael Schønwandt was received enthusiastically by critics and audiences alike. Another successful debut followed in 2013 at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, as Smeraldina in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, conducted by Tomáš Netopil.

Engagements in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons include the Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute under Iván Fischer at the Budapest Festival, followed by a tour with appearances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Lincoln Center in New York; her role debut as Annio in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito under Christopher Moulds in Moscow; a Japan tour with J. S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion under Masaaki Suzuki; a CD recording of Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor; her return to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in December 2014 for J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin and in May 2015 for a lieder recital; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in a concert seria with Helmuth Rilling as well as with Enoch zu Guttenberg at the Philharmonie of the Gasteig in Munich in 2014 and 2015.

In the 2013/14 season Olivia Vermeulen sang the part of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro under Jonathan Cohen in a production by the Festival Aix-en-Provence at the operas of Dijon and Saint-Étienne. In Autumn 2014 she appeared as part of the same production under Andreas Spering in Bahrain.

At the Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in Den Haag she received much acclaim for her performances as Almirena in Handel’s Rinaldo opera with the Lautten Compagney Berlin. Together with this ensemble she also recorded a solo CD of Italian Baroque arias, which will be released by Sony/BMG.

As a concert soloist the mezzo-soprano performed in 2013 under Frans Brüggen at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and under Iva?n Fischer with works by Dvorák at the Konzerthaus Berlin. She also sang J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Hansjörg Albrecht and in 2014 the St Matthew Passion at the Philharmonie of the Gasteig in Munich with Enoch zu Guttenberg. The singer appears regularly at the prestigious Kissingen Sommer festival, where she premiered songs by Wolfgang Rihm, and at the International Herrenchiemsee Festival. She has performed at the Rheingau Musik Festival, the RheinVokal festival, the Musikfest Stuttgart, the Händel-Festspiele Halle, as well as in concerts of public-service broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, and sang Wesendonck songs in the premiere of Elfriede Jelinek’s Rein Gold (directed by Nicolas Stemann) at the Munich Opera Festival. Together with the Musikfabrik Cologne under Peter Eötvös she appeared at the Berliner Philharmonie as part of the Musikfest Berlin and has performed on international concert stages under Masaaki Suzuki, Philippe Herreweghe, Andrea Marcon, Andrew Parrott, Reinhard Goebel, Michael Schønwandt and Andreas Spering. The artist has drawn invaluable inspiration from her work with such renowned conductors as Alessandro De Marchi, Michael Sanderling, Konrad Junghänel, Emilio Pomarico and Christoph Spering in concert and opera performances.

Olivia Vermeulen launched her operatic career as a member of the Studio of Berlin’s Komische Oper from 2008 to 2010, where she appeared in such leading Mozart roles as Cherubino (directed by Barrie Kosky) and Zerlina. She sang the role of Daphnis in The Queen of Spades, Phénice in Gluck’s Armide (directed by Calixto Bieito) and Mastrilla in Offenbach’s La Périchole (3sat live TV broadcast).

At the opening of the 2010/11 season at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow she took the role of L’Enfant in a concert performance of Ravel’s opera L’Enfant e les Sortilèges, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Other leading parts in her repertoire include Ariodante in Ariodante, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, Idamante in Idomeneo and the title role in La Cenerentola.

She sang the part of the Flower Maiden in a concert performance of Parsifal with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Marek Janowski at the Berliner Philharmonie and in Joseph Martin Kraus’s opera Aeneas in Carthage, conducted by Lothar Zagrosek at the Konzerthaus Berlin.

Olivia Vermeulen studied voice in Detmold with Mechtild Böhme, completing her training with Julie Kaufmann at the University of the Arts in Berlin in 2007. She supplemented her studies with lied classes under Wolfram Rieger and Axel Bauni and master classes with Andreas Scholl, Thomas Quasthoff, René Jacobs, Irwin Gage and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

In 2008 the young rising star won the prestigious “La Voce” award at the international lieder competition of public-service broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk. The versatile singer’s artistry is documented on numerous broadcast and CD recordings.


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