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Herrenchiemsee Festpiele

Susanne Ellen Kirchesch, soprano

The German soprano Susanne Ellen Kirchesch studied with Anneliese Fried and Thomas Quasthoff at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. Here she also attended courses given by Julia Varady, Anita Keller, Wolfram Rieger and Axel Bauni (contemporary music).
She furthermore participated in master-classes with Brigitte Fassbaender, Francoise Pollet and Thomas Hampson.

Concurrently with her studies, Susanne performed Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg –an international festival for up and coming young artists-, was Pamina in The Magic Flute and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas in Berlin independent productions and sang various solo parts at Halle Handel Festival as well as at the Biennale Alter Musik at the Berlin Konzerthaus (part of Thya in Keiser’s Orpheus). In 2005, she guested at the Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin as Nereida in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria under the baton of René Jacobs and covered the part of Melanto for Maria Cristina Kiehr in the same production.

In 2005/06, Susanne was a member of the international opera studio at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg (Jeunes Voix du Rhin). Apart from the opera studio’s productions, she appeared as Thibault in Don Carlos – one of the Opéra National du Rhin’s main productions.

Susanne Ellen Kirchesch is a prize-winner of various international competitions: In 2002, she was a prize winner at the International Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg Competition. In 2004, she gained the second prize at Euriade Vocal Concours in the Netherlands, the award for the best interpretation of a contemporary work at Bundeswettbewerb Gesang as well as the GWK Musikpreis. At the Concours Musical International de Montréal 2007 she won the Prix de l´interpretation de l´oeuvre Canadienne imposée and at the duet-competition Face to Face 2011 in Poznan, Poland, the third prize together with the tenor Andrés Félipe Orozco.

From 2007 to 2012, Susanne was a member of the Mecklenburgisches Landestheater Neustrelitz’ ensemble where she sang roles such as Adina in L´elisir d´amore, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Krista in Vec Makropulos, Aennchen in Der Freischuetz (The Freeshooter), Musetta in La Bohème, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mrs Fluth in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Mi in Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles) and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Guest engagements have included Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro directed by Andreas Dresen at the Potsdamer Winteroper in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the role of Maddalena in a staged version of Handel’s oratorio La Resurrezione with the Lautten Compagney under Wolfgang Katschner at the Halle Handel Festival 2012 and other venues. As well with the Lautten Compagney Susanne sang the part of Helena in Heinichen’s opera Paris und Helena at the festival Tage Alter Musik in Herne - the rediscovered opera was recorded for the first time and broadcast live by wdr3 Radio. In 2013, the young soprano appeares as Melodie in the world premiere of the opera Onkel Präsident by Friedrich Cerha at the Staatstheater am Gaertnerplatz in Munich. Plans for 2013/14 include for instance Aphrodite in H. W. Henze’s opera Phaedra with the Ensemble Modern under Michael Boder in Madrid, Lisbon and Paris.

In oratorio and concert, Susanne Ellen Kirchesch appears frequently in such works as Messiah, Alexander’s Feast –for instance with Berlin Symphony Orchestra- and Gloria by Handel, J. S. Bach’s cantatas and passions, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Exsultate, jubilate, Mendelssohn’s Paulus, Roi David by Honegger and Gloria by Poulenc. She has guested at noted venues such as Berlin Konzerthaus and Philharmonic Hall as well as at Minsk Philarmonic Hall, Belarus. She sang Das Lied von der Glocke by M. Bruch with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra at the Stuttgarter Liederhalle, appeared in Beethoven’s 9. Symphony at the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo and repeated this work under Justus Frantz with the Orchester der Nationen. At the Kurt Weill Festival 2012 in Dessau, Susanne performed La p´tit Lilie by Darius Milhaud and Frauentanz, Sieben Gedichte des Mittelalters by Kurt Weill with the prestigious Ensemble Modern under Oswald Sallaberger. She gave a solo-recital with Mad Songs by John Eccles with Capella Orlandi (broadcast live by DeutschlandRadio Kultur), appeared in various concerts under Enoch zu Guttenberg, for instance in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at the Phiharmonic Hall am Gasteig in Munich, and performs The Messiah with him at the International Herrenchiemsee Festspiele 2013. And she is the baroque-aria-soloist in the programme “Peeping at Pepys: The Diary of Samuel Pepys” with the Lautten Comagney Berlin and the noted actor Gustav Peter Woehler at various venues, for instance at the famous Berliner Ensemble.


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