The American-born soprano, Fredrika Brillembourg, grew up in New York City and studied music at Vassar College.
Acclaimed for her rich, luminous voice Fredrika Brillembourg is known for her unusual versatility in roles ranging from Carmen to Brangäne to Ligeti’s Mescalina. “Fredrika Brillembourg possesses a striking velvety timbre, she gives her character a magnificent presence, both as a singer and as an actress.” (Le Soir, Brussels).
As a member of the ensemble in Bremen from 1995-2001 Fredrika Brillembourg sang in new productions all the main roles of her fach and she was the first singer in the history of the theater to win both the Kurt Hübner Prize and the Bremen Volksbuhne Prize. Numerous successful appearances followed at important theaters in Europe and abroad including: The International Festival in Aix en Provence, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, De Nederlandse Oper, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Basel Theatre, Athen’s Megaron, Opera Lyon, Teatro Sao Carlos Lisaboa, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Teatro de la Fenice, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper am Rhein; Komische Oper Berlin and Dresden’s Semperoper. She has collaborated with prominent stage directors including: Werner Schroeter, Christof Loy, Willy Decker, Robert Carson, Stephen Wadsworth, Martin Kusej, and Jonathon Miller. Amongst her preferred repertoire are roles like Carmen, Orphée, Octavian, Charlotte and Marguerite. In summer 2004 she made her triumphant debut at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence with the world premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's opera Hanjo. In the same production she guested in Brussels for the opening of the 2004-2005 season.
In addition to her opera engagements, her concert activity also constitutes another focal point of her artistic career. Lieder recitals and orchestral concerts have taken her to Berlin, Munich, Torino, Birmingham, Toronto, Los Angeles and Caracas. Fredrika Brillembourg has performed with a number of prestigious orchestras such as the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Her concert repertoire includes such well know works as Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Berlioz’ Les Nuits d'Été and the J.S. Bach Passions as well as lesser known gems such as Franz Liszt’s Christus and Edward Elgar’s Sea Pictures. She has sung under the baton of Mark Albrecht, Phillipe Auguin, Plácido Domingo, Daniel Harding, Armin Jordan, Ingo Metzmacher, Günter Neuhold, Kazushi Ono, Sakari Oramo, Antonio Pappano, Christof Prick, Helmuth Rilling, and Sir Jeffrey Tate.
Recent debuts include: Klementia in Paul Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna with the American Symphony Orchestra at the 2010 Bard Festival, Adalgisa at the Bremen Theater, Siebel at Catania’s Teatro Massimo Bellini, the First Norn and Flosshilde in concert performances of Götterdammerung with Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, and Jitsuko Honda in the Japanese premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s opera Hanjo at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, a production that was subsequently featured at the Third International Milan Torino Festival (MiTO Settembre). She sang J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) in concert with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (recorded for CD), Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony in a concert that was broadcast throughout Europe and Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces (concerts and a recording) with Sylvain Cambreling conducting the EuropaChorAkademie.
Upcoming engagements include: a role debut as Amneris in Verdi’s Aida at the Stuttgart Opera with Manfred Honeck conducting; a reprise of Hanjo at La Monnaie and De Nederlandse Oper and a debut at the 2011 Bregenz Festival as the Countess and Madelon in Giordano’s Andrea Chenier, Keith Warner producing and Ulf Schirmer conducting.
On CD, Fredrika Brillembourg can be heard as Suzuki on the Naxos label in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, in solo arias with the Berliner Symphoniker, Eduardo Marturet conducting and on CD and DVD in a live performance of the Verdi Requiem with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas conducted by Plácido Domingo.