The Austrian soprano Kammersängerin, Gabriele Fontana, first studied piano, and undertook vocal study at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. Her career took off after she received important awards in some international singing competitions, including: International J.S. Bach Competition Leipzig 1980, Award for Interpretation Mozartgemeinde Vienna 1980, and Richard Tauber Memorial Price London 1980.
Gabriele Fontana's 1980 operatic debut as Pamina was at the Opera House in Frankfurt and during that year was engaged at the Vienna State Opera. In 1982 Gabriele Fontana moved to the Hamburg State Opera, where she sang Pamina, Konstanze, Sophie/Rosenkavalier and the role of Sophie Scholl in the world premiere of U. Zimmermann's Die Weisse Rose. In 1982 she also made her debut at the Salzburg Festival. In 1984 and 1987 she was invited to the Glyndebourne Festival to sing Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro) and Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte). Since 1986, where one of her frequent roles is the Countess in Nozze de Figaro, she has appeared in opera in Vienna, Salzburg, Hamburg, Hannover, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Barcelona, Trieste, Geneva, and Tokyo.
Gabriele Fontana appeared in the female roles in the 1997 production of Arnold Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron in Amsterdam under the baton of Pierre Boulez, reprised at the Salzburg Festival. She has performed at many major festivals besides Salzburg and Glyndebourne: the Salzburg Mozart Week, the Vienna Festival, the Bregenzer Festival, the London Proms, Carinthischer Sommer Ossiach, Festival di Carpi, Prague Spring Festival. and at festivals in Berlin, Dresden, Israel, the USA and Japan. Moreover, she has worked with many well-known conductors: Gerd Albrecht, Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Daniel Barenboim, Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Bernard Haitink, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Tate, Welser-Möst and Simone Young.
Since 1997 Gabriele Fontana has appeared as Marschallin in Hannover and at the Berliner Staatsoper; Eva in Hannover and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Madeleine (Capriccio) in Hannover and the Nederlands Opera in Amsterdam; Rosalinde at the Hamburg State Opera and at the Munich State Opera; Cordelia (Lear) in Amsterdam; and Senta in Malmö; Violetta at the Hannover State Opera in 1998, when she became a regular artist with the company; Elsa in Hannover (2000). Gabriele Fontana appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra in Cleveland as Woglinde in Das Rheingold, with Maestro Christoph von Dohnanyi.
Gabriele Fontana has also appeared as a lieder recitalist throughout the world, on stage, radio and TV and is a champion of Clara Schumann, singing the Complete Songs.
Gabriele Fontana has made several opera recordings: Arabella/Zdenka, Die weisse Rose, Rheingold (Decca/London), Moses und Aaron (DGG); and various song recordings including Clara Schumann (Complete Lieder), Schubert, Wolf and R. Strauss songs.
Gabriele Fontana and her husband Peter Weber, baritone, appeared in New York City and Washington, D.C. in a joint Lieder recital, September, 1999, which received a rave review in The Washington Post. In August 2000, Ms. Fontana performed in concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, conducting, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center before an audience of 5000. The program included arias and songs by Strauss, Jr., Lehar, Stolz, and Sieczynski.
Her most recent and forthcoming engagements include: Paradies und die Peri, with Wolfgang Sawallisch in Rome; new productions of Euryanthe in Amsterdam, Maria Stuarda in Geneva, Fidelio in Japan and Hannover; Hans Heiling in Cagliari; performances of Senta in Marseilles, Vitellia in Dresden, Elettra and Rosalinde in Berlin; and concerts in England, Italy, Austria, Germany, France and the USA.