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Karsten Mewes (Baritone)

Born: March 18, 1959 - Pirna, Saxony, Germany

The German baritone, Karsten Mewes, studied at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin from 1979 to 1985. He won prizes in several competition: Competitions: Operasinger- Competition" in Gera, Germany, 1985, - 3rd Prize in category opera; "DDR Robert Schumann- Competition for Art Song" in Zwickau, Germany, 1985 1st Prize and gold medal; "Carlo Alberto Capelli- Competition" in Verona, 1987 - Silver Medal of Honor, received from Guiseppe di Stefano; "Concurso international de canto do Rio de Janeiro" Rio de Janeiro, 1987 4th Place Gesamtwertung und Diploma Laureado.

Karsten Mewes began his career at the Hans Otto Theatre in Potsdam (1985-1988), the Staatsoper Berlin (1985-1988 as regular guest; 1988-1994 as a member) and the Komische Oper Berlin (1986-2004 as regular guest), where he sang nearly all the major lyric baritone parts such as: Silvio, Papageno, Count Almaviva, Figaro, Fluth, Marcello, Lescaut, Posa, Ford, Iago, Macbeth, Scarpia and Rigoletto. His start in the Wagnerian Fach began with Melot in "Tristan und Isolde", Klingsor in "Parsifal" and the Flying Dutchman. He then progressed on to sing Alberich, Wotan and the Wanderer in Martin Schüler's Der Ring des Nibelungen in Mannheim, where he had made his debut as Hans Sachs in 2010.

Throughout his operatic career Mewes has continued to dedicate his "spare time" to singing oratorio and concert repertoire. His performances of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (Madrid and Tel Aviv), J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) (Madrid), Gustav Mahler's 8th Symphony (Graz and Peking), and L.v. Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Greece, Japan, Australia) have brought him acclaim worldwide.

Mewes has had the good fortune to collaborate with numerous renowned directors such as: Ruth Berghaus, Horst Bonnet, Peter Brähmig, August Everding, Erhard Fischer, Andreas Homoki, Axel Köhler, Harry Kupfer, Uwe-Eric Laufenberg, Christine Mielitz, Jonathan Miller, Christian Pöppelreiter, Christoph Schlingensief, Roberto de Simone and Bernhard Sinkel. He has sung under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Dan Ettinger, Miguel Gomez-Martines, Hartmut Haenchen, Milan Horvat, Friedemann Layer, Fabio Luisi, Sir Roger Norrington, Roberto Paternostro, Professor Reuter, Donald Runnicles, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Professor Suitner, Constantin Trinks and Simone Young. By the personal request of Christoph Schlingensief Mewes was invited to sing Klingsor in the Bayreuther Festpiele production of Parsifal.

Engaments in recent years include: 2002: Theater Görlitz: debut as Fliegender Holländer; 2003-2004: Staatstheater Kassel: debut as Rigoletto, Klingsor in Parsifal, Leander in Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen; 2004-2006: Staatstheater Mainz: title role in Der fliegende Holländer, Rigoletto, Gianni Schicchi, Don Giovanni, Michele in Il Tabarro; 2006: Staatstheater Saarbrücken: Alberich in Das Rheingold; 2007: Bayreuth: Klingsor in Parsifal; 2008: Staatstheater Saarbrücken: Telramund in Lohengrin; 2008: Staatstheater Cottbus: Wotan in Die Walküre and Jochanaan in Salome; 2008-2009: Nationaltheater Mannheim: Alberich in the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen, Telramund in Lohengrin, Barak in Frau ohne Schatten, Ankarstroem in Un ballo di maschera; 2009-2010: Nationaltheater Mannheim: Wotan in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Wanderer in Siegfried, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; 2011: Oper Halle: Macbeth, title role.

Guest Contracts in Bordeaux, Kopenhagen, Salzburg, Semperoper Dresden, Halle, Bremen, Duisburg, Nürnberg. Guest work locations: Russia, Denmark, Brazil, France, Switzerlnd, Japan, Australia, China, Norway, Finnland, Spain, Portugal.

In 2010-2011 season he sang Nationaltheater Mannheim: Jochanaan in Salome; Alfio in Cavalleria; Tonio in Pagliaccio; Telramund in the newly directed Lohengrin and Alberich in Rheingold and Wotan in Walküre in the newly directed production by Achim Freyer under the music direction of GMD Dan Ettinger. Last season he sang Scarpia, Ankarström, the Speaker, Jochanaan and Telramund at the National Theater in Mannheim, where he can be seen singing Wotan and the Wanderer until 2013.

Source: MENGINO Website (2011-2012); Photos 01-04 by Christine Frei
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Günther Hoff


BWV 244

Jan Olberg


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Karsten Mewes (Official Website) [German]

Karsten Mewes ( MENGINO - artists management unlimited)

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 14:49