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Antigone Papoulkas (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Munich, Bavaria, Germany

The German mezzo-soprano, Antigone Papoulkas, studied at the Cologne University of Music with Hans Sotin and Klesie Kelly and privately with Soto Papoulkas. Master-classes include: Daphne Evangelatos, Josef Metternich, Teresa Berganza. She twice won first prize at Berlin’s National Singing Competition. Special awards: The Walter-Kaminsky and Richard-Wagner Scholarships and Winner of the Dr. Wilhelm-Oberdörffer-Prize.

After two years international opera studies she performed as a soloist at the State Opera Hamburg from 2001-2003. Her appearances include the role of Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Boulotte in Ritter Blaubart, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Varvara in Katja Kabanova, Alto-Solo in Messias and 3rd Symphony by Gustav Mahler (Ballets). Antigone’s outstanding success was as Bradamante in the premiere of Alcina.

Her successful debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Cherubino in December 2001 was followed by a contract as a soloist from 2003 to 2005, where her performances included Niklausse in Contes d’Hoffmann and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. She made her role debut as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2004. During the Mozart Festival in January 2005 she sang Cherubino conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

In December 2003 Antigone made her debut at the Vienna Volksopera in the title role of Boccaccio with outstanding success and she sang the role with the same company in Tokyo in June 2008. In March 2005 she had another success as Sesto in La clemenza di Tito. Numerous performances of Carmen followed after her big success in January 2007 at the Vienna Volksopera.

Her recent splendid appearance on the concert stage was at the Berlin Philharmonie under M. Sanderling and the Oriol Ensemble performing Lied von der Erde by G. Mahler. She also sang the 8th Symphony by G. Mahler at the Vienna Concert Hall under Fabio Luisi, the h-moll Messe by (BWV 232) by J.S. Bach in Leipzig, Dresden and Krakau and Les nuits d’été by H. Berlioz in Megaron Thessaloniki. Her role in St. Matthew-Passion (BWV 244), St. John-Passion (BWV 245), Christmas-Oratorio (BWV 248), Magnificat (BWV 243) and various cantatas by J.S. Bach, Symphony No. 9 by L.v. Beethoven, A child of our time by Tippett, Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze by Haydn, Requiem by W.A. Mozart, Messiah by George Frideric Handel were highlights in her career in venues like the Musikhalle Hamburg, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Maria im Capitol Cologne and the Beethovenhaus Bonn.

In August 2005 she was the protagonist in a jubilee concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the festival and the State Orchestra at the Herodes Attikus Theatre in Athens. In 2006 she sang the alto part in Pulcinella at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam under Susan Mälkki and in June 2007 she performed at the premiere of Sappho and Daphnis and Chloe by D.Terzakis in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. Various solo recitals like Frauenliebe und -leben by R. Strauss, Siete canciones populaires by M. de Falla, Cinq melodies populaires grecques by M. Ravel were recorded and transmitted by ORF, WDR, NDR, MDR and ARTE. In September 2008 she sang Carmen at a Gala Concert in Megaron Thessaloniki honouring Maria Callas. Her debut at the Musikverein Vienna under Fabio Luisi was in December 2008 with the C-Dur Messe by L.v. Beethoven and Terra Pax by Martin. Antigone worked with famous conductors such as Schneider, Fabio Luisi, de Billy, Ivor Bolton, Seiji Ozawa and Thielemann.

After 4 years with the State Opera Hamburg and 2 years with the Wiener Staatsoper, Antigone is now engaged at the State Opera Dresden, where she made her debut as Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus in December 2004. With outstanding roles like Komponist in Ariadne at Naxos and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Cherubino in the premiere of Le nozze di Figaro, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead man walking she succeed in the seasons 2005-2008.

In December 2006 she appeared as Hänsel in the premiere of Hänsel und Gretel under the direction of Katharina Thalbach, which was transmitted by ARTE and is available on DVD. In May 2008 she sang Rosina in a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia for the first time in Dresden. In October 2008 she sang the part of Octavian on a China-Tour with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In December 2009 she performed Rosina in the premiere at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Source: Antigone Papoulkas Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Matthias Grünert


BWV 248/1 [1st]

Links to other Sites

Antigone Papoulkas (Official Website) [German/English]


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