The German soprano, Marlis Petersen, proved her musical talent at an early age, learning piano and transverse flute and becoming a six-time winner at the "Jugend musiziert" competition. Following secondary school she initially studied music education at Stuttgart School Music. At that time she discovered her love for singing and became a pupil of Sylvia Gészty at the Stuttgart College of Music. In addition, she studied jazz and tap dancing in at the New York-City-Dance-School in Stuttgart. She won several singing competitions. In 1990 she got awards at the VDNMK competition, giving an opera-operetta concert in Berlin.
Marlis Petersen began her career from the season of 1993-1994 as a coloratura soprano and ensemble member at the Opera in Nuremberg, where, in the years between 1994 and 1998, she sang such roles as Ännchen, Blonde, Adele, Oscar, Rosina, Lulu and the Queen of the Night. Guest appearances led her to the opera houses Berlin, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Munich, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, and at and at the Milan’s La Scala, directed by Riccardo Muti.
At the start of the 1998-1999 season, Marlis Petersen moved on to a permanent engagement as a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf-Duisburg, where she thrilled audiences in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Manfred Trojahn's Was ihr wollt (an operatic setting of Twelfth Night). Besides her intensive concert activity, guest appearances have taken also her to such houses as the Opéra Bastille in Paris (Fledermaus) and the Vienna State Opera (Lulu). As Lulu she celebrated a large success already in Kassel and recently in Düsseldorf. 2003 she will sing this role also in a new production in Hamburg. Future engagements lead her to Glyndebourne and Geneva.
Beyond this, Marlis Petersen's close collaboration with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra since 1997 attests to the enormous spectrum of this singer, who appeared at the Prinzregententheater in March of last year (2002) in conjunction with the anniversary of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester.