The contralto Jadwiga (Yadwiga) Rappé is one of the best-known singers from Poland. She studied Slavic Philology at the University of Warsaw. During her studies she began taking vocal lessons with Zofia Brégy at the F. Chopin State Secondary School in Warsaw. She continued her vocal studies under Jerzy Artysz, obtaining diploma with distinction from the Academy for Music in Wroclaw. In 1980 she won first prize at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, in 1981 a gold medal at the International Festival of Young Soloists in Bordeaux.
Jadwiga Rappé specialises in oratories and cantata. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque music through romantic oratories to modern and contemporary music (headed by Penderecki’s Polish Requiem and Te Deum). She has sung with such respected conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marek Janowski, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Krzyszof Penderecki, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Jesús López-Cobos, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leopold Hager, Anton Guadagno, Antoni Wit, and others. She has travelled around the world to performances in Vienna (Musikverein, Konzerthaus), Paris (Salle Pleyel), Munich (Herkulessaal), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw). She has also performed at well-known festivals: MDR-Musiksommer, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Salzburger Festspiele, Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, to name only a few. Her equally extensive song repertoire also includes pieces by contemporary composers like Baird, Lutoslawski, and Panunfnik.
The operatic career of Jadwiga Rappé began in the Młynarski Hall of the Grand Theatre in Warsaw, where she sang the title part in George Frideric Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula. At present (1995) she has many operatic parts in her repertoire; having played Orpheus in Orpheus und Euridice by Gluck, Mrs. Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff, Giecha in Ponchielli’s Gioconda. The Countess in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades. She scored a great success as Erda in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper and Festival d'Orange; it was recorded by EMI (conducted by Bernard Haitink). She is a member of the jury for the International Vocal Competition in s'Hertogenbosch.
Jadwiga Rappé has collaborated with BMG Music, Teldec, EMI, Polski Nagrania, Polskie Radio/Kos and CD Accord.