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Birgit Remmert (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany

The German mezzo-soprano, Birgit Remmert, began voice studies at the music school in Braunschweig. She continued her studies at the Detmold Conservatory with Professor Helmut Kretschmar. Upon graduation, she immediately began receiving engagements to sing. She debuted in an unusual work, Heinrich von Biber's Requiem, under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Another of her notable early appearances was in L.v. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Nikolaus Harnoncourt in London, then in the Styrarte Festival, a performance ultimately released on CD. In 1989, she took the title role of Othmar Schoeck's Penthesilea in the Festival de Montpellier. Throughout her years in musical study, she was awarded prizes in several renowned international music competitions, such as the German Music Critics' Prize and Golden Palm award of Ligure in the song recital category. Her debut recital showed her wide musical interest and knack for intriguing program building by including songs of Johannes Brahms, Jürg Baur, Clara Schumann, Samuel Barber, and Pyotr Tchaikovky.

Offers followed that brought Birgit Remmert to sing in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, and Poland. Beginning in 1992, she has performed as soloist at opera houses in Zürich. Her roles in her debut year were the Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera. The last-named of those is one of her most often-repeated roles. She made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera in 1993 as Erda in Wagner's Siegfried. She appeared as a soloist also at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and in Dresden. During her engagements with these opera houses she has performed a wide range of major operatic roles.

In 1994 Birgit Remmert added to her repertory that goddess' other appearance in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, in Das Rheingold. She sang in the Salzburg Festival of 1993 as Nutrice in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea and has gone on to add the roles of the Old Princess in Puccini's Soeur Angelica and Offenbach's La Perichole. During the 2002 Whitsun Festival of Salzbug, in George Frideric Handelís Jephtha under the baton of Helmuth Rilling. In 2004 she appeared at the Salzburg Festival in the opera King Arthur. She moved into one of the darker soprano roles and gave a stunning performance as Fricka in Jürgen Flimmís production of Wagner's Rheingold and Walküre at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000.

A large part of Birgit Remmert's calendar is taken up by her concert activities, and she sings recitals frequently, and as a concert singer, has in her repertory, among other items Masses of J.S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn's Erste Walputrgisnacht, and Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. She performs recitals in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain. She regularly works with such orchestras as the Tonhalle Zürich, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. In May of 1995, she was selected to participate in the prestigious complete G. Mahler project of the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam. She has appeared at the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals, performing vocal-symphonic and oratorio works.

Birgit Remmert has worked with such notable conductors as Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gary Bertini, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Frühbeck de Burgos, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philippe Herreweghe, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Dennis Russel Davies, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Peter Schreier, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Edo de Waart, Welser-Möst, David Zinman, and Christian Thielemann. In summer 2002 she toured Europe with the European Union Youth Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy with Les Nuits D'été. In autumn 2003 she sang L.v. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in the Konzerthaus Vienna under the baton of Christian Thielemann. She interpreted G. Mahler's Third Symphony with Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Sydney under the baton of Maestro Edo de Waart. Recently (2004) she and Sir Simon Rattle collaborated for concerts and recordings of G. Mahler's Third Symphony with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He also invited her for a tour with G. Mahler's Second Symphony (Salzburg, Edinburgh, London, Berlin, Lucerne) with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Arnold Schoenberg's Gurrelieder in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall, and for G. Mahler's Eighth Symphony at the BBC Proms 2002.

Future plans include performances at the Hamburg State Opera and at the opera house of Dresden. She will appear on the concert stages of Frankfurt, Berlin, Salzburg, Lucerne, Dresden and Bonn. With Sir Simon Rattle, she will perform L.v. Beethoven's Ninth and G. Mahler's Eighth in Birmingham and in Bonn, G. Mahler's Second Symphony; in London, they will collaborate in L.v. Beethoven's Ninth.

Three solo CD's by Birgit Remmert have been released, featuring Lieder by J. Brahms, Baur, C. Schumann, Barber and Tchaikovsky (Harmonia Mundi), a J. Brahms only programme (Vanguard), and her latest recording, Lieder by R. Strauss (Harmonia Mundi). Further recordings include L.v. Beethoven's Ninth (Teldec) and Missa Solemnis (Harmonia Mundi), J.S. Bach's Messen and Magnificat (BWV 243) (Philips), F. Mendelssohn's First Walpurgisnacht (Teldec), G. Mahler's Das Lied Von Der Erde, G. Mahler's Second anThird Symphonies with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle, Bruckners F-Moll-Messe and Te Deum (EMI) and Schubert's Messen in Aas-dur und Es-dur (Teldec), and Schumann's Der Rose Pilgerfahrt (Harmonia Mundi). She also takes part in an album with other singers and choirs, where she sings Schubertís Ständchen D. 920 (Zögernd leise), with the RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin.

Source: Dewan Filharmonik Website (1999-2000); Papal Concert of Reconciliation Website (2004); AMG (Author: Joseph Stevenson); Pittsburgh Symphony Website (October 2003); Salzburg Festival Website (2004-2005)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2001, October 2004, December 2007); Liesbeth van der Sluijs (December 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Peter Schreier


BWV 233-236, BWV 243

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 242, BWV 1083

Links to other Sites

Birgit Remmert (Official Website)
Papal Concert of Reconciliation 2004: Birgit Remmert
Bio for Birgit Remmert (Pittsburgh Symphony)
Birgit Remmert (Opera-Base)
Birgit Remmert - Biography (AMG)

Music & Vision
Birgit Remmert, Alto (Tros Klassiek) [Dutch] [N/A]
Salzburg Festival 2005 - Artists: Birgit Remmert [N/A]
Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Künstlerbiographien [German] [N/A]

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 16:08