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Helene Schneiderman (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Flemington, New Jersey, USA

The American mezzo-soprano, Helene Schneiderman, began her studies at Westminster Choir College Princeton. She completed a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Cincinnati College of Music and went on to gain an Artists' Diploma in Opera in 1981.

After graduating, Helene Schneiderman moved to Germany, where in 1982 she joined the Heidelberg Opera Ensemble and since 1984 has been a member of the Staatstheater Stuttgart. As well as her work with Stuttgart, she has made guest performances with many major European and American Opera Companies including Munich State Opera, Karlsruhe, Düsseldorf, Orlando Florida and New York City Opera. From 1982 to 1987 she appeared regularly at the Heidelberg Schlossfestival and appeared at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro in 1990. In 1998 Helene Schneiderman was given the prestigious title of Kammersängerin from the City of Stuttgart, at the time the youngest singer ever to have been so honoured. She made her debut at the Salzburg Festival as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Bernard Haitink, and other prominent conductors with whom she has worked have included Leonard Bernstein, Dennis Russell Davies, Giuseppe Patané, Sir Georg Solti and Alberto Zedda.

As well as her operatic commitments, Helene has developed a varied concert career and has appeared widely in oratorio and lieder recitals, most notably at the Beethoven Festival, Bonn, in 1989 when she sang Arias and Barcarolles by Leonard Bernstein in the presence of the composer. She has also recorded the Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson by Aaron Copland on compact disc with the Orchestra of St. Luke's under Dennis Russell Davies.

In 1990 Helene Schneiderman appeared as Smeaton in Anna Bolena at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and repeated her interpretation of the role at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 1994 alongside Edita Gruberová. For the 1994-1995 season she returned to the Concertgebouw to sing Queen Henrietta in I Puritani conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig. In Stuttgart she has had much success, most notably as Penelope in Monteverdi's Il Ritorno D'ulisse in Patria, as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and the title role of Carmen. In the 1995-1996 season she made her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden performing Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, with a cast that included Cheryl Studer and Barbara Bonney, conducted by Bernard Haitink. She also sang Suzuki in Madama Butterfly for the New Israeli Opera Tel Aviv and made her role debut as Isabella in L'Italiana in Algieri in Stuttgart.

In the following seasons Helene Schneiderman returned to the Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Dorabella in Jonathan Miller's acclaimed production of Così fan tutte, and in Stuttgart she sang among others Meg Page in Johannes Schaaf's new production of Falstaff, Bradamante in Jossi Wieler's new production of George Frideric Handel's Alcina, Ottavia L'incoronazione di Poppea and a highly successful role debut with the title role of Giulio Cesare. She has recently made her debut at the Opéra National de Paris in two runs of Die Zauberflöte and has also returned to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for further performances of Dorabella in Così fan tutte conducted by Sir Colin Davis as well as to the Salzburg Festival for a highly acclaimed Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. She made two very successful debuts with Seattle Opera as Olga in Eugene Onegin and with San Francisco Opera where she sang Bradamante in Alcina and returned for a much-acclaimed Rosina inIl Barbiere di Siviglia.

Recent role debuts include Nicklausse in Les Contes D'hoffmann at Seattle Opera; Flora in La Traviata at the Salzburg Festival (in Willy Decker's new production, conducted by Carlo Rizzi); and Emilia in Otello and Despina in Così fan tutte in Stuttgart. She has just sung Isabella in L'Italiana in Algieri in Seattle and Annina in Der Rosenkavalier at the Bastille. Future plans encompass returns to L'Opera National de Paris (Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Flora in La Traviata), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Despina) and Seattle (Cornelia in Giulio Cesare) as well as her regular performances in Stuttgart, which will include her role debut Genevieve in Pelleas Et Melisande.

Source: Robert Gilder Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2008)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Roy Goodman


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [2002, Bradamante]

Alan Hacker


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [Bradamante]

Links to other Sites

Mezzo-Soprano Helene Schneiderman (Robert Gilder)


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