The German mezzo-soprano, Iris Vermillion, initially studied flute in Detmold before she went on with further voice studies, which she completed at the Musikhochschule Hamburg. During the course of her studies she attended master classes of Christa Ludwig and Hermann Prey.
Iris Vermillion rose to international fame by singing Dorabella and Cherubino under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Amsterdam as well as Clairon in Strauss' Capriccio in a production of Johannes Schaaf at the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Horst Stein.
In recent years, Iris Vermillion has been appearing regularly on the stages of some of the foremost European Opera companies such as the Deutsche Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Vienna State Opera, the Semperopera in Dresden and the Teatro alla Scala. The repertory of Iris Vermillion includes roles such as Sesto/La Clemenzia Di Tito, Dorabella/Così Fan Tutte, all important roles of R. Strauss' operas such as Clairon/Capriccio, Octavian/Der Rosenkavalier and Komponist/Ariadne Auf Naxos. She also sang Charlotte/Werther, Giulietta/Les Contes D'hoffmann, GräfinGeschwitz/Lulu, Fricka/Der Ring des Nibelungen, Waltraute/Götterdämmerung and Adriano/Rienzi as well as George Frideric Handel operas such as Semele and Giulio Cesare. Since 1992 she is a freelance artist.
In the near future she will appear as Clairon/Capriccio, Komponist/Ariadne, Cyrus/Belsazar Prinz Orlowsky/Die Fledermaus and Venus/Tannhäuser in Dresden and as Clairon/Capriccio in Venice. In July 2002 she will debute as Brangäne in a concert performance of Wagner's Tristan And Isolde with the Orchestra of the Beethoven Orchester Bonn under the artistic direction of Marc Soustrot.
Iris Vermillion has always been careful never to neglect her expansive concert- and recital repertory and to keep enough time in her calendar free for her appearances with the most famous conductors and orchestras and with works that range from ancient music up to the 20th century. She has especially made a name for her interpretation of Gustav Mahler's symphonies and songcycles. The artist has been working together with renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Gerd Albrecht, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Vladimir Fedosejev, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs, Philippe Jordan, Marek Janowski, Kurt Masur, Georges Prêtre, Helmuth Rilling, Donnald C. Runnicles, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Sir George Solti and Marcello Viotti. She appeared with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonics, the Munich Philharmonics, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Dresden Philharmonics, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
This seasons and future highlights include G. Mahler Songs in Hamburg, Wesendonck-Lieder with the Vienna Streichsextett, G. Mahler's Kindertotenlieder in Graz, L.v. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in Leipzig with Herbert Blomstedt and on tour with Helmuth Rilling, Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures with Mto. Janowski in Monte Carlo, as well as J.S. Bach's St. Matthew's Passion (BWV 244) in Madrid and Lisbon.
Iris Vermillion has made well over thirty highly acclaimed recordings including works by L.v. Beethoven, Bellini, Donizetti, Goldschmidt, Graun, Franz Liszt, Carl Loewe, G. Mahler, Mozart, Pfitzner, Schulhoff, Schumann, R. Strauss, Ullmann, Wagner and Zemlinsky for Labels such as Deutsche Grammophone, Sony, Decca, Philips, Harmonia Mundi, CPO, Erato and BMG.