Message to spectators of The Nutcracker on Sunday 10th December at the Opéra Bastille

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Hanna Schwarz Mezzo-soprano

© Monika Rittershaus


After initially studying psychology, Hanna Schwarz began her musical training at the Hanover Academy of Music where she made her debut in Die Walküre (Siegrune). She then joined the company of the Hamburg Staatsoper. Since 1975 she has made numerous guest appearances at the Bayreuth Festival, performing the roles of Erda, Fricka, Waltraute (the Ring Cycle) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde).
She has since recorded the role of Waltraute for Deutsche Grammophon under the musical direction of James Levine. Her career then took on an international dimension and she found herself performing the Ring Cycle all over the world (The San Francisco Opera and New York’s Metropolitan Opera with James Levine, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich with Wolfgang Sawallisch, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Hamburg Staatsoper, and London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Bernard Haitink). She was invited to the Salzburg Festival to perform in Parsifal and The Magic Flute under the baton of Herbert von Karajan, then in Lulu (Countess Geschwitz) and Salomé (Herodias).
The other roles that have marked her career include Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), the title role in Carmen (which she performed alongside Plácido Domingo in the production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle), the Nurse (Die Frau ohne Schatten) and Klytaemnestra in Elektra (a role for which she was named “Singer of the Year” in 1997). Hanna Schwarz also devotes her time to contemporary music (Hans Werner Henze, Mauricio Kagel, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Schnittke, and Leonard Bernstein) as well as concerts and recitals. She has sung under the baton of Karl Böhm, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Leonard Bernstein.
Her Paris Opera appearances include Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky), Don Quichotte (Dulcinée) and Giulio Cesare (Cornelia) among others. More recently, she sang in the productions of The Threepenny Opera in Vienna, London, Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées) and Hamburg, Dialogues des Carmélites and The Queen of Spades in Basle, Die Soldaten at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper and the Zurich Opera, Jenůfa, Salomé, and Elektra in Zurich, The Enchantress and Peter Grimes at the Theater an der Wien, Daphné in Basle and Hamburg, Jenůfa at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and in Munich, the New National Theatre in Tokyo and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. 

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