Brilliant: Caroline Melzer
Der Standard, Ljubisa Tosic, 27.9.2019
Caroline Melzer dazzles with her „clear, big-framed sunny soprano“ (Eleonore Büning FAZ) and her unusually wide repertoire, ranging from big lyrical and jugendlich-dramatic roles to Operetta divas to contemporary works written specifically for her. She studied singing with Rudolf Piernay and Vera Scherr and song interpretation with Ulrich Eisenlohr and Irwin Gage.
Her first permanent engagement took the expressive singer to the Komische Oper Berlin in 2007, where she sang numerous roles such as Contessa, Fiordiligi, Mimì, Giulietta (Tales of Hoffmann), Lisa (Queen of Spades), Lisa (The Land of Smiles), Leonore in the first version of Fidelio and Cordelia in Aribert Reimann's Lear in the highly acclaimed new production by Hans Neuenfels. From 2010 until 2017 she was a permanent ensemble member at the Vienna Volksoper, where she has sung roles such as Rusalka, Marie (The Bartered Bride), Micaela, Liù, Donna Elvira, Sieglinde in Ring in one evening (arrangement by Loriot) and the Merry Widow. In addition to her regular engagements, Caroline Melzer has appeared at the Ruhrtriennale, as First Lady at the Staatsoper Berlin and as Merry Widow at the Savonlinna Festival in Finland and in Tokyo, as well as Cordelia in Aribert Reimann’s Lear at the Hungarian State Opera. In the last season she appeared again on the stage of the Volksoper as Donna Elvira and as Giulietta in Tales of Hoffmann and could be heard at the Neue Oper Wien and at the Müpa Budapest as Angel in Péter Eötvös' Angels in America. In 2020/21 she returns to the Volksoper as Countess Mariza. Concerts will take her to Cologne (Anton Webern's Orchesterlieder and a world premiere of Enno Poppe with the Ensemble Modern under the composer's direction), and to the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam with Kurtag's Kafka Fragments, to the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, to Bad Kissingen for a "Best of" Kissinger Liederwerkstatt, and to the Elphilharmonie for the world premiere of a work by Wolfgang Rihm.
Contemporary music is a particular focus of her work: important collaborations have included Aribert Reimann who wrote the cycle Rilke-Fragmente and the scene Der Blick war’s, der mich ins Verderben riss for her, with Manfred Trojahn (Zwetajewa and Nitzsche songs) and with Wolfang Rihm in connection with his Zwetajewa songs. Additionally, she has given many other world premieres of works by Emanuele Casale, Seán Doherty, Deidre Gribbin, Stefan Heucke, Bernhard Lang, Jüri Reinvere, Vladimir Tarnopolski, Steffen Schleiermacher and Kate Whitley and has worked with the pianist Axel Bauni, with ensembles such as Ensemble modern, musikFabrik and the Ensemble Intercontemporain. She also passionately devotes herself to the vocal works of György Kurtág with great commitment: in addition to the Kafka Fragments, which she performs together with the violinist Nurit Stark (the CD of which, released on the BIS label in 2015, has been awarded the German Record Critics' Prize), she has performed many of the composer’s chamber music works with voice.
As part of her activities as a lieder and concert singer, Caroline Melzer has performed in renowned European halls such as the Philharmonie Berlin, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Musikverein Vienna, the Auditorium Grafenegg, the Kunstzentrum deSingel Antwerp, the Cité de la Musique Paris, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Meistersingerhalle Nürnberg, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Philharmonie Essen, the Konzerthaus Dortmund, deDoelen Rotterdam, Tchaikowsky Conservatory Moscow, the Town Hall Birmingham and the Liederhalle Stuttgart. A complete recording of Schumann's works will soon be released by Naxos, on which she can be heard with songs.
Caroline Melzer has worked with conductors such as Stefan Soltesz, Peter Rundel, Péter Eötvös, Helmuth Rilling, Christoph Poppen, Friedemann Layer, Konrad Junghänel, Patrick Lange, François Xavier Roth, Alfred Eschwé, Jac van Steen, Frieder Bernius and Michael Sanderling.
She is a lecturer for singing at the Mannheim and Berlin Universities of Music (UdK).
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