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Baritone Dietrich Henschel is a towering figure, physically, intellectually, musically and theatrically. His prowess as an interpreter, by which I mean precisely his ability to get below the surface of a song and right into its soul, is extraordinary. Herald Scotland
Baritone Dietrich Henschel captivates audiences as a regular guest at major opera houses, an esteemed interpreter of lieder and oratorios as well as with his multimedia projects. His repertoire stretches from Monteverdi to the avant-garde. Born in Berlin and having grown up in Nuremberg, he made his debut in 1990 at the Munich Biennale for New Music and first became known internationally from 1997, following a period as an ensemble member of the Opera Kiel. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin he took the title role in Hans Werner Henze’s Prinz von Homburg, staged by Götz Friedrich, and he made an outstanding lead performance in Busoni’s Doktor Faust at the Opéra de Lyon and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, for which he was awarded a Grammy.
The singer’s major roles include Rossini’s Figaro, Wolfram in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Monteverdi’s Ulisse and Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beckmesser in Wagner’s Die Meistersingervon Nürnberg, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Dr. Schön in Lulu, Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, with which he makes regular appearances at the major European opera houses. Contemporary composers such as Péter Eötvös, Detlev Glanert, Manfred Trojahn, Unsuk Chin, Peter Ruzicka and José-Maria Sanchez-Verdu have all dedicated leading operatic roles in their operas to the baritone.
In addition to his operatic work, Dietrich Henschel is committed to the performance of lieder and concert works for voice. In orchestral concerts he has worked with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Sylvain Cambreling and Semyon Bychkov. His collaborations with John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Colin Davis is documented on numerous oratorio recordings. Dietrich Henschel has a particular focus on theatrical and multimedia presentations of vocal music. He has performed staged versions of Schubert lieder cycles at La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Den Norske Opera Oslo and the Komische Oper Berlin, among others. In the project IRRSAL – Triptychon einer verbotenen Liebe, featuring the orchestral songs of Hugo Wolf, he combined film and live concert; his project featuring songs by Gustav Mahler, WUNDERHORN, was also a collaboration with director Clara Pons, and was developed as a co-production between several European partners including De Doelen, La Monnaie and the BBC Symphony Orchestra London.
Last season, Dietrich Henschel presented a diverse repertoire, including a performance of Haydn’s The Creation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra under Kazushi Ono, and a tour with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées under Philippe Herreweghe with orchestral songs by Hugo Wolf and Gustav Mahler. At the opening concert of the Oxford Lieder Festival he performed Mahler’s Lied von der Erde with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; he subsequently went on to perform at the opening concert of Wien Modern, where he took the part of Jean Charles in Hans Werner Henze’s Floß der Medusa under the direction of Cornelius Meister. The new season begins at La Monnaie, where he will take the part of the Speaker in The Magic Flute staged by Romeo Castellucci. He will also reprise the title role in Peter Ruzicka’s new opera Benjamin at the State Opera Hamburg. He received critical praise for the world premiere of the work in June 2018: “Baritone Dietrich Henschel was a credible and direct Benjamin, both in terms of his acting and his immaculate vocal performance (…) a godsend for the production,” wrote the Spiegel Online. In May 2019 he will play Martin Luther in the world premiere of Bo Holten’s opera Schlagt sie tot! in Malmö. Concert engagements take him to the Suntory Hall Tokyo for a performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra under Sylvain Cambreling, as well as to the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich for the world premiere of a piece by Matthias Pintscher under Kent Nagano. At the Philharmonie Berlin he will perform Haydn’s The Seasons with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski.
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorised by the artist management.
On the performance of Haydn’s Jahreszeiten with the Runfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin:
Dietrich Henschel, with the maturity of his experience and high vocal presence sung in every moment…
Der Tagespiel, Sybill Mahlke, 25 June 2019
On the world premiere of ‘Schlagt Sie Tot!’ at the Malmo Opera
Dietrich Henschel, with his bass baritone, succeeds in portraying all of Luther’s sides: violence, charisma and morality.
Sveriges Radio, Jan Wieslander, 11 May 2019
It is a strong portrait, and at the premiere in Malmö, Luther was portrayed with charisma and striking vocals by one of Germany's foremost character baritones, Dietrich Henschel.
Aftonbladet, Lennart Bromander, 13 May 2019
On the world premiere of Peter Ruzicka’s “Benjamin” at the Hamburg State Opera
Baritone Dietrich Henschel was a credible and direct Benjamin, both in terms of his acting and his immaculate vocal performance. In every second of this densely conceived production, he brought both a depressive emptiness and an abundant exuberance to the stage: a godsend for the production.
Spiegel Online, Werner Theurich, 4 June 2018
An excellent ensemble of singers was assembled for the world premiere, above all baritone Dietrich Henschel in the expressive title role.
NDR Kultur, Elisabeth Richter, 4 June 2018
Dietrich Henschel, often compared with Fischer-Dieskau, brings a powerful intelligence to his singing but, in text-focused Lieder like Wolf’s, is very much his own man.
Gramophone, James Jolly, 14 February 2017
Hugo Wolf Lieder at The Wigmore Hall with Angelika Kirchschlager and Julius Drake
Hugo Wolf doesn't get better than this…Henschel's ability to absorb himself totally in what he sings, meanwhile, and to give the impression of living the music rather than performing it, resulted in matchless accounts of Grenzen der Menschheit and Prometheus… One of the great recitals, and absolutely outstanding
Guardian, 8 January 2013
Zimmermann: Ecclesiastical Action & Brahms German Requiem – London Philharmonic Orchestra
Dietrich Henschel sang like a man possessed, making for an unforgettable performance.
Guardian, 02 December 2012
It had majestic moments, and Henschel’s powerful solos contrasted beautifully with Miah Persson’s ethereal soprano.
Times, 02 December 2012
War Requiem – Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The "most beautiful voice on the stage" award has to go to German baritone Dietrich Henschel. His performance of Owen's dismal poetry was mesmerizing.
TheaterJones, 09 November 2012
German baritone Dietrich Henschel supplied vivid and eloquent declamation, in tones alternately powerful and poignant.
Dallas News, 10 November 2012
Recital - Edinburgh Festival
Baritone Dietrich Henschel is a towering figure, physically, intellectually, musically and theatrically.
His prowess as an interpreter is extraordinary. And his ability to characterise a song through sheer acting as much as singing resulted in a recital of consummate intelligence, fuelled by a voice where beauty of sound is almost a secondary consideration to penetrating and revealing the nuances and implications of a text.
Herald Scotland, 28 August 2012
German baritone Dietrich Henschel’s EIF recital was a pretty dark affair. But it was riveting from start to finish, his compelling and often highly theatrical interpretations partnered superbly by the subtle yet commanding playing of Edinburgh-born pianist Steven Osborne.
Scotsman, 28 August 2012
Oedipe – La Monnaie
Dietrich Henschel in the marathon role of Oedipus still makes music where others would simply go through the motions.
Financial Times, 24 October 2011
Il mondo della luna - Theater an der Wien – DVD review
Henschel’s muscicianship carries him far, especially in a colourfully onomatopoeic aria expressing wonderment at the Moon’s sylvan delights
Opera, July 2011
Wolf: Mörike Lieder – CD review
Henschel, as always, values emotional veracity over tonal beauty, and takes us to the outer limits of experience in songs such as Der Geuerreiter and Der Genesene and die Hoffnung.
Guardian, 12 August 2010
Monteverdi: L’Orfeo – DVD review
The subtlety of Henschel’s acting matches the complexity of his vocal characterisation so that, by the end, you not only feel you’ve been taken on a vast journey from joy to grief and back again, but also believe that Orfeo’s own music really has the power to affect both gods and nature.
Guardian, 11 December 2009
Il mondo della luna - Theater an der Wien
the charisma of his cast, especially by Dietrich Henschel’s athletic Buonafede,
Financial Times, 10 December 2009
Schubert: Schwanengesang - CD review
enschel is never less than elegant, virile and intelligent. He is at his best in the lyrical Liebesbotschaft and Ständchen,
Telegraph, 11 August 2009
|Lulu||Dr. Schön, Jack the Ripper|
|F. BUSONI||Doktor Faustus||Faust|
|C. DEBUSSY||Pelléas et Mélisande||Golaud|
|CH. W. GLUCK||Alceste||Le Grand Prètre, Hercule|
|H.W. HENZE||Der Prinz von Homburg||Homburg|
|J. HAYDN||Il mondo della luna||Buonafede|
|Mathis der Maler||Mathis *|
|Y. HÖLLER||Der Meister und Margerita||Meister|
|L. JANACEK||The Cunning Little Vixen||Forester *|
|E. KRENEK||Karl V.||Karl|
|P.MAXWELL DAVIES||The Lighthouse||Blazes|
|O. MESSIAEN||Saint Francois dAssise||Saint Francois *|
|C. MONTEVERDI||Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria||Ulisse|
|Combattimento die Tancredi e Clorinda||Testo|
|W.A. MOZART||The Magic Flute||Papageno, Speaker|
|Cosi fan tutte||Don Alfonso (in German), Guglielmo|
|Don Giovanni||Don Giovanni|
|Le nozze di Figaro||Conte, Figaro *|
|J. OFFENBACH||Les Contes d'Hoffmann||Lindorf, Coppélius, Dapertutto, Dr. Miracle *|
|H. PFITZNER||Palestrina||Borromeo *|
|J.-P. RAMEAU||Castor et Pollux||Pollux|
|W. RIHM||Jacob Lenz||Lenz *|
|G. ROSSINI||La Cenerentola||Dandini (in German), Magnifico|
|Guillaume Tell||Guillaume Tell *|
|Il barbiere di Siviglia||Figaro, Bartolo|
|P. RUZICKA||Hölderlin||M1 (=Hölderlin)|
|J. STRAUSS||Die Fledermaus||Eisenstein, Dr. Falke|
|R. STRAUSS||Der Rosenkavalier||Faninal (in progress)|
|Ariadne auf Naxos||Musiklehrer, Harlekin|
|Die Schweigsame Frau||Barbier (Schneidebart)|
|I. STRAVINSKY||The Rake's Progress||Nick Shadow|
|P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY||Pique Dame||Tomski *|
|Eugen Onegin||Onegin *|
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|J. S. BACH||St. Matthew Pasion|
|St. John Passion|
|b minor mass|
|solo cantatas & cantatas|
|L.v. BEETHOVEN||Symphony No. 9|
|Christus am Ölberge|
|L. BERIO||Stanze for Baritone, 3 Male Choirs and Orchestra|
|Gustav Mahler: six early songs|
|H. BERLIOZ||L'infance du Christ|
|J. BRAHMS||A German Requiem|
|J. BRAHMS/GLANERT||Four Serious Songs with prelude and interludes|
|F. DELIUS||The Sea Drift|
|E. ELGAR||The dream of Gerontius|
|E. GRIEG||Peer Gynt|
|G. F. HÄNDEL||Messias (eng./dt.)|
|J. HAYDN||The Creation|
|Das Floß der Medusa|
|A. HONEGGER||La Danse des Morts|
|Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen|
|Lied von der Erde|
|Symphony No. 8|
|G. MAHLER/GLANERT||Frühe Wunderhorn-Lieder|
|Monologue from "Der Sturm"|
|C. MONTEVERDI||Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Testo)|
|W. A. MOZART||Requiem|
|various concert arias|
|C. ORFF||Carmina Burana|
|H. PFITZNER||Von deutscher Seele|
|M. PINTSCHER||Solomon's Garden|
|F. POULENC||Le bal masqué|
|M. RAVEL||Chansons Madécasse|
|Chansons d'après Mallarmé|
|Seele, vergiss sie nicht|
|A. SCHÖNBERG||Die Jacobsleiter|
|D. SHOSTAKOVICH||Symphony No. 13 'Babi Yar'|
|F. SCHUBERT||Die Zwillingsbrüder|
|Mass No 5 in a flat major|
|Mass No 6 in e flat major|
|Alfonso und Estrella|
|all orchestra songs arranged by Brahms and Reger|
|Das Paradies und die Peri|
|Des Sängers Fluch|
|Vom Pagen und der Königstochter|
|R. STRAUSS||Orchestral Songs|
|I. STRAWINSKI||L'histoire du soldat|
|H. WOLF||Orchestral songs after Mörike, Goethe, Spanish Song Book|
|H. WOLF/I. STRAWINSKI||Two songs from the Spanish Song Book|
|B.A. ZIMMERMANN||Ekklesiastische Aktion|
|Special Projekt with Oxalys: Schemelli Song Book, arranged for clarinet, accordeon, double bass and voice|
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Dietrich Henschel, Joyce Di Donato, Ruth Ziesak, Paul Angew, Daniel Taylor, Maitrise de Notre Dame de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson
Dietrich Henschel, Nicola Beller Carbone, Alex Wawiloff, Ruben Amoretti, Anna Maria Sarra, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Gabriele Ferro
Arthaus Musik, 2015
Dietrich Henschel, Barbara Hannigan, Natascha Petrinsky, Charles Workman, Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, Paul Daniel
Dietrich Henschel, Melanie Diener, Petra Lang, Endrik Wottrich, La Chapelle Royale, Collegium Vocale Gent, Orchestre des Champs-Elysees, Philippe Herreweghe
Harmonia mundi, 2013, 1951687
Dietrich Henschel, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Markus Hollop, Kim Begley, Torsten Kerl, William Dazeley, Choeur de l'Opera National de Lyon, Orchestre de l'Opera National de Lyon, Kent Nagano
Dietrich Henschel, Phillipe Herreweghe, Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Epr-Classic, 2013, EPRC 014
Dietrich Henschel, Boris Berezovsky
EPR Classics, 2013
Dietrich Henschel, Albert Dohmen, Edith Haller, Robert Dean Smith, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski
Dietrich Henschel, Maria Grazia Schiavo, Sonia Prina, Luigi De Donato, Antonio Abele, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie
Dietrich Henschel, Anne Sofie von Otter, Paul Groves, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
Dietrich Henschel, Fritz Schwinghammer
Dietrich Henschel, Sally Matthews, Andrew Watts, Choir & Children’s choir of the Bayerische Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsorchester
Dietrich Henschel, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano
Harmonia mundi, 2007
Dietrich Henschel, Malin Hartelius, Melinda Paulsen, Tom Allen, Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern, Orchester der KlangVerwaltung, Enoch zu Guttenberg
Dietrich Henschel, Marlis Petersen, Werner Güra, Freiburger Barockorchester, RIAS-Kammerchor, René Jacobs
Harmonia mundi, 2003, 801829.30
Dietrich Henschel, Márta Fábián, Kölner Domchor, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Peter Eötvös
Budapest Music Center Records, 2002, BMC CD 007
Dietrich Henschel, Hallé Orchestra, Kent Nagano
Teldec, 2001, 8573-86573-2
Dietrich Henschel, Irwin Gage,
Teldec Classics, 2000
Dietrich Henschel, Fritz Schwinghammer
EMI Classi, 1999
He has taken to the stage as Charles V, as Walter Benjamin, as Prince of Homburg, and as Friedrich Hölderlin. Now, in the role of Martin Luther, Dietrich Henschel adds another heavyweight to this eclectic list of key figures from political and intellectual history. In May 2019, the baritone will take on the role of the Protestant reformer in the premiere of Bo Holten's opera Schlagt sie tot! at the Malmö Opera....