Baritone Markus Werba was born in Villach and studied at the Conservatory in Klagenfurt and at the University of Music in Vienna under Ralf Doring. He also took lessons with Robert Holl, Walter Berry and Gerhard Kahry, with whom he still works. He has been rewarded with numerous first prizes in Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Japan.
From 1998 to 2000 he was a member of the ensemble of the Vienna Volksoper, where he sang a great variety of opera and operetta roles. Since then his career has taken him to the world’s major opera houses in a repertoire including the title roles in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni and Marschner’s Hans Heiling, Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Conte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). He sang Papageno in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Claudio Abbado in Baden-Baden and made his debut at La Scala Milan as Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos under Jeffrey Tate. He has also given guest performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Harlequin), and at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (Mercurio in Cavalli’s La Calisto). He made his debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2005 as Papageno conducted by Riccardo Muti; since then he has been heard here as Roberto (La finta giardiniera) conducted by Ivor Bolton and as Giorgino in Paisiello’s Il matrimonio inaspettato conducted by Riccardo Muti.
Markus Werba made his debut in the USA in Los Angeles as Papageno conducted by James Conlon, followed by Harlequin at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Highlights of the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons have included Papageno, Rossini’s Figaro and Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) at the Vienna State Opera as well as appearances at the Opéra de Lyon (Don Giovanni), at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Papageno and Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande), at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice (Don Giovanni, Conte Almaviva, Guglielmo), at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome (Papageno) and at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris (Papageno, Guglielmo).
Markus Werba is also highly sought after throughout the world as a concert singer and has given guest performances for instance at the Tanglewood Festival, at the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam, at the Aspen Music Festival, in the Grand Théâtre du Genève and in the Théâtre du Châtelet. He has given recitals in the Wigmore Hall in London, in the Musikverein in Vienna, in St Martin in the Fields in London and in the Mozarteum in Salzburg.