Hanna Schwarz

Current as of July 2022

Hanna Schwarz studied psychology before training to become a singer at the Hanover Academy of Music. She made her professional stage debut at the Hanover State Theatre as Siegrune (Die Walküre) and was soon engaged by the Hamburg State Opera. She made her Bayreuth debut in 1975, where she made her international breakthrough as Fricka in its centennial Ring. Other roles in Bayreuth have been Erda, Waltraute and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde).

There followed an international career including productions of the Ring in San Francisco, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York under Levine, at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich under Sawallisch, at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, in Hamburg and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, under Haitink. She was also acclaimed as Carmen, Gluck’s Orfeo and Strauss’s Octavian, Nurse and Clytemnestra, for which she was voted Singer of the Year in 1997.

She has been no less successful as Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites) and the Countess (The Queen of Spades) in Basel, Mrs Peachum (Die Dreigroschenoper) in Vienna, London, Paris and Hamburg, Herodias (Salome) in Valencia and Tokyo, Erda in Seville and Grandmother Buryjovka (Jenůfa) at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

Other appearances have included Die Soldaten in Munich and Zurich, Jenůfa and Salome in Zurich, The Enchantress and Peter Grimes in Vienna, Daphne in Basel and Hamburg, Jenůfa at the Met and in Munich and Eugene Onegin in Paris.

In Salzburg she appeared under Karajan in Die Zauberflöte and in his Easter Festival production of Parsifal. Other Salzburg appearances have included Geschwitz (Lulu) and Herodias under Rattle at the Easter Festival.

Hanna Schwarz has been equally acclaimed on the concert platform. Among the orchestras with which she has worked are the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the London and Boston Symphony Orchestras and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. She has also taken part in many radio broadcasts and recordings, including the songs and symphonies of Mahler, Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder and the Verdi Requiem under Böhm, Ozawa, Levine, Mehta, Sinopoli, Maazel, Sawallisch, Dohnányi and Bernstein. A particular focus of her interest is contemporary music: she has premiered works by Kagel, Henze, Boulez, Schnittke and Bernstein.

Recent engagements include Jenůfa at the Berlin State Opera and at the Theater an der Wien, Auntie (Peter Grimes) at the Theater an der Wien and the Old Woman in Peter Eötvös’s Sleepless at the Berlin State Opera and in Geneva.

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Hanna Schwarz
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