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Petra Lang (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Frankfurt, Germany

The German mezzo-soprano, Petra Lang, began her music studies with the violin before she went on to study Voice with Gertie Charlent at the Music Academy of Darmstadt. Currently she is working with Ingrid Bjoner. Awards include placing first in the s'Hertogenbosch, Robert-Stolz and Girardi International Singing Competitions.

Petra Lang’s considerable operatic credits include the Netherlands and the Flemish Opera, Opernhaus Zurich, Grand Théâtre de Genève, La Scala di Milano, Berlin’s State Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Baltimore Opera.

During the 1992-1995 seasons Petra Lang has appeared as Octavian, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Die Götterdämmerung, Judith in Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Marie in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Eboli in Don Carlo at the Dortmund and Braunschweig Opera. But her "signature" role is Brangäne with which she made a unanimously acclaimed North America debut in the Opera Orchestra of New York’s Tristan & Isolde at Carnegie Hall in 1997, in 1998 in Geneva, in 1999 under Semyon Bychkov in Torino and in 2000 under Bernard Haitink at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London.

In October 1998 Petra Lang made her Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut singing Waltraute under Bernard Haitink, in December 1999 she has appeared as Amneris under Pinchas Steinberg in Geneva, in January 2000 as Waltraute under Christian Thielemann in Berlin and in March 2000 as Venus in Wagner’s Tannhäuser under Christian Badea in Baltimore. In September 2000 She made a triumphal first appearance as Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle in London and sang her first Cassandra in Les Troyens under Sir Colin Davis at the Barbican Center, London.

As a uncommonly sensitive lieder interpreter, Petra Lang offered recitals in Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, Austria’s Schubertiade Feldkirch, New York’s Carnegie Hall, at the Bards Festival and throughout her native Germany. She has also been warmly welcomed at both the Salzburg and the Bregenz Festivals, were she sang Fenena in Nabucco.

Petra Lang’s orchestral repertoire includes nearly all mezzo literature by Alban Berg, Berlioz, L.v. Beethoven, Edward Elgar, Arnold Schoenberg, Ravel, Rossini and Verdi. Esteemed on both sides of the Atlantic as a superb Gustav Mahler interpreter, she has performed the composer’s Symphonies and Orchestral Lieder under conductors such as: Claudio Abbado (Berliner Philharmoniker), Riccardo Chailly (Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam), Giuseppe Sinopoli (Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI), Zdenek Macal (Chicago Symohony Orchestra), Jukka-Pekka Saraste (Toronto Symphony Orchestra, James Judd (Florida Symphony Orchestra) and Andrew Litton (Dallas Symphony Orchestra). Among the other leading orchestras with which she appears are the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Orchestra of Vienna, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Tonhalle Zürich, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductors which whom she collaborates include Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Iván Fischer, Franz Welser-Möst, Riccardo Muti, David Shallon and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Future engagements include: Cassandra in Les Troyens + a recital at the Edinburgh Festival, Das Lied von der Erde, Kindertotenlieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen under Iván Fischer in Paris, Metz and Antwerpen, Venus in Wagner’s Tannhäuser under M. Chung in Rome, G. Mahler 2, under Riccardo Chailly, in Amsterdam, Lucerne, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Newark and a recording for Decca, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung under Semyon Bychkov in Dresden and under Christian Thielemann in Berlin, Brangäne in Tristan & Isolde under Sir Simon Rattle in Amsterdam, under Silvio Varviso in Antwerpen and under Semyon Bychkov in Dresden, recital in Brussels and Antwerpen, Wesendonck-Lieder in Santiago de Compostela and in Tilburg, Wozzeck Marie under Antonio Pappano in Genova, Adriano in Wagner’s Rienzi in Stuttgart, Judith in Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle under Wolfgang Sawallisch in New York and Philadelphia and under Iván Fischer in Ferrara and Modena, Fricka in Die Walküre at the Vienna State Opera and in Stuttgart, Kundry in Parsifal under Gerd Albrecht in Tokyo and in a new production in Geneva, Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne) under Antonio Pappano at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Die Walküre (Sieglinde) in La Coruna and under Gerd Albrecht in Tokyo.

Source: Balmer & Dixon Management Website (January 2001)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Riccardo Chailly


BWV 244 [1st]

John Eliot Gardiner


BWV 36, BWV 62

Links to other Sites

Petra Lang - Mezzosopran (Balmer & Dixon)


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