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Edith Mathis (Soprano)

Born: February 11, 1938[1] - Lucerne, Switzerland

The admired Swiss soprano, Edith Mathis, received her musical training at the Lucerne Conservatory, and from Elisabeth Bosshart in Zürich.

In 1956[2] Edith Mathis made her operatic debut as the 2nd boy in Die Zauberflöte in Lucerne. Her first stage experience was gained in Lucerne and Zürich, and soon afterwards she joined Cologne Opera (1959). During this period she also appeared as guest artist at the Hamburg State Opera[3] (1960-1975), at Glyndebourne Festival (1962-1965; as Cherubino and as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier) and at the Salzburg Festival (debut in 1960, in concert). In 1963 she became a member of Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and has since sung in most of the leading opera houses of the world, including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London (1970-1972, as W.A. Mozart's Susanna and Despina), the Metropolitan Opera in New York (debut in 1970, as Pamina in Zauberflöte; returned to New York as Ännchen in Der Freischütz, Sophie, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni), the Bavarian State Opera, the Vienna State Opera and the Opéra de Paris. Her roles include also Ninetta in La Finte Semplice (Salzburg), L.v. Beethoven's Marzelline, Debussy's Mélisande, Verdi's Nannetta and W.A. Mozart's Aminta; W.A. Mozart's Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro; Weber's Agathe in Der Freischütz, R. Strauss' Arabella and Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She sang in the premieres of Henze's Der jung Lord (Berlin, 1965) and Sutermeister's Le Roi Berénger (Munich 1985). In 1956 she appeared in the title role in the revival of the opera Massimilla Doni in Berne and Zürich as part of Otmar Schoeck’s 70th birthday celebrations, followed by a recording conducted by Gerd Albrecht. In 1986 she appeared in Barcelona as Agathe, and in 1990 made her debut at the Berne City Opera as the Marschallin.

Alongside her operatic career, Edith Mathis also has an extensive Lieder and oratorio repertory and her many concert appearances have included tours to Japan, the USA, Australia, Russia and Israel. She has received numerous awards for her work on the operatic stage, in the concert hall and in the recording studio, including the Mozart Medal from the Mozarteum Salzburg, the Hans-Reinhard-Ring from the Swiss Society for Theatre, the Arts Prize from the city of Lucerne, the Buxtehude Prize from the Lübeck Senate, and the Prix Mondial du Disque. She has been a Bayerische Kammersängerin since 1979.

Edith Mathis is married with the conductor and pianist Bernhard Klee, with whom she has often appeared in recitals. She now lives in Switzerland. In recent years she has become a sought-after teacher. Among the singers who were her pupils or took part in her master-classes: sopranos Donna Brown, Sibylla Rubens, Maria Regina Heyne, Claudia Patacca, Brigitte Geller, Annette Labusch, tenor Jörg Dürmüller, and many others.

Recordings: Le Nozze di Figaro; Die Zauberflöte; Fidelio; Die Freunde von Salamanka (Schubert), Der Wildschütz (Lortzing); Frau Fluth in Nicolai's Lustige Weiber van Windsor; W.A. Mozart's Ascanio in Alba, Il Re Pastore, Il Sogno di Scipione and Apollo et Hyacinthus; J.S. Bach Cantatas (many of them on Archiv Produktion under Karl Richter); Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna and L'lnfedeltà Delusa (both on Philips under Antal Doráti); George Frideric Handel's Ariodante.

[1] According to "Opernlexikon" she was born on February 11, 1936.
[2] According to "Opernlexikon" she made her operatic debut in 1957.
[3] According to "Who's Who" she was a member of the Hamburg State Opera from 1960 to 1972.

More Photos

Source: Hyperion Website; Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93); Opernlexikon (Author: Horst Seeger, 4th revised edition 1989)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, June 2006); Johannes Honigmann (June 2006)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Under her name


BWV 508

Karl-Friedrich Beringer


BWV 19, BWV 30

Colin Davis


BWV 232, BWV 244

Wolfgang Gönnenwein


BWV 32, BWV 39, BWV 78, BWV 106

Benhard Klee


BWV 244

Rafael Kubelík


BWV 232

Karl Richter


BWV 1, BWV 5, BWV 9, BWV 10, BWV 11, BWV 13, BWV 17, BWV 21, BWV 23, BWV 26, BWV 27, BWV 28, BWV 30, BWV 38, BWV 39, BWV 44, BWV 51, BWV 61, BWV 63, BWV 64, BWV 68, BWV 70, BWV 76, BWV 80, BWV 92, BWV 93, BWV 96, BWV 100, BWV 105, BWV 111, BWV 115, BWV 116, BWV 121, BWV 129, BWV 130, BWV 132, BWV 137, BWV 139, BWV 140, BWV 171, BWV 178, BWV 179, BWV 180, BWV 187, BWV 199
BWV 244 [5th ]

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 201, BWV 249a

Peter Schreier


BWV 36c, BWV 201, BWV 202, BWV 204, BWV 205, BWV 206, BWV 207, BWV 208, BWV 209, BWV 211, BWV 212, BWV 213, BWV 214, BWV 215

Links to other Sites

Edith Mathis - Soprano (Hyperion)
Edith Mathis - Biography (AMG)

Profile of faculties
Edith Mathis (Wikipedia) [German]
Edith Mathis (

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 10:47