Mezzo-soprano

Angelika Kirchschlager

© Nikolaus Karlinsky

Introduction

Austrian Mezzo Soprano, Angelika Kirchschlager, divides her time between recitals and opera in Europe, North America and the Far East. She is acclaimed as one of the foremost interpreters of the operas of Richard Strauss and Mozart. For the  Wiener Staatsoper her roles include Dorabella (Mozart Cosi fan tutte), Octavian (Strauss Der Rosenkavalier) and Clairon (Strauss Capriccio). For the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden her roles include Mélisande (Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande), Sophie (Maw Sophie’s Choice), Hänsel (Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel) and Octavian.

She has a wide discography on the Sony Masterworks label which have won numerous awards including a Grammy.

Highlights of the 2017/18 season include Clairon in Strauss Capriccio at the Theater an der Wien, performances of Bach Christmas Oratorio at the Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with the Bach Collegium München and Hansjörg Albrecht, a concert tour to the Transoso Festival, Brazil with the Camerata Bern and recitals for Oxford Lieder, Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh and London’s Wigmore Hall in the UK, at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht and Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw and at the Wiener Staatsoper.


Contact



Discography

  • 04 Sep 15 HEGGIE CD: The moon's a gong, hung in the wild
    Maurice Lammerts van Bueren, piano
    More info  

    “This fantastic recording is one big feast”
    Henriette Posthuma de Boer, “De Liedvriend”

    CD of the month
    Click link below for Opera Nederland 5 star review (in Dutch)
    Opera Nederland, September 2015

  • 23 Jul 14 Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald
    Bregenz Festival
    More info  

    “Angelika Kirchschlager exuded humanity and vivacity as Valerie.”
    Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times, 24 July 2014

  • 01 Jul 13 Recital: 1 July 2013
    Kulturhaus Eppan, Italy
    More info  

    Click here to read regional Südtirol press review
    C F Pichler, Dolomiten, July 2013

  • 02 Jun 13 Mozart & Haydn: 2 June 2013
    Academy of Ancient Music, Kaisersaal Wurzburg
    More info  

    “Eigentliche Highlights waren indes die Konzert-Arien”
    Frank Upke, Main Post, 3 June 2013

    “Ein besonderes Erlebnis war die Begegnung mit der Mezzospranisten Angelika Kirchschlager.”
    Klaus Linsenmeyer, FNweb, 4 June 2013

  • 14 Mar 13 Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex, 13 March 2013
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gruber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
    More info  

    “the arrival of his wife/mother Jocasta in Act Two, in the form of the Austrian mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager in a sparkling gold gown, raised the stakes. She brought heightened drama with her singing, body language and stage presence.”
    Philip Radcliffe, The Arts Desk, 14 March 2013

  • 25 Feb 13 La voix humaine / February 2013
    Theater an der Wien
    More info  

    “„La voix humaine“ von Francis Poulenc … Um hier die Spannung über eine Dreiviertelstunde zu halten, braucht es schon einen Emotions-Hydranten wie Angelika Kirchschlager. Eine Darstellerin, die Gesang nicht als reine Produktion von Schönklang betrachtet, sondern primär als Gefühlsvehikel; die den Mut zum fahlen, fast erstickten Piano ebenso hat wie zum hysterischen Ausbruch. Kurz, der die ganze Palette an Ausdrucksmitteln zu Gebote steht, um diesem Nervenbündel in seiner existenziellen Krise eine glaubwürdige Stimme geben zu können – alleine auf der Bühne, schutzlos diesen Emotionen und Poulencs hochexpressiver Musik ausgeliefert.”
    Die Presse / 20 February 2013 / Helmar Dumbs

    “Ein aufwühlender Monolog, den Angelika Kirchschlager zu gestalten versteht. Mit zurückgenommener Gestik, ohne Requisiten. Die „menschliche Stimme“ steht im Mittelpunkt.”
    Kurier / 20 February 2013

  • 04 Feb 13 Hugo Wolf: Spanisches Liederbuch - February 2013
    Alice Tully Hall
    More info  

    “The Austrian mezzo-soprano obviously savours the poetry, focuses emotion with natural vigour, conveys whimsy, charm and pain with apt precision. Most important, perhaps, she avoids exaggeration at every quirky turn. And, yes, she sings beautifully.”
    ft.com, Martin Bernheimer, 4 February 2013 

    Ian Bostridge and Angelika Kirchschlager sang beautifully on Sunday afternoon at Alice Tully Hall. … Both singers are big names who rarely appear on opera stages this side of the Atlantic, and the reputations of their voices – Mr. Bostridge’s cleareyed tenor, Ms. Kirchschlager’s richly hued mezzo – would have been sufficient to draw a capacity crowd to their recital of Hugo Wolf songs, presented as part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series.
    But more important, they are just that: artists who in concert deliver performances so vivid that they create an impression of spontaneous communication with the audience. …
    In Ms. Kirchschlager’s rendition of “Mühvoll Komm ich und Beladen” (“In Toil I Come, and Laden”), her downward sloping lines over dense harmonies gave physical weight to the text. On the word “beladen” she flattened her voice into a moan.
    The texts of the secular songs that followed revisited the familiar topic of love’s power to cause ecstasy, agony and embarrassment. Here Ms. Kirchschlager and Mr. Bostridge, who alternated throughout the program, slipped into character even as they passed each other on their way to and from the piano. They exchanged sulking, I-dare-you glances; Ms. Kirchschlager flicked the skirt of her long, flowing dress as if she were a flamenco dancer.
    The musicians seemed to be engaged in a three-way game of tease, where the piano most often had the last laugh. In “Trau Nicht der Liebe” (“Trust Not Love”), which Ms. Kirchschlager delivered with a wait-for-it elasticity of tempo, her final threat to make her beloved weep sounded dead serious, except for the mocking retort in the piano.
    The encore finally brought Ms. Kirchschlager and Mr. Bostridge together in a duet, Schumann’s “Liebhabers Ständchen” (“Lover’s Serenade”), which fully exploited their scorching chemistry.
    New York Times / 6 February 2013 / Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

  • 01 Jan 13 Hugo Wolf: Spanisches Liederbuch - January 2013
    Wigmore Hall
    More info  

    “Kirchschlager … began by summoning up the green sap of spring in a robust ramble through Mörike’s Auf eine Wanderung. Wolf soon turned to the poet’s shadowy side, bidding farewells to love in Lebe wohl and Das verlassne Magdlein, both heavy with a Wagnerian chromaticism in which both Kirchschlager and Drake revelled.
    The trick — or one of them — with Wolf is to grasp the full expanse of the song’s grand design while cherishing the essential miniaturism of its detail. This was Kirchschlager’s great strength: she’d reveal the long hill-top view while also drawing us close to the wing-beat of a single bee.”
    The Times, Hilary Finch, January 2013

    “Hugo Wolf doesn’t get better than this. Part of Julius Drake’s ongoing exploration of the Goethe and Mörike Songbooks, the evening found two of the great Wolf interpreters, Dietrich Henschel and Angelika Kirchschlager, in a programme that reminded us of the composer’s interest in extreme emotions, even psychopathology. … Kirchschlager’s voice has grown in weight and opulence; at times, such as the suddenly violent climax of Das Verlassene Mädgelein, she let the sound out at full throttle to thrilling effect. Elsewhere, for example in Im Frühling, you were left spellbound by the sheer beauty of her sense of line.”
    The Guardian, Tim Ashley, 8 January 2013

  • 07 Jul 12 Concert: 07 July 2012
    The English Concert, Wigmore Hall
    More info  

    ‘Kirchschlager blended beautifully with the contrapuntal woodwind lines in the first aria, ‘The maidens come’, before her recitative-like prayer descended to a rich, contemplative warmth for the entreaty, “After ther liff grant them/ A place eternally to sing”. In the long central carol,‘Tomorrow shall be my dancing day’, players (flutes, oboes and cello) and singer mastered the intricate series of canonical devices and increasingly intense dissonances, with lucidity and precision, the at times unblended instrumental timbres underpinning Bostridge’s beautifully decorated cantilena lines.’
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 11 July 2012

    “(Il Combattimento di Tancredi) Yet the dominant mode of this madrigal is solemn rather than martial, and it was here that Angelika Kirchschlager, who shared the narration with Bostridge dominated with her rich and centred mezzo, giving a miniature masterclass in the expressive shading of words as Monteverdi’s drama reached its ever more poignant later pages.”
    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 7 July 2012

Press Articles

Angelika Kirchschlager – An Austrian great arrives in Britten
The Independent, 3 June 2011

CD Reviews

BRITTEN The Rape of Lucretia

Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble, Oliver Knussen (conductor)
Virgin Classics

“The most problematic of Britten’s operas seems all the more repellent the better it is performed. I have rarely been … as gripped and moved as by Angelika Kirchschlager …. In the concert hall, her sopranoish timbre seemed light, but here her Lucretia is a gripping portrait.”
Hugh Canning / Sunday Times Culture / 3 February 2013

“This is a remarkable recording. A powerful performance on record may make you feel as though you are in the theatre or even witnessing events, but very seldom do have the sensation of being physically situated amongst the cast … The performers are outstanding. … Angelika Kirchschlager is deeply moving as Lucretia: plus truly impeccable diction from all.”
Opera Now / Francis Muzzu / February 2013

“There are no weaknesses there, either. … the protagonists in the drama are presented in all their contradictions – from Angelika Kirchschlager’s Lucretia by turns sensuously honeyed and harrowingly moving … this performance is surely the best of recent times, redemptive in a way that the work itself can never be.”
The Guardian, January 2013

“A deeply affecting experience that ought to win the opera many new admirers. … The singers, too, are first rate. … Angelika Kirchschlager gives a subtle, wonderfully lyrical portrayal of the title role, encompassing Lucretia’s honest fidelity, vulnerability, torment and self-destructive anguish with moving conviction.”
BBC reviews, Graham Rogers, 6 February 2013

“Angelika Kirchschlager is a moving and noble Lucretia.”
Sinfinimusic, Warwick Thompson, February 2013

LISZT

Complete Songs, Vol 2
Hyperion CDA 67934

“Anglika Kirchschlager’s live recitals have demonstrated her affinity for the songs of Franz Liszt and her ability to span the theatrical and meditative extremes of his artistic range.  A studio recording inevitably lacks some of the freewheeling, spontaneous spirit of the mezzo’s work in the concert hall, but she compensates with polish and beauty of tone”
Opera News / November 2012
To read full review please click here

‘If the well-worn phrase ‘equally at home on the operatic and Lieder stages’ applies to anyone, it is surely to Kirchschlager. Her extraordinary dramatic gifts are displayed in the two longest songs here, Jeanne d’Arc au bucher and Die drei Zigeuner. Sung here is the last of Liszt’s three versions for voice and piano (1875) of Dumas’s depiction of St Joan’s final moments at the stake. Kirchschlager deftly protrays the pschological progression of the three verses from despair, through terror, to prayerful acceptance.’
Click here to read the full article
Patrick Rucker / International Record Review / July 2012

“Kirchschlager is exquisite and intensely dramatic by turns”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 13 July 2012
‘Kirchschlager’s rich resonant mezzo finds beauties everywhere on this disc, from heights of drama to intimacies of reflection, and at every turn Drake is with her… Liszt responds with true wonder to Goethe’s famous Uber allen Gipfeln and Kirchschlager is a match for them both with her control of line and verbal colouring.’
Roger Nichols / BBC Music Magazine / August 2012