Markus Werba


Despite his relative youth, Austrian baritone Markus Werba has already established a remarkable career and has performed at the world’s finest opera houses and concert venues, including La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayersiche Staatsoper, Los Angeles Opera, Metropolitan Opera New York, Suntory Hall Tokyo and Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, and for the Baden-Baden, Salzburg, Gergiev, Tanglewood and Aspen festivals. 

In 2015-2016 and beyond, his projects include Beckmesser in a new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, his title role debut in Eugene Onegin in Cologne, Die Zauberflöte at the Wiener Staatsoper, Tannhäuser in Beijing, re-invitations for several operas at La Scala and the MET, as well as concerts with orchestras such as the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, and recitals at venues including the Wigmore Hall.

Recent highlights include Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Salzburg Festival, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte for the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House and the Wiener Staatsoper, Rodrigo in Don Carlos for the New National Theatre in Tokyo and Semperoper Dresden, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte with the Theater an der Wien under Mo. Harnoncourt, both Marcello in La Boheme and Harlequin in Ariadne for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Roland in Fierrabras at the Salzburg Festival. He also gave a tour of concerts with Enrique Mazzola and the Orchestre national d’Ile de France and recital appearances at the Wigmore Hall and the Musée d'Orsay.

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News & Features



II Puritani Sir Riccardo Forth

Die Vögel Wiedehopf

Billy Budd title role
A Midsummer Night's Dream Demetrius

La Calisto Mercurio

Pelléas et Mélisande Pelléas

La Favorita Don Alfonso
Don Pasquale Malatesta
L'elisir d'amore Belcore
Lucia di Lammermoor Lord Enrico Ashton

Die tote Stadt Frank-Fritz

Die lustige Witwe Danilo

Hans Heiling title role

Die Zauberflöte Papageno
Don Giovanni title role
Cosi fan tutte Guglielmo
Le Nozze di Figaro title role + Il Conte
La Finta Giardiniera Nardo

Il matrimonio inaspettato Giorgino

La Boheme Marcello


Il Barbiere di Siviglia Figaro
La Cenerentola Dandini


Alsonso und Estrella Froila

Szenen aus Goethes Faust

Die Fledermaus Eisenstein, Falke
Ariadne auf Naxos Harlequin
Capriccio Olivier

Don Carlo Marquis de Posa
Falstaff Ford

Hamlet title role

Onegin title role 

Die Meistersinger Beckmesser
Tannhauser Wolfram




Solobasskantaten "ich habe genug", Kreuzstabkantate




Mass in C minor

Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Carmina Burana

Messe in C-Dur
Messe in G-Dur


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Media Player


    Ich hab ein glühend Messer




Il était une fois

Ruggero Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci, Prologue

Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Baritone: Markus Werba
Narrator: Laurent Papot
Conductor Enrique Mazzola
Orchestre National d'Ile de France

Espace Carpeaux, COURBEVOIE

Il était une fois

Ruggero Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci, Prologue

Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Baritone: Markus Werba
Narrator: Laurent Papot
Conductor Enrique Mazzola
Orchestre National d'Ile de France

Philharmonie de Paris, Paris

Il était une fois

Ruggero Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci, Prologue

Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Baritone: Markus Werba
Narrator: Laurent Papot
Conductor Enrique Mazzola
Orchestre National d'Ile de France

Théâtre Luxembourg, MEAUX

Il était une fois

Ruggero Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci, Prologue

Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Baritone: Markus Werba
Narrator: Laurent Papot
Conductor Enrique Mazzola
Orchestre National d'Ile de France

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BBC RADIO 3 LIVE - 25 February 2013

Recital featuring Markus Werba (baritone) and Gary Matthewman (piano). 

Schubert: Gesange des Harfners, Op 12 Nos 1, 2 and 3
Wolf: Michelangelo Lieder
Schumann: Dichterliebe.

To listen, click here

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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin

'und auch Markus Werba macht den Beckmesser nicht zur Witzfigur, agiert als Gralshüter wie als Liebender vielmehr anrührend hilflos und nimmt zudem mit seinem frei flutenden Bariton für den Stadtschreiber ein.' Frederik Hannsen, Der Tagesspiegel
'Dennoch wird die Figur nicht wie sonst der Lächerlichkeit preisgegeben; in Markus Werbas starker Darstellung ist Beckmesser Freak, Kauz, Neurotiker – und zwar mit Kultpotenzial. Wenn er von der Festwiese vertrieben wird, weiß man, dass er wiederkommt.' Clemens Haustein, Berliner Zeitung
'Markus Werba singt den bekanntesten Erbsenzähler der Operngeschichte. Stadtschreiber Beckmesser hat etwas Exaltiertes und steckt voller Unsicherheit. Werba singt ihm die tragische Unvollkommenheit auf den Leib. Darüber kann man staunen und herzhaft lachen, ohne sich gehässig zu fühlen' Volker Blech, Berliner Morgenpost
'Julia Kleiter (Eva), Markus Werba (Beckmesser) und Kwangchul Youn (Pogner) bieten Hochakzeptables.' Markus Thiel, Merkur
'Markus Werba was an absolute hoot as Eva’s would-be spouse, Beckmesser. So dapper and smug in Act 1, so eagerly anxious in his ill-buttoned, 16th-century costume for the Act 2 serenade, but losing his rag at the end of Act 3 as he tore off Sachs’s jacket and tie.' Mark Ronan, The Daily Telegraph
'Markus Werba’s self-deluding Beckmesser was utterly believable.' Martin Kettle, The Guardian


Die Zauberflöte

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

'The evening's star turn, though, comes from Austrian baritone Markus Werba who sings, speaks and gurns a priceless Papageno. Werba's inventive physicality is hilarious and his two big duets, "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" with Pamina and "Pa pa pa" with Rhian Lois's slinky tease of a Papagena, are showstoppers.' Mark Valencia, What's On Stage
'Markus Werba’s Papageno is vital and ebullient, but equally attentive to the sung and spoken text; his warm-hearted, ordinary-bloke-in-the-street characterisation supplies the bulk of the opera’s comic element with genuine success.' George Hall, The Guardian


The Magic Flute

The Metropolitan Opera

"His banquet scene (a floating feast in Taymor’s staging) was comedic gold, and his final “Pa-pa-pa” duet with Papagena (a warmly cooing Ashley Emerson) was simply adorable, helped along by delightful playing from the orchestra." Eric C. Simpson for New York Classical Review
"There was no hesitation in Markus Werba’s goofy portrayal of Papageno, complete with a few ad-libbed quips about lobster and Châteauneuf-du-Pape: welcome moments of spontaneity in the stilted splendor of Ms. Taymor’s production." Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim for the New York Times
"Rescuing this performance from utter direness was the conducting of Adam Fischer, brisk and crisp, and especially the performance of Markus Werba as the bird-catcher Papageno. Not only did he lavish a large, rich baritone on a part often sloughed off on whatever barihunk happens to be in the building, he brought the evening to life with ad-libs so funny they got laughs even from an audience that doesn’t speak a word of German."
James Jorden for the New York Observer
The other major standout of the night was Markus Werba as Papageno. The baritone was versatile in all phases of the performance. He delivered comically throughout with his phenomenal comic timing and his desire to become involved physically at every moment. It was a wonder to see him dance around and sing during his aria "Ein Madchen oder Weibchen." During the famous duet "Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa," he coordinated every syllable with a step on the staircase he had to climb, creating a rather hilarious effect. His singing was robust and filled with a sharpness that expressed Papageno's carefree nature to perfection. However, during his big solo moment near the end of the work (in which he talks of suicide), his singing was filled with violence that teetered on madness. It made this darkest of scenes all the more frightening, if only for a few moments. This moment of torment only endeared the character more to viewer and made his eventual happiness all the more fulfilling. David Salazar, Latin Post, 4 November 2014



Salzburg Festival

"Roland, a Frankish knight, was the rich-voiced baritone Markus Werba." Zachary Woolfe for the new York TImes
"Julia Kleiter als Emma, Dorothea Röschmann als Florinda, Markus Werba als Roland, dazu der profunde Georg Zeppenfeld als Kaiser Karl und Peter Kálmán als Gegenspieler Boland - gesungen wird durchwegs tadellos und charakterkonform. " Ernst P. Strob for Salzburger Nachrichten


La Bohème

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

"Markus Werba is luxury casting as Marcello" Martin Kettle for the Guardian
"Markus Werba offered a typically intelligent reading of Marcello, attentive to the words in a way that not all of his colleagues were." Mark Berry for Seen and Heard International
 "Impressive too were the rest of the Bohemians: Markus Werba a proud painter (Marcello) and the philosopher of Jongmin Park made a marked impression" Kevin Rogers for Classical Source


Ariadne auf Naxos

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

"The indispensable Sir Thomas Allen’s fraught Music Master and Markus Werba’s iron-pumping Harlequin all impress..." The Stage


The Magic Flute

Teatro Lirico di Cagliari

"Vero mattatore del Flauto è stato, in modo indiscusso, il baritono Markus Werba, un Papageno davvero trascinante e cordiale, la cui carica espansiva e non macchiettistica non ha intaccato un canto efficace e musicalissimo. Protagonista dei tanti sketch aggiunti alla partitura originale, Werba ha colloquiato con gli spettatori, ha singhiozzato sulla spalla del direttore d’orchestra, ha invocato il Cannonau per lenire le sue pene amorose: un esempio di come il coinvolgimento della platea nello spazio scenico (che Andò ha impiegato in modo variopinto per tutta la durata dell’opera) sia vissuta dal pubblico in modo entusiasmante e appassionato." Myriam Quaquero for GB Opera


Die Zauberflote

Teatro Regio Torino

"Sul palcoscenico domina il Papageno di Markus Werba, che può essere considerato l’interprete di riferimento di questa parte. Al risultato concorrono la perfetta corrispondenza tra il phisique du rôle e il personaggio, vale adire la simpatia, la schiettezza del gesto, quel tanto di ingenuità che l’Uccellatore richiede. Poi c’è la voce, da baritono lirico, con il peso giusto per la musica di Mozart, con il colore che le conviene. Poi c’è il canto sorgivo, fatto apposta per questo tipo di melodia viennese, che ingloba e nobilita le fonti popolari cui si ispira. Le sue Arie spopolano da quella di entrata, “Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja” all’altra dell’ultimo Atto. Qui Werba da un vero saggio di bravura graduando suono e colori per individuare gli stati d’animo del personaggio: il velo di tristezza che copre il canto, nel momento in cui tutto pare perduto e ti fa dire a bassa voce, per non disturbare i vicini, “Povero Papageno”." Giancarlo Landini for Opera Click
"Papageno: vero e che qui l'interprete era maiuscolo, un irresistibile Markus Werba, una cosa sola con il personaggio, capace di passare dall'arioso fraseggio dei suoi Lieder ai lievi ammiccamenti delle sue virtu sceniche." Giorgio Pestelli for La Stampa


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Salzburger Festspiele

"...den exzellenten Beckmesser von Markus Werba" Wolfram Goertz for RP Nachrichten
"...während Beckmesser (stimmlich hervorragend und komödiantisch brillant Markus Werba) vorgeführt wird." Ljubisa Tosic for Der Standart
"Markus Werba ist ein agiler, scharf gezeichneter Beckmesser" Peter Hagmann for Neue Zuricher Zeitung
"Mozart-Bariton Markus Werba erfreut mit quicklebendigem Timbre und ebensolchem Spiel." Florian Fuchs for Tiroler Tageszeitung
"Es wäre ein problematischer Abend, wären da nicht Markus Werba als bravouröser Loser Beckmesser" Annika Täuschel for BR Klassik
"Markus Werba war ein sehr junger, aber intelligent gestalteter Beckmesser"
"und so bleiben der exzellente Kothner (Oliver Zwarg) sowie ferner Georg Zeppenfelds Pogner und der vor allem spielerisch überzeugende Beckmesser von Markus Werba." Badische Zeitung
"Markus Werba gelingt als Beckmesser ein atypisch jugendliches Rollenprofil" Karl Harb for Salzburger Narchrichten
"Als sein Widersacher Sixtus Beckmesser tritt Markus Werba an, der zwar am Ende den Wettstreit verliert, aber in dieser Inszenierung (trotz der besserwisserischen Pedanterie) und auch musikalisch die sympathischere Figur ist." Sophia Felbermair for ORF
"Auf der Habenseite zu verbuchen sind Georg Zeppenfelds schlank gesungener Pogner, der von Markus Werba von jeder Karikatur ferngehaltene Beckmesser" Ernst Naredi-Rainer for Kleine Zeitung
"der für seine Rolle überraschend junge Markus Werba als Sixtus Beckmesser und Peter Sonn als David sind als klare Pluspunkte eines in Summe stimmigen Abends zu verbuchen." Tiroler Tageszeitung
" Markus Werba setzt stimmliche und darstellerische Kontur für Beckmesser ein" Rüdiger Heinze for Augsburger Allgemeine
...the compelling Austrian baritone Markus Werba as Beckmesser. This character usually comes across as a crotchety old fussbudget. But Mr. Werba, 39, made Beckmesser a young, nerdy hothead. That he sang with a virile sound and sputtering intensity lent intriguing ambiguity to his portrayal. Anthony Tommassini, The New York TImes

St. John Passion, November 2011

Montreal Symphony Orchestra,

"Markus Werba’s Jesus was as complex and nuanced as the character himself. The text often portrays Jesus, after experiencing the worst betrayal, rejection and agony, in a state of total calm and forgiveness. Werba’s voice reflected this characterization with a rich, comfortable and flexible tone, never strident, and always confident and musical"

Andrew Crust for bachtrack, November 2011
"Jesus in baritone Markus Werba was just right."
Wah Keung Chan for Montreal Gazette, November 2011

Don Giovanni, September 2011

Teatro La Fenice

"Sexy e tenebroso come Johnny Depp nei Pirati dei Caraibi. Il Don Giovanni interpretato da Markus Werba ha sempre una marcia in più, come si è visto ieri sera sul palco del teatro La Fenice. Tra applausi scroscianti"

Orsala Bollettini for Corriere del Veneto, September 2011

Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, July 2011

Aspen Music Festival

"For openers, Austrian baritone Markus Werba took an appropriately delicate approach to Mahler's Leider eines fahrenden Gesellen, his youthful tone and exuberance investing the first two songs with hope, and a sense of unease adding depth to the final two."

Stewart Oksenhorn for The Aspen Times, July 2011

Die Fledermaus, January 2011

Vienna State Opera

„Markus Werba ist ein ausgezeichneter Eistenstein, färbt selbst seinen Bariton in der finalen Verkleidungsszene tenoral, singt perfekt und agiert gemeinsam mit adrian Eröd (Falke) in kultivierter Lustigkeit.“

Österreich, January 2011
„Aber da begeistert auch das Team: der sehr junge, quicklebendige, ein bisschen auf Tenorcharmeur singende „Eisenstein“ Markus Werba.“ 

Krone, January 2011
„Markus Werba, er debütierte als eisenstein, konnte zudem sein brilliantes Schauspielerisches Talent entfalten“
Kurier, January 2011
„Markus Werba, er debütierte als eisenstein, konnte zudem sein brilliantes Schauspielerisches Talent entfalten“
Kurier, January 2011
„Rollendebüts gab es in den beiden Hauptpartien. Markus Werba wirkte als eisenstein zwar allzu jung, setzte aber seien frischen Bariton wirkungsvoll ein.“

Wiener Zeitung, January 2011



Fierrabras (DVD)

Fierrabras of 1823 is the last of Franz Schubert's stage works. Rarely performed to this day, this heroic-romantic opera has now been staged for the first time ever at the Salzburg Festival by famous director Peter Stein. The strong cast includes the "marvellously expressive miracle Dorothea Röschmann" (Die Zeit) and "Michael Schade, who exudes his exceptional tenor in Fierrabras's heroic arias" (Der neue Merker). Under the energetic baton of lngo Metzmacher, the Vienna Philharmonic unfold "the melos, the poetry, the sweetness and the dramatic force of Schubert's highly refined and atmospheric sound worlds" (Kleine Zeitung) in highly romantic fashion.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (DVD)

Salzburg Festival 2013
Michael Volle (Hans Sachs), Roberto Sacca (Walther Von Stolzing), Anna Gabler (Eva), Peter Sonn (David), Georg Zeppenfeld (Veit Pogner), Monika Bohinec (Magdalene), Markus Werba (Sixtus Beckmesser)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Daniele Gatti

Die Zauberflöte (DVD)

2012 Salzburg Festival

Georg Zeppenfeld (Sarastro), Bernard Richter (Tamino), Mandy Fredrich (Queen of Night), Julia Kleiter (Pamina), Markus Werba (Papageno), Rudolf Schasching (Monostatos), Martin Gantner (Speaker), Elisabeth Schwarz (Papagena), Sandra Trattnigg (First Lady), Anja Schlosser (Second Lady), Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Third Lady), Members of the Tölzer Knaben (Three Boys), Lucian Krasznec (First Man in Armour/First Priest), Andreas Hörl (Second Man in Armour)

Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor), Jens-Daniel Herzog (director)

Hans Heiling (DVD)

An opera with a rich vein of musical ideas; sumptuous and original sets; a little-known German Romantic composer; high-level interpreters (among them Anna Caterina Antonacci, a star of international renown): these are the ingredients of Hans Heiling, staged in 2004 in Cagliari under the scrupulous and refined baton of Renato Palumbo. There is no doubt that this timeless story of gnomes and spirits, love and suffering, supernatural powers and mortal beauty will captivate many opera lovers.

Alfonso und Estrella (DVD)

Music by Franz Schubert 

from Teatro Lirico di Cagliari

Mei, Trost, Werba

Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Lirico di Cagliari
Luca Ronconi (conductor)


The Jakobin

Music by Antonin Dvorak

Werba, Grato, Monogarova,Palazzi, Panova, Lehotsky, Elliott

Wexford Festival Opera Chorus
National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus 
Alexandre Voloschuk (conductor)
Fone Records