Christiane Karg


Christiane Karg was born in Feuchtwangen, Bavaria.  She studied singing at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Heiner Hopfner and Wolfgang Holzmair, where she was awarded the Lilli Lehmann Medal, and at the Music Conservatory in Verona.  In 2009 she was named Young Performer of the Year by Opernwelt magazine, and the following year was awarded the prestigious Echo Klassik prize for her first Lied CD, ‘Verwandlung – Lieder eines Jahres’, accompanied by Burkhard Kehring. 

She was a member of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera before joining the ensemble of the Frankfurt Opera in 2008 where her roles included Susanna, Musetta, Pamina, Servilia, Zdenka and the title role of La Calisto. She returned to Frankfurt in 2013 to sing Mélisande to great critical acclaim in Claus Guth’s new production of Pelleas et Mélisande.

In 2006 she made an auspicious debut at the Salzburg Festival and has returned to sing Amor/Orfeo ed Euridice with Riccardo Muti and Zerlina/Don Giovanni with Yannick Nezet-Seguin. She is a regular guest at the Theater an der Wien where she has sung Ismene/Mitridate, Telaire/Castor and Pollux and Hero/Beatrice et Benedict. At the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich she has sung Ighino/Palestrina, at the Komische Oper Berlin Musetta/La Boheme and Norina/Don Pasquale and at the Opera de Lille, Anne Trulove/The Rakes Progress.  In 2013 she made her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival singing the role of Aricie/Hippolyte et Aricie.  She returned last season for Sandrina/La Finta Giardiniera; and also made her role debut as Sophie/Der Rosenkavalier at the Flanders Opera and at the Dresden Semperoper. This season she makes her house debuts at the Lyric Opera, Chicago and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

In concert, Christiane Karg has recently appeared with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien, Daniel Harding and the Dresden Staatskapelle on tour in the U.S.A. (Brahms Requiem), Mariss Jansons in Tokyo with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra (Beethoven 9), Christian Thielemann at the Salzburg Easter Festival (Brahms Requiem), Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Mostly Mozart Festival New York (Haydn Nelson Mass), Laurence Equilbey at the Salzburg Festival (Mozart C Minor Mass), Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic (Mahler 4), and Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony (Mahler 4). In the 2013/14 season she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras with Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Mahler 4), the Czech Philharmonic with Manfred Honeck, and returned to the Salzburg Mozartwoche with Ivor Bolton. This season includes performances with Bernard Haitink and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christian Thielemann with the Dresden Staatskapelle and a return to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with Emmanuelle Haïm.

Christiane Karg is a committed and distinguished recitalist and has appeared at the Vienna Musikverein, Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Wigmore Hall and the Edinburgh Festival (where she was awarded the Herald Angel award). Other recent appearances include the Mozarteum Salzburg, Vienna Konzerthaus, Essen, Cologne, Schwetzingen, Hamburg, Innsbruck, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.  2014/15 recitals include Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Luxembourg Philharmonie, the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Oxford Lieder Festival and the Wigmore Hall where she is now a regular favourite. 

Her discography includes a new release this year, an album of Strauss lieder with Malcolm Martineau; she has also recorded two solo recital CDs with Burkhard Kehring and Malcolm Martineau and a CD of arias by Mozart, Gluck and Gretry with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo.

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    Christiane Karg, Strauss: Ständchen Op.17 No.2



Semperoper, Dresden

R.STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier

Die Feldmarschallin, Anja Harteros
Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau, Peter Rose
Octavian, Sophie Koch
Herr von Faninal, Adrian Eröd
Sophie, Christiane Karg

Musikalische Leitung, Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung, Uwe Eric Laufenberg

Semperoper, Dresden

R.STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier

Die Feldmarschallin, Anja Harteros
Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau, Peter Rose
Octavian, Sophie Koch
Herr von Faninal, Adrian Eröd
Sophie, Christiane Karg

Musikalische Leitung, Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung, Uwe Eric Laufenberg

Semperoper, Dresden

R.STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier

Die Feldmarschallin, Anja Harteros
Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau, Peter Rose
Octavian, Sophie Koch
Herr von Faninal, Adrian Eröd
Sophie, Christiane Karg

Musikalische Leitung, Christian Thielemann
Inszenierung, Uwe Eric Laufenberg

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Scenes from Goethe's Faust

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Christiane Karg's radiant Gretchen is the finest on disc.  Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 9th November 2014
Christiane Karg is the touching Marguerite Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 15th October 2014
'Christian Gerhaher and soprano, Christiane Karg in these two roles are extremely fine with Gerhaher’s baritone voice full and strong, bringing a sense of the older Faust and Karg a young innocent Gretchen. They blend extremely well.'...'Christiane Karg’s beautifully musical voice in this particularly lovely section, so beautifully controlled and expressive as she sings'...'Christiane Karg brings a sense of fear and distress before the choir and orchestra intone the ‘Dies irae’ (‘Day of Wrath’) in this impressive section.'...'This is a tremendous performance of a much underrated work that is full of dramatic and beautiful moments.' Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer, 12th November 2014

Recital 20th July 2014

Ryedale Festival

'She established such immediate and total rapport with her audience that we were eating out of her hand before she had finished her opening salvo, Schoeck’s In Memoriam'...'Karg is the complete package. She looks right into the eyes of her listeners. She exudes a delightful, unfussy charisma'... 'Her creamy legato and impeccable diction are riveting. She was engagingly contained in four songs from Wolf’s Spanish Songbook. Her tone was beautifully internalised, too, in five Baudelaire settings by Debussy, singing as if within a trance in Le Jet d’Eau, and devastatingly accurate in her octave leap to finish Recueillement (recollection)'...'Lieder recitals should always be like this.' Martin Dreyer, The York Press, 24th July 2014

Recital 12th July 2014

Wigmore Hall

'Her programme, meanwhile, allowed her to traverse an exceptionally complex stylistic range, which she did in ways that often came close to perfection.'...'Karg's recent UK appearances have tended to suggest a specialism in baroque music, yet she is perfectly at ease in lieder. Her voice sounds opulent in the Wigmore, though a hint of metal in the tone, carefully deployed, permits her infinite dramatic potential. There's an uninhibited quality to her singing'...'Her hovering, smoky pianissimo takes your breath away, but gains its meaning through its context: in Falla's Lullaby it sounds infinitely maternal and intimate; transferred to the melismatic filigree of Ravel's Cinq Mélodies Populaires Grecques, it sounds provocatively sensual. ' Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 16th July 2014


La Finta Giardiniera

Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Christiane Karg’s diamantine purity of tone and impeccable technique put her at the forefront of lyric sopranos Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 29th June 2014
The countess-as-garden-girl who can’t help loving her assailant is taken with plenty of character and stylistic beauty by the very classy Christiane Karg David Nice, The Arts Desk, 29th June 2014
...not as strong as Christiane Karg, who sings Sandrina with a mixture of soft gleam and incisive edge. Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 29th June 2014
..Christiane Karg’s ardent Sandrina.. Richard Morrison, The Times, 30th June 2014
Christiane Karg sings Sandrina with beautiful, bell-like clarity Hugo Shirley, The Spectator, 12 July 2014
Gleaming-toned Christiane Karg is an appealingly fragile Sandrina Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, July 6 2014
Christiane Karg, returning after a stand-out performance last year in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, proves once again just how exciting a singer she is, carving long and elegant phrases from Mozart’s music and lending it the gravity and dignity it never quite attains. Her darker-hued soprano is set here against Joelle Harvey’s pert Serpetta – poised and knowing, and never more than skin-deep. It’s a masterly comic performance. Alexandra Coghlan, New Statesman, 10 JULY 2014


'Heimliche Aufforderung' Secret Invitation CD

Christiane Karg & Malcolm Martineau

Karg is the pick of the younger generation of light-voiced German sopranos so beloved of the big-label executives today. Her silver-tinged, creamy sound is perfect for Strauss, and here she displays her prowess in a selection of his most loved songs, including the “Secret Invitation” of the title track. She captures the rapt sense of resignation and wonderment in Morgen — better known, perhaps, in its orchestral version — and the sublime Allerseelen (All Souls’ Day) in their long-breathed, soaring phrases. There’s conspiratorial mischief in her Ständchen (Serenade), while she handles the coloratura flourishes of “Ich wollt’ ein Sträußlein binden” (I wanted to make a little bouquet) with bright-eyed brio. The three Ophelia-Lieder are latish Strauss, making a nod to the post-Romantic idiom of Berg and Schoenberg, which Karg and Martineau deliver with (psycho-) analytical musical and verbal clarity. While Karg is not always as distinct in Strauss’s lusher Romantic vein (Das Rosenband, Die Georgine), she compensates with gorgeous, imaginatively coloured tone. There’s also a fine “guest” appearance from Klieser in the rarely heard Alphorn. In sum, one of the best Strauss Lieder recitals ever. Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 8th June 2014
“…amongst my favourite new releases of the week is a recital of Strauss songs… the beautifully clear, well focussed and flexible soprano voice of Christiane Karg who for me is close to ideal for many of the songs in this recital with pianist Malcolm Martineau. The way she nurtures the text and applies her vibrato sparingly and colourfully and encompasses the emotional and dynamic range of some of the bigger songs…Das Rosenband,  Ständchen , Freundliche Vision and  Zueignung are wonderful  with Martineau’s sensitivity to every phrase the range of tone he deploys to match Karg. I think this is an outstanding Strauss recital, new from Berlin Classics.” Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 CD Review, 7th June 2014
Christiane Karg has a bright, expressive timbre, she is a wonderful interpreter of Strauss Dr. Christiane Bayer, Magazin Klassik, 17th June 2014
The Bavarian soprano is a delectably light, idiomatic Straussian, and the covered, pearly underside of her voice is the perfect instrument with which to recreate the secret moments and intimacy of the songs she has selected here. 

Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine, July 2014
The Strauss soprano voice of today is unquestionably that of Bavarian Christiane Karg, whose ravishing tone nudges that quest for perfection ever-nearer realisation in this gorgeous collection of songs: a stream of Strauss favourites and masterpieces; Morgen, Standchen, Heimliche Aufforderung (Secret Invitation) Traum durch die Dammerung, Die Nacht, Befreit, Freundliche Vision; they're all here, spiced with a few fascinating early pieces. And I have never heard a less-overblown version of Zueignung, with Karg finding subtlety where few do. This is a great disc from a wonderful singer Michael Tumelty, The Herald Scotland, 13th July 2014


Der Rosenkavalier

Théâtre des Champs- Elysées. 18th March 2014

"Christiane Karg was a divine surprise arrival at the last minute, replacing Mojca Erdmann"..."this young German soprano has so far had little opportunity to perform in France, and it is hoped that this unexpected return to the Théâtre des Champs- Elysées will encourage many more returns to treat the Parisian public." Laurent Bury, Forum Opera, 18th March 2014
"Christiane Karg conquers the role of Sophie with her bright, crystal like soprano, yet equally soft and tender. In the third act her final duet with Sophie Koch (Octavian) is overwhelmingly emotional, as both timbres combine beautifully..."

Marie Charlotte Mallard, Toute La Culture, 20th March 2014
[Christiane Karg] "displays treasures of crystalline purity and musicality, with an experienced creamy and ethereal voice." Christian Merlin, La Figaro, 25th March 2014


Der Rosenkavalier

Les Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg

Christiane Karg, whose Sophie withstands even the highest expectations. Dieter Lintz, Volks Freund, 26th February 2014
Christiane Karg played a cute Sophie, her character shining; a bright and beautiful soprano.  Marc Weinachter, Tageblatt Zeitung fir Letzebuerg, 27th February 2014
Christiane Karg was charming as Sophie. Her voice seems to have matured slightly, with more heat and creative power. With pure and easy intonation, her voice full of nuances, she amazed her audience. Her purity shone beguilingly, and the text was clear throughout the house.  Manfred Langer, Der Opernfreund, 1st March 2014


Der Rosenkavalier

Vlaamse Opera

Christiane Karg presents Sophie with a confident silvery light soprano Regine Müller, Nacht Kritik, 15th December 2013
It is hard to believe that Christiane Karg was here giving her role debut as Sophie. When she sung the famous Rose duet with Stella Doufexis (Octavian) her fabulous voice shone with subtle wonder.
Werner Theurich, Spiegel Online Kultur, December 16th 2014
The confident Christiane Karg was as clear as a bell Joachim Lagne, Die Welt, 16th December 2013

Recital - September 2013

Leeds Lieder

The brilliant young Bavarian soprano Christiane Karg brought sumptuous tone and a glittering top register to Hugo Wolf's suite of four Mignon Lieder; though the highlight was Henri Duparc's plaintive expression of unrequited passion. In the words of a more recent addition to the Mignon canon – Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus – Karg "seized hold of the song in the supple lasso of her voice". Alfred Hickling, The Guardian, 13th October 2013

Live Recital CD

Wigmore Hall

Karg is a performer who makes the act of singing seem utterly straightforward. With a voice that’s tightly focused (no pitch is ever even slightly indistinct), Karg gives the impression that she can turn to reach any note or shift into any mood with effortless ease. Her approach is not so much to project outwards to her listeners as to draw them in, as if everyone is sharing a space in which nothing needs to be exaggerated. The style may be too cool for some listeners, but the sense of communicative intimacy is wonderful. Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, 25th October 2013
This is a lovely disc, showcasing Karg's intelligent handling of these songs as well as her beautifully silvery voice with a superb sense of control in the vocal line.  Malcolm Martineau accompanies with sympathy and finesse throughout. Highly recommended. Robert Hugill, 9th November 2013
'Vocally and interpretatively Karg can already bear comparison with the finest light-soprano Lieder specialists of the past four decades'...'Karg proves how effortlessly her timbre adapts itself to French'...'Light sopranos don't invariably excel in Wolf, but Karg has all the right instincts for this most challenging of Lieder composers.'

'Here is a singer poised to become a major player in art-song performance internationally. Biographies, texts and translations are included. Warmly recommended.'  Roger Pines, International Record Review, December 2013


Hippolyte et Aricie - June 2013

Glyndebourne Festival Opera

'The star act though was Christiane Karg as Aricie. ... Karg's ability to control and colour her vocal line, making every ornament, every delicious port de voix and coulez, tell within the context of the words, meant she manipulated us as much as they her.' Igor Toronyi-Lalic, The Arts Desk

‘With the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment supplying sinuous instrumental timbres, and vocal delights also coming from Katherine Watson’s Diana and Christiane Karg’s Aricia, Rameau’s music is one reason to hasten to East Sussex.’

Richard Morrison,The Times June 30 2013
'Christiane Karg and Ed Lyon look and sound alluring as the titular lovers, her mellifluous soprano blending with his plaintively expressive high tenor.' Barry Millington, Evening Standard July 2013
 Ed Lyon and Christiane Karg are stylish and good-looking titular fiancés, and François Lis has exactly the sepulchral tones needed for the nether gods, Pluto and Neptune.  Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 07 July 2013
'Aricia, Hippolytus’ true beloved, also has lovely and touching music, and could hardly be better portrayed than by Christiane Karg.' Michael Tanner, The Spectator 3rd August 2013


Béatrice et Bénédict - April 2013

Theater an der Wien

The excellent lyric soprano Christiane Karg sings beautifully in Héro’s aria, unruffled by the physical busyness, and makes a bittersweet moment of the duo-nocturne George Loomis, NY Times, 23 April 2013
Schnippisch sind sie alle, mehr noch als Ernman die Héro der Christiane Karg. Wunderbar ihr Piano sowie die Leichtigkeit und Intensität ihres Soprans. Diese Héro ist eine gefühls- und selbstsichere junge Frau, die Berlioz' Sommernachtstraum sowohl in den erotischen wie auch in den eingedunkelten Momenten grandios erfüllt Reinhard J. Brembeck, üddeutsche Zeitung, 19.4.2013

Recital - February 2013

Oper Frankfurt

Ein edles, ein hochgestimmtes Bild der Frau wurde dem Frankfurter Publikum also beschert von einer Sängerin, die gerade erst in der Neu-Inszenierung von Claude Debussys Oper Pelléas et Melisande geglänzt hatte in der Rolle des somnambulen, rätselhaften weiblichen Wesens aus dem Wald.

Jetzt erwies sich Kargs in gedecktem Register in großer Homogenität zu weiten Vokalzügen befähigter Sopran als ideal für den konzentrierten Ausdruck des Weiblichkeits-Charakters dieses Abends, wie er von Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss und Hugo Wolf sowie Camille Saint-Saëns, Henri Duparc und Reynaldo Hahn vermittelt wurde.

Bernhard Uske, Frankfurter Rundschau, 14 February 2013


Pelléas et Mélisande – November 2012

Oper Frankfurt

There was enthusiastic applause for Christiane Karg and Christian Gerhaher who sang and played the impossible lovers brilliantly. It is a smart, modern interpretation, especially when played and sung so convincingly by Christiane Karg… her multifaceted lyric soprano and the splendour of Gerhaher’s baritone make the evening an unforgettable experience. Darmstaedter Echo, 6 November 2012
Christiane Karg as Mélisande is the equal of Gerhaher as Pelleas …so true in her expression of every sound and every dynamic as if the role was written for her girlish, tender, yet clear and bright voice. Monika Beer, Fraenkischer Tag, 7 November 2012
Mélisande is portrayed by the brilliant young-soprano Christiane Karg, a gorgeous, gifted singer and actress. Together, Karg and Gerhaher are a perfect couple… Eleonore Büning, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 November 2012
The clear soprano of the delicate Christiane Karg… Olga Lappo-Danilewski, Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 November 2012
There were well- deserved bravos for the magical, elusive, enduring Mélisande of Christiane Karg… this is a first Mélisande on a world scale. Landshuter Zeitung / Straubinger Tagblatt, November 2012
Another Frankfurt casting coup is Christiane Karg. In this fragile Mélisande, everything is audible and visible: the girlish tenderness, the bittersweet, futile determination… Muenchner Merkur, 6 November 2012
The capricious and mysterious Mélisande is sung by Christiane Karg, her soprano embedded lovingly into Debussy’s language… Klaus Ackermann, Offenbach-Post, 6 November 2012
Christiane Karg (Mélisande) and Christian Gerhaher (Pelléas) find a sure and stylish balance between declamation and singing, with an awareness of Debussy’s language that only two genuine singers of song can bring. Karg is a wonderfully somnambulistic Mélisande with her delicate, fragile soprano, delivering passion, vulnerability and disunity in equally convincing measure. Rhein Necka Zeitung Heidelberg, November 2012
In the graceful Christine Karg as fragile Mélisande and in the delicate Christian Gerhaher as enchanted, eccentric Pelléas, Claus Guth finds the best possible singers to play the soul mates: she with bell-clear soprano, he with excellent, beautiful enunciation, both of them bathing in the impressionistic tones of the orchestra... Ursula Böhmer, SWR 2 Journal am Morgen, 5 November 2012 would be difficult to fault Karg or Gerhaher.  The soprano certainly conjured up the necessary girlish purity in singing of exquisite clarity. Hugo Shirley, Opera, Feburary 2013


La Calisto – December 2011

Oper Frankfurt

The undisputed star of the evening is Christiane Karg who is second to none as Calisto - she unites quiet suffering and blazing passion with her warm soprano... Bettina Kneller, Main-Echo Aschaffenburg, 2 January 2012
Especially touching in the title role is the young Christiane Karg, whose voice has a clear, bright and warm timbre and whose passionate singing is as convincing as her suffering and sacrifice Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau, 26 December 2011



Rameau: Hippolyte Et Aricie

Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Hippolytus, Ed Lyon
Aricia, Christiane Karg
Phaedre, Sarah Connolly
Theseus, Stéphane Degout

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
The Glyndebourne Chorus
Conductor, William Christie
Director, Jonathan Kent
Glyndebourne Opera

Symphony no.2 'Lobgesang'

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Symphonie Nr.2 'Lobgesang'

Christiane Karg, Soprano
Christina Landhamer, Soprano
Michael Schade, Tenor
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Kammerchor
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Symphony Orchestra
Pablo Heras-Casado, Leitung
Harmonia Mundi


Eric Schneider, Klavier (Nr. 2)
Helmut Deutsch, Klavier
(Nr. 17, with Stella Doufexis)
(Nr. 19, with Stella Doufexis and Klaus Florian Vogt)