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German soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin has created thrilling character portraits performing leading roles in operas by Janáček, Britten, Berg, Wagner and Richard Strauss. She starts the 2013-14 season singing Lady Macbeth in a new production of Verdi's Macbeth by David Hermann at the Aalto Theatre in Essen under Tomáš Netopil. Audiences in Vienna will have numerous opportunities to hear Ms. Barkmin this season. She makes her house debut at the Vienna State Opera singing Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes, followed by the title role in Richard Strauss’ Salome under Andris Nelsons, and her role debut as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre under Jeffrey Tate. She also returns to Leipzig Opera as Chrysothemis in Richard Strauss' Elektra. Ms. Barkmin makes her debut at Carnegie Hall with the Vienna State Opera singing the title role in a concert performance of Salome, repeating the role in concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, both times under Andris Nelsons, and she sings Janacek's Glagolitic Mass with the Philharmonia Orchestra London under Jakub Hrusa. On the concert stage Gun-Brit Barkmin will also perform Richard Strauss

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German soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin has created thrilling character portraits performing leading roles in operas by Janáček, Britten, Berg, Wagner and Richard Strauss.

She starts the 2013-14 season singing Lady Macbeth in a new production of Verdi's Macbeth by David Hermann at the Aalto Theatre in Essen under Tomáš Netopil. Audiences in Vienna will have numerous opportunities to hear Ms. Barkmin this season. She makes her house debut at the Vienna State Opera singing Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes, followed by the title role in Richard Strauss’ Salome under Andris Nelsons, and her role debut as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre under Jeffrey Tate. She also returns to Leipzig Opera as Chrysothemis in Richard Strauss' Elektra. Ms. Barkmin makes her debut at Carnegie Hall with the Vienna State Opera singing the title role in a concert performance of Salome, repeating the role in concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, both times under Andris Nelsons, and she sings Janacek's Glagolitic Mass with the Philharmonia Orchestra London under Jakub Hrusa. On the concert stage Gun-Brit Barkmin will also perform Richard Strauss´ Vier letzte Lieder with the Dresdner Philharmonie in Dresden, Spain and at the Vienna Musikverein, and appear as Chrysothemis in Elektra at the BBC Proms 2014.

 
 Ms. Barkmin started the 2012-13 season making her role debut as Prima Donna/Ariadne in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Leipzig Opera. She stayed with Strauss singing the title role in Salome conducted by Peter Schneider with the Vienna State Opera on tour in Japan. Returning to Zurich Opera, she made another acclaimed role debut as Katerina Ismailowa in a new production of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk conducted by Teodor Currentzis and directed by Andreas Homoki. She then made her much anticipated debut at the Salzburg Festival singing Guinevere in a new production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain conducted by Ingo Metzmacher and directed by Alvis Hermanis. On the concert stage she could be heard with Orquestra Petrobras Sinfônica in Rio de Janeiro singing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Isolde's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde.

In the 2011-12 season Ms. Barkmin returned to Lyon Opera singing Bianca in Zemlinsky's A Florentine Tragedy and to the National Theatre in Prague singing the title role in a new production of Britten’s Gloriana. This was followed by her debut with Canadian Opera Company in Toronto in a double bill of one-act operas singing Bianca in A Florentine Tragedy and Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. She then returned to Zurich Opera to reprise her portrayal of the title role in Salome and sang Anna in Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins in concert with with the Vienna Symphony at the Festspiele in Bregenz.

Ms. Barkmin sang her first performances as Chrysothemis in Elektra and Elsa in Lohengrin with Leipzig Opera, both under Ulf Schirmer in productions by Peter Konwitschny. She also sang Ellen Orford in a new production of Peter Grimes with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein conducted by Axel Kober. Overwhelming critical acclaim followed her performances as Emilia Marty in Christopher Alden's new production of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case for the National Theatre in Prague, conduted by Tomáš Hanus. In Summer 2010 Ms. Barkmin made her debut with Zurich Opera singing the title role in a new production of Salome conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi and directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf. Previously, she had sung Salome in a new Christopher Alden production at the State Theatre in Saarbrücken.

Other career highlights have included Laura in Hindemith's Neues Vom Tage with Teatro delle Muse in Ancona, Mimi in Puccini’s La bohème with Seattle Opera, and Anna in the François Girard production of Brecht and Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with Lyon Opera, followed by performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and New Zealand International Festival of Arts. She also sang Anna in Rio de Janeiro and in Campos de Jordaõ with Robert Minczuk. Ms. Barkmin sang Marie in Richard Jones' new production of Berg’s Wozzeck with Welsh National Opera, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. The performances marked the opening of the new opera house in Cardiff.

In 2000 Ms. Barkmin joined the ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin and has been a regular guest soloist ever since. Her many roles there have included Marie in Wozzeck, Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, Sylva Varescu in Kalman’s Die Csárdásfürstin, Rosalinde in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Mimi in La bohème, Ghita in a new production of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, and Amelia in Reimann's Bernarda Albas Haus, a role she reprised at the Peralada Festival in Spain. She had a major success in the title role of a new Willy Decker production of Janáček’s Jenůfa and Harry Kupfer selected her to portray the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for his farewell production at the Komische Oper Berlin. In Dresden she appeared as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers, and Mimi in La bohème, and could be heard throughout Germany and Switzerland in roles such as Mozart’s Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as Giunone in Cavalli's La Calisto.

As a concert soloist, Ms. Barkmin sang Emilia Marty in Janáček’s The Makropulos Case in concert with Orquestra Petrobras Sinfônica at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, and concert performances of Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder and the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, conducted by Andris Nelsons. She was featured in Mahler's Fourth Symphony with the Staatskapelle in Dresden and in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder at the International Festival in Nagoya, Japan. She also performed Shostakovich's Blok Romances with the Zürich Piano Trio and selections from Beethoven's Scottish songs in recital with the SWR Orchestra in Baden-Baden. Gun-Brit Barkmin makes her home in Berlin.

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Reviews

"Gun-Brit Barkmin impresses in her Vienna role debut as an intense, articulate, dramatically marvellous Sieglinde. Barkmin’s voice masters every challenge of the part and her Sieglinde is extremely beautifully sung. "

Kurier (Die Walkuere, Staatsoper Wien) reviewd by Peter Jarolin

"As Salome, the German soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin sang with searing power and unflagging intensity."

The New York Times, by Anthony Tommasini (Salome, Carnegie Hall)

"A star was born with the evening’s Salome, Gun-Brit Barkmin.[...]Her voice is enormous, and it cut effortlessly through Strauss’s orchestration."

New York Classical Review, by Eric Myers (Salome, Carnegie Hall)

"Full of strength and silvery beauty, and spellbinding in its dramatic arc, as she made visible — and audible — the slow build of a murderous obsession in real time [...] and her poise and self-possession made her performance riveting."

The Boston Globe, by Jeremy Eichler (Salome, Boston Symphony Hall)

"Hut ab auch vor Gun-Brit Barkmin, einer blühenden, glühenden, dabei wundersam wortklaren Sieglinde."

Wiener Zeitung, by Christoph Irrgeher (Walküre, Wiener Staatsoper)

"Gun-Brit Barkmin debütierte als Ellen Orford mit ihrem geschmeidigen Sopran voller Sanftheit und Melancholie, (…) "

Kronen-Zeitung (Peter Grimes, Wiener Staatsoper) reviewed by Karlheinz Roschitz

"Die schöne Katerina, die Gun-Brit Barkmin mit einer sagenhaften Identifikation, ja Selbstaufgabe, und nicht weniger eindrücklichen stimmlichen Mitteln gibt."

Neue Zuercher Zeitung (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk, Opernhaus Zuerich)

"Gun-Brit Barkmin ist für diese Rolle mit ihrem Bühnentemperament und ihrer expressiven, leicht grellen Stimme eine Idealbesetzung."

Wiener Zeitung (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk, Opernhaus Zuerich)

"Den Auftrittsmonolog der Katerina singt Gun-Brit Barkmin ergreifend, changierend zwischen dramatischer Schaerfe und sehnsuchtsvoller Lyrik ..."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk, Opernhaus Zuerich)

"Die Deutsche Gun-Brit Barkmin gibt die Titelpartie ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste mit größter Intensität. Scheint sie zunächst unschuldig, verwandelt sie sich rasch in ein liebendes Ungeheuer."

Wiener Zeitung (Salome, Opernhaus Zürich)

"The magnificently sung (and acted) Governess of Gun-Brit Barkmin. Here was a portrayal feverishly committed, yet carefully judged and controlled. The voice is ideal for the role: a clear, agile, apparently light soprano that can suddenly exhibit unexpected power. "

Opera Magazine (Governess in Turn of the Screw, Komische Oper Berlin)

"Gun-Brit Barkmin liefert sich der Katerina rückhaltlos aus […] berstend vor Ausdruck und auch in der leisen Trauer bestechend. "

Opernwelt (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk, Opernhaus Zuerich), reviewed by Heinz W. Koch