Christian Immler

Bass-Baritone

 

Biography

From the Tölzer Knabenchor as a boy alto soloist to singing at major concert halls, festivals and opera houses, German bass-baritone Christian Immler is an unusually versatile artist with the rare ability to switch enthusiastically between the worlds of oratorio and opera. He studied with Rudolf Piernay at the Guildhall School of Music in London and won the International Nadia et Lili Boulanger Competition in Paris, launching his career.

In concert, he has immersed himself in the works of Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Mahler and, particularly, Bach, appearing all over world. Christian has worked with such conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marc Minkowski, Christophe Rousset, Philippe Herreweghe, Ivor Bolton, Daniel Harding, Kent Nagano, James Conlon, Andrew Parrott, Michel Corboz, Masaaki Suzuki, Raphaël Pichon, Ottavio Dantone, Giovanni Antonini, Thomas Hengelbrock, Frieder Bernius, Rubén Dubrovsky, William Christie and Leonardo García Alarcón performing at places such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Sydney Opera House, the Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence and Lucerne Festivals and the BBC Proms. Recent highlights include a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, a series of televised broadcasts of all of Bach’s major sacred works and a staged version of Mozart’s Requiem.

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Reviews

“Dominating the whole work, Christian Immler is Saul, whom he lives with singular intensity. Everything is there for this perilous role, where the king, imbued with his power, jealous, angry, calculating, dark in a murderous madness: voice sound in all registers, well stamped, projected at will. His dramatic commitment is exemplary.”

Original text:

“Dominant tout l’ouvrage, Christian Immler est Saül, qu’il vit avec une intensité singulière. Tout est là pour ce rôle périlleux, où le roi, imbu de son pouvoir, jaloux, rageur, calculateur, sombre dans une folie meurtrière : voix sonore dans tous les registres, bien timbrée, projetée à souhait. Son engagement dramatique est exemplaire. Qu’attend un producteur pour le mettre en scène?”

 

Albert Dacheux

Classiquenews, July 2019

“Of the soloists, the highlight was Christian Immler, with noble timbre, even, frank delivery, warm phrasing, who presented a peerless Jesus.”

Arturo Reverter

La Razon, Feb 2018

“Christian Immler fashions his Elijah based on humanity … A magnificent role portrait … One that shows a man and not a marble statue. One that is conveyed through song, not, as so often, through shouting. One, finally, that perfectly fits into the musical dramaturgy of Masaaki Suzuki.”

Original text:

“Christian Immler legt seinen Elias mit den Tönen Mendelssohns von der Menschlichkeit her an … Ein grandioses Rollenporträt …Eines, das einen Menschen zeigt und keine Marmorstatue. Eines, das aus Gesang gezeugt ist, nicht, wie so oft, aus Gebrüll. Eines schließlich, dass sich perfekt einfügt in die musikalische Dramaturgie Masaaki Suzukis.”

Peter Korfmacher

Leipziger Volkszeitung, June 2018

“Christian Immler was an appropriately omniscient mystic who also boomed the voice of Samiel over spectral amplification in the bullet-forging scene. “Er oder du” could have been Verdi’s Grand Inquisiteur. Bringing hermetic wisdom to determine Max’s fate, “Wer legt auf ihn so strengen Bann?” had dramatic gravitas with a resonant low B-flat. The Sarastro-like “Leicht kann des Frommen Herz” monologue had a Talvela-ish low A-natural and the fortissimo “Wer höb’ den ersten Stein wohl auf?” was redolent of Jim Bakker televangelist hectoring.”

Jonathan Sutherland

Operawire, May 2019

Press Reviews

… an excellent performance of Handel’s early oratorio “La Resurrezione”: Karina Gauvin as the Angel and Christian Immler (a devilish Plutone in Campra’s underworld) as Lucifer.

The New York Times, James. R. Oestreich, June 2017

 

… Finally, baritone Christian Immler deserves special mention, with a clear and warm tone, a voice of great malleability, reminiscent of the greatest.

Original text:

… On décernera enfin une mention spéciale au baryton Christian Immler, au timbre frais et chaleureux et à la voix d’une grande ductilité, qui rappelle les plus grands.

 Forum Opéra, Julien Marion, 2014

 

…Christian Immler est un orateur impressionnant, animé, juste, puissant.

Forumopera, Yvan Beuvard, March 2017

 

Matching him was the bass Christian Immler (who I last saw in March as Hermit/Voice of Samiel in the Insula Der Freischütz in Aix), superbly strong in the ‘Tuba mirum’

Seenandheard, Colin Clarke, June 2019

 

The baritone Christian Immler shows himself in this varied programme to be a technically, musically and stylistically consummate interpreter. In the familiar Schubert and Brahms cycles, he has no need to hide behind any previous great artist. His voice is strikingly masculine, bass-grounded yet capable of tenoral splendour, the diction is exemplary, one can indeed understand every word. Emotional urgency is coupled with a deep intellectual understanding of the text.

Original text:

Der Bariton Christian Immler zeigt sich in diesem vielseitigen Programm als ein in technischer, musikalischer und stilistischer Hinsicht mit allen Wassern gewaschener Interpret. In den bekannten Zyklen von Schubert und Brahms braucht er sich hinter den bedeutendsten Künstlern der Vergangenheit nicht zu verstecken. Die Stimme ist männlich markant, bassig geerdet und zu tenoralem Glanz fähig, die Diktion ist mustergültig, man versteht tatsächlich jedes Wort. Emotionale Dringlichkeit verbindet sich mit intellektueller Durchdringung der Textinhalte.

Klassik heute, Ekkehard Pluta, April 2019

 

Immler’s singing could easily hold its own in strict Belcanto terms. The artist is so convincing, above all through the sculpted text-relatedness of his interpretations, that one would be inclined to rank him with the likes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich Henschel or Christian Gerhaher. Immler’s stylistic breadth is impressive, his theatrical temperament inspiring, and all supported by the pianistic sovereignty of Helmut Deutsch.

This recital should propel Christian Immler – onetime alto in the Tölzer Knabenchor, sublime in the St John Passion conducted by Harnoncourt in 1985 – to the first ranks of his generation’s lieder singers… His superlative diction and the remarkable malleability of his line unite to offer an expressive, precise and unique contour to each song… In the Grosz and Eisler Ballads, he releases even more of his declamatory rhetoric and displays the full extent of his theatrical temperament…by all accounts, Helmut Deutsch also has a heck of a good time!

Fono Forum, Christoph Zimmermann, January 2012

 

Immler offers sensitive and varied readings with deep feeling for the texts… His Bach-training is a good base for a Liedersinger. Also there is no lack of strength and capacity to negotiate even the most dramatic songs with admirable command. This issue becomes one of the best Lieder discs that have come my way in recent times. I praised Gerald Finley’s recent disc on Hyperion and here he has a worthy competitor. Die Loreley, which Finley doesn’t sing, gets a ravishing reading of a truly ravishing song.

Musicweb International, Göran Forsling, February 2016