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The American mezzo Marilyn Schmiege began her career in 1978 as Dorabella (Così fan tutte) in Wuppertal. During her engagement at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich (1978-1982) she enlarged her repertoire. Guest engagements as Octavian, Lady Macbeth from Mzensk, Jeanne (Tschaikovsky’s Maid of Orléans), Venus (Tannhäuser), Kundry (Parsifal), Marie (Wozzeck) and Carmen followed in Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg, and Amsterdam. After her debut in Bayreuth (conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli) as Kundry, a rôle which she had previously sung in Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Dresden, at the Bavarian State Theater in Munich and in a gala with Placido Domingo in the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, she added the rôles of Sieglinde, Brangäne, and Waltraute to her Wagner repertoire.
In concert with the Munich Philharmonic, the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic she has performed with such famous conductors as Rafael Kubelik, Horst Stein, Lothar Zagrosek and Gabriele Ferro works including Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder, Mahler’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th Symphoies, his Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder, and Rückert-Lieder and Les nuits d’été and other works of Berlioz.
Recordings of works by Telemann, Vivaldi, Haydn and Mozart, Hindemith’s Das Marienleben, and a modern opera repertoire including Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten (Carlotta), Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (Judith) and Schoenberg’s Von Heute auf Morgen (Die Frau) document her vast stylistic and vocal spectrum.
As a recitalist, Marilyn Schmiege has collaborated with pianist Donald Sulzen since 1981. They have performed Wolf’s Mörike-Lieder in Venice, Hindemith’s Das Marienleben and Schoenberg’s Das Buch der hängenden Gärten in Rome and songs of Ravel and Mahler in Naples. Their first recording with songs of Gabriel Fauré received the highly regarded “Prix de choc” award from the French music magazine Monde de la musique. A recording of Brahms songs and duets followed, and a Liszt song recital appeared in July 1998.
The fall season 1997 brought Marilyn Schmiege’s Metropolitan Opera debut as Venus and her first Fidelio at the Komische Oper in Berlin. In July 1998 she sang Sieglinde (Walküre) in Ravello, directed by Tony Palmer. Her Sieglinde and Brangäne graced the Wels Wagner Festivals of 1998 and 2000. She sang her first Gräfin Geschwitz (Lulu) in 1999 in Liège under the direction of Philippe Sireuil, with whom she created the rôle of Marquise de Merteuil (Swerts’ Les liaisons dangéreuses) in 1997 in Ghent.
Marilyn Schmiege is Associate Professor of Voice at the Munich University of Music and Theater (formerly Richard Strauss Conservatory) and gives master classes in Germany, Italy and China. She has served numerous times on the jury of the Maria Caniglia Voice Competition in Sulmona, Italy.
Marilyn Schmiege sings:
♦ A. Berg:
♦ P. Hindemith:
♦ A. Schönberg: