Christine Schäfer studied at the Berlin Conservatory with Professor Ingrid Figur, the late Arleen Augér, Aribert Reimann, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Sena Jurinac and has gone on to enjoy one of the most successful international opera, concert, recital and recording careers of her generation.
Christine Schäfer’s diverse opera credits include the roles of Konstanze, Cherubino and Donna Anna at the Salzburg Festival; Konstanze, Gilda, Sophie and Asteria at Covent Garden; Lulu, Gretel and Gilda at the Met; Messiaen’s St Francois d’Assise, Donna Anna, Cherubino and Traviata at the Opera National de Paris; Pamina, Cleopatra and Alcina for De Nederlandse Opera, Sophie in San Francisco and Lulu at the Glyndebourne Festival. At Berlin’s Deutsche Oper Christine Schäfer is now a yearly guest and her roles there include Traviata, Konstanze, Adele, Cherubino and many more.
In an impressively diverse concert repertoire, Christine Schäfer enjoys a flourishing career with regular appearances on the major stages of Europe and America and collaborations with many of today’s pre-eminent conductors including Harnoncourt, Boulez, Eschenbach, Haitink, Harding, Gatti, Metzmacher, Thielemann and Rattle.
After a successful 1988 recital début at the Berlin Festival singing Aribert Reimann’s Nachträume, Christine Schäfer has gone on to develop an international recital career, making regular tours of North America and Japan, and frequent appearances at such renowned venues as London’s Wigmore Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein. As part of the inaugural Ruhr Triennale in 2002, Christine Schäfer presented an acclaimed interpretation of Schubert’s Die Winterreise in a staging by Oliver Hermann and accompanied by Irwin Gage.
A much-recorded artist, Christine Schäfer’s discography includes Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Les Arts Florissants/Christie (Erato); Mozart and Strauss arias with the Berlin Philharmonic/Abbado, Bach’s Wedding Cantatas with MAK/Goebel, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Boulez’ Pli selon Pli with the Ensemble Intercontemporain/Boulez and a recital disc of Debussy and Chausson, accompanied by Irwin Gage, all for Deutsche Grammophon. Together with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christine Schaefer has recorded for Teldec, Bach St Matthew Passion and Mozart Missa Breves, and for BMG Mozart Requiem and Handel Messiah. Christine Schaefer is also featured on Graham Johnson’s acclaimed series of Schubert and Schumann Lieder for Hyperion.
On the Capriccio label, Christine Schaefer performs on the multi award-winning Zemlinsky Lyrische Sinfonie (Eschenbach/Orchestre de Paris) and together with the Petersen Quartet, in an Aribert Reimann collection of Mendelssohn/Schumann song transcriptions, ”…. oder soll es Tod bedeuten?”, winner of the 2007 ECHO Klassik Award for Best Lied recording. A more recent collaboration with Onyx Classics has earned her outstanding reviews for Schubert’s Die Winterreise and her highly-personalised collection of Purcell and Georg Crumb, both together with Eric Schneider.
Operatic highlights of Christine Schaefer’s recent seasons have included Violetta in Marthaler’s controversial new production of La Traviata at Paris’ Palais Garnier, her return to the Met for a new production of Hansel and Gretel, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, a first foray into Rossini in David Alden’s new Il Turco in Italia as well as Konstanze in a new Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, conducted by Philippe Jordan, both at Berliner Staatsoper. Last season also marked her Vienna operatic debut as Handel’s Partenope in a new production at the city’s historic Theater an der Wien, conducted by Christoph Rousset and saw her reprise Donizetti’s Lucia at Oper Frankfurt.
Christine Schaefer’s appearance at the 2009 Salzburg Festival the title role in Handel’s Theodora was highly acclaimed. The year ended with Adele/Die Fledermaus, conducted by Zubin Mehta, at the Berliner Staatsoper. 2010 began with a return to the Met in Der Rosenkavalier with James Levine and to Covent Garden with Asteria in Handel’s Tamerlano. Recent Concert appearances took her to Berlin with Metzmacher, London with Haitink, Vienna with Jurowski, San Francisco with Eschenbach and Paris with Gatti. Recitals venues include Istanbul, Cologne, Frankfurt, Barcelona, New York and Vienna.
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