Christiane Karg

Debussy's settings of poets Verlaine (in the Ariettes oubliées) and Baudelaire (in the Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire) with Wagner's towering Wesendonck Lieder. Content by Albion Media.

One of the world’s foremost lyric sopranos, award-winning Christiane Karg stands at the forefront of today’s Lieder singers, praised for her stylish sensitivity to words and engaging stage presence. 

Soprano singer Christiane Karg, born in Feuchtwangen, Bavaria, studied singing at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Heiner Hopfner and later took Lied classes under Wolfgang Holzmair. After a stay at the Music Conservatory in Verona, Italy, she graduated from the Mozarteum with a Master of Music in Opera and Musical Theatre Studies, awarded with distinction, an achievement for which she received the Lilli Lehmann Medal from the Mozarteum Foundation.

Christiane Karg won recognition as a “new voice” in the international “Neue Stimmen” Bertelsmann competition in 2007, and in 2008 she received a special award in the Song and Oratorio category at the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona, Spain. In 2009 she was named Young Performer of the Year by the magazine Opernwelt, and in October 2010 Christiane Karg will receive the prestigious Echo Klassik music award granted by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie for her first Lied CD Verwandlung – Lieder eines Jahres alongside Burkhard Kehring (Berlin classics).

In 2006 Christiane Karg made her debut at the Salzburg Festival singing the Mozart roles of Melia (Apollo und Hyacinth) and Weltgeist (Worldliness/Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots: The First Commandment), returning the following year as Madame Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario). Having previously been a member of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera, at the start of the 2008/2009 season Christiane Karg joined the ensemble of the Frankfurt Opera, where she is now singing the major parts for her vocal fach: including Susanna, Musetta, Pamina and Servilia.

In summer 2009 she performed a highly acclaimed interpretation of Ighino in Pfitzner’s Palestrina under Simone Young at the Bavarian State Opera. After her success as Musetta in Andreas Homoki’s new staging of La Bohème at the Komische Oper Berlin, she returned to this opera house in early 2010 as an extremely popular Norina in a new production of Don Pasquale. “…But then the cheeky Norina appears,… the pit is immediately forgotten, and you only have ears for the stage: Christiane Karg shows tremendous talent.

A soprano full of charm and sweetness, lightness and richness, perfectly at ease in her voice and role, beaming over our heads: a veritable treasure!” (FAZ). In summer 2010 appeared once again on the stage at the Salzburg Festival performing as Amore in Dieter Dorn’s Gluck version of Orfeo ed Euridice conducted by Riccardo Muti.

Christiane Karg also distinguished herself on the concert stage at an early age. For instance in the summer of 2009, when she performed with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata (Silvia) at the Wiener Musikverein. During the 2009/10 season the soprano was engaged to perform with the NDR Radiophilharmonie (Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream), the Frankfurter Museumsorchester (Haydn’s Creation), the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg (Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise under Claus Peter Flor) and Philharmonie Essen (Mahler’s 8th Symphony under Steven Sloane). She is also becoming increasingly popular on international concert stages: in 2010/2011 she performs in New York and Philadelphia with the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Daniel Harding (Brahms’ Requiem), she is singing Mozart’s Requiem in Salzburg under the baton of Jérémie Rohrer, and in spring 2011 she is performing Mahler’s 4th Symphony, both with the NDR Symphonieorchester conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, and on a Spain tour with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

Christiane Karg has a particular passion for Lieder singing – most recently she gave a recital with Wolfram Rieger in May 2010 in Hohenems: “The 30 year old soprano singer from Bavaria already possesses most of the desirable qualities of a fully developed singer: an almost delightfully bright and flexible voice which she also knows how to darken perfectly when required, a moving piano presence, great volume and clear articulation that renders the libretto superfluous.” In the coming season she is due to sing at Lieder recitals including the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, Deutschlandfunk Köln, the Musikverein Wien (accompanied by Malcolm Martineau), with Mihaela Ursuleasa in Erlangen and Polling, and for the first time at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg with Wolfram Rieger.

Christiane Karg - Howard Assembly Rooms Leeds

26 January 2018

The concert juxtaposes Debussy’s settings of poets Verlaine (in the Ariettes oubliées) and Baudelaire (in the Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire) with Wagner’s towering Wesendonck Lieder, and Karg has also programmed a selection from that most elusive and exquisite of song composers, Eric Satie.

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