A Triumphant Farewell to the Ring: Götterdämmerung at the Vienna State Opera 

„…the cast this evening is top-class. First and foremost Ricarda Merbeth, whose radiantly triumphant Brünnhilde captivated and held everyone spellbound. Already under Christian Thielemann's baton at the last Dresden Ring she was able to cause a sensation with this role. As a former ensemble member of the State Opera, she seems to have gone one better for the Viennese audience. Her performance is at once engaging and timeless, her voice always powerful without losing beauty or expression. Merbeth has found her parade role and with this Ring cycle has finally sung her way up to become one of the most sought-after Brünnhilden of our time.

Backtrack v. 04.07.2023, Alexandra Richter


The Ring of the Nibelung at the Semperoper Dresden

"Ricarda Merbeth impressed as the very human, sensitive daughter of Wotan, vocally clearly focused, full of tone, capable of every dramatic increase. When, at the end of "Siegfried", she finds herself together with Andreas Schager in passionate jubilation of love, and both of them increase more and more and propel themselves forward, one thought they were about to fly into the sky. The final scene of "Götterdämmerung" saw Ricarda Merbeth as a flaming goddess of vengeance, brazen and unforgiving. Even in this endlessly stretching, vocally all-demanding final song, she showed no signs of fatigue, no dullness. Simply wonderful!

Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, Mareile Hanns 02.02.2023


"Götterdämmerung" as a sound rush in the State Opera House

"The undisputed star of the evening is Ricarda Merbeth. Her Brünnhilde is of shattering power, the dynamic range without rival. When she throws herself at Siegfried's feet and swears revenge, it goes through marrow and bone. Frenetic cheers from the audience. (mda, 19.6.2023)

DER STANDARD, mds, 19.06.2023

"Three Evenings at the Teatro Real", Josef Fromholzer

Robert Carsen's production premiered at the Cologne Opera House a long time ago and is timeless. You can't tell it's almost twenty years old. Geometry, light, sparse spatial design and at the end an empty stage that leaves the necessary space for Siegfried (Andreas Schager) and Brünnhilde (Ricarda Merbeth). Without doubt the musical highlight of the evening, this Act 3 Siegfried... And yet, up here to the side (directly under the roof of the house), the radiant voices of Ricarda Merbeth and Andreas Schager can be heard in all clarity. Textually self-evident. This duet, Brünnhilde - Siegfried, resonates long after leaving the opera house.

Das Opernmagazin 03/2021

Elektra, Wiener Staatsoper @Michael Pöhn

ELEKTRA, Vienna State Opera

"Ricarda Merbeth almost delivers a reference to my taste in the role of Elektra. The embodiment of an electrified bundle of erotic-neurotic, animal energy that kills the main protagonist from within in a crazy final dance. Both her groundbreaking forti and her extreme piani, the melodic declamation - all the difficulties of this part I have never heard without loss in my memory. Connoisseurs know that is hardly possible in this fraught part. Merbeth managed it. There was really something in the air that evening."

10.09.2020 Alexandr Kurmatchov,

The Woman without a Shadow mit dem Rundfunksinfonieorchester unter der Leitung von Vladimir Jurowski. 

"Ricarda Merbeth sings the sexually dissatisfied dyer's wife who wants to humiliate her husband and is persuaded to sell her shadow - which in the play stands for childbearing ability - to the elf-like empress. Merbeth is perhaps the only singer in the world who manages to wrest a tonal lyricism and a delicacy of diction from this highly dramatic to hysterical role, even in the wildest fortissimo. That is incredible and, in the psycho chaos of Hofmannsthal's symbolist libretto, also incredibly beautiful..."

Berliner Morgenpost, 02.09.2019 von Matthias Nöther


Excerpts "Tristan & Isolde", International Brucknerfest Linz 2018 "... The German soprano Ricarda Merbeth, Austrian Kammersängerin since 2010, is now on her way from the youthful dramatic to the highly dramatic. We in Vienna have very positive memories of her (since 1999) as Donna Anna and Freia, later as Senta, Tannhäuser-Elisabeth, Chrysothemis, Fidelio-Leonore and above all as Daphne. Rarely has she sung the hall aria (Tannhäuser) with such aplomb! With joy, determination, with jubilant, explosive highs. The final "H" is wonderfully sung, where colleagues sometimes fall into screaming. The path to Isolde seems very successful (since the Hamburg role debut). „Isoldes Liebestod“: This sits ideally in Ricarda Merbeth's throat! With „Mild und leise …“ she lifted, colourfully placing the floating tones. The voice flowed, had softness, increased the drama in a well-measured way until the transfigured „In des Weltatems wehendem All-, ertrinken, versinken-,unbewusst-,höchste Lust!“ It made you want to hear the whole part in Vienna! The soprano, who is well-balanced in all registers, has a powerful high range and sounds absolutely healthy, will also master Elektra, which will come to La Scala in Milan in November. Next milestones on this path: Turandot (in Marseille) and Egyptian Helena (again in Milan)."

Online-Merker, 28.09.2018

Tristan and Isolde, Bayreuth Festival

"Ricarda Merbeth can boast almost luxurious noble timbre as Isolde. She blossoms in most beautifully shaped phrases with often tender touches at "sink hernieder", but can also hurl out powerfully with best-sitting top notes."

Der neue Merker, Friedeon Rosén am 12.08.2017



"Opening Concert", Lucerne Festival

"On the positive side Ricarda Merbeth, who manages the round dozen high Cs and Bs of her part with impressive assurance..."

NZZ, Feuilleton, 17.08.2016

"Lohengrin" Vienna State Opera

"Ricarda Merbeth first and foremost: hardly anyone today is able to sing Elsa so perfectly, so intimately beautiful and effortlessly, to secure all the demureness for the lyrical moments, but to increase the intensity to the extreme in the bridal chamber, without ever transgressing the laws of beautiful singing."

Die Presse, Printausgabe, 07.09.2016  

Wagner's Flying Dutchman at the Vienna State Opera

"Starting with acclaimed debuts: Ricarda Merbeth sang her Senta with luminous soprano and passion - and demonstrated that she has finally crossed over into the dramatic field."

Kronen Zeitung, 05. September 2014


„Frau ohne Schatten“, Bayerische Staatsoper

"...Ricarda Merbeth's Empress is noticeably more dramatic, her great final scene breathtakingly dense (...)

AZ München, Michael Bastian Weiß, 23.12.2014


Wagner's Flying Dutchman at the Vienna State Opera

"Excellent the singers: ...Bryn Terfel is arguably unrivalled in this fach today and finds a highly dramatic, expressive partner in Ricarda Merbeth's Senta."

Kurier, 05. September 2014

Ricarda Merbeth, Fliegender Holländer. Foto © Wiener Staatsoper/Pöhn

„Der Fliegende Holländer“, Bayreuther Festspiele

"Thielemann has enough experience...especially the quiet passages unfold the greatest effect. And incidentally, this approach also plays into the singers' hands. Not all of them would have needed it on this opening night: the stunningly powerful-voiced Ricarda Merbeth as Senta, the Dutchman's redemptive lover, certainly not..."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Helmut Maurò, Juli 2013

(...) a pleasant surprise was Ricarda Merbeth's performance in the highly dramatic sections. (...) the naturalness with which she sang on a par with Bryn Terfel was impressive. Even in moments of highest emotion, the elegant, warmly timbrated voice remained without sharpness.

Der neue Merker / Online Merker

The Flying Dutchman at the Vienna State Opera

„Ricarda Merbeth, die in letzter Minute für die erkrankte Anja Kampe einsprang, holt Sentas Charakter aus der naiven Figur heraus, indem sie die unterdrückte Wut betont, die aus ihrer Frustration (gegenüber ihrer Erziehung und ihrem sozialen Umfeld) resultiert. Ihr Timbre ist brillant und warm und nimmt manchmal einen kristallinen Aspekt an. Das obere Register ist präzise und kraftvoll, das mittlere Register ist reich und solide, manchmal angereichert durch ihre Artikulation, die die Grenzen zwischen Sprechen und Singen berührt. Das untere Register ist dunkel und dicht und vermittelt darüber hinaus die Mischung aus Verzweiflung, Wut und Todessehnsucht. Ihre Duette mit dem Holländer und Erik sind intensiv, reich an stimmlichen Texturen und Ausdruckskraft“.

Ricarda Merbeth, who replaced the ill Anja Kampe at the last minute, brings out the character of Senta from her naive character, emphasising the repressed anger that results from her frustration (with her upbringing and social environment). Her tone is bright and warm, sometimes taking on a crystalline quality. The upper register is precise and powerful, the middle register is rich and solid, sometimes enriched by her articulation which touches the boundaries between the spoken and the sung. The lower register is dark and thick and furthermore conveys the mixture of despair, anger and death wish. Her duets with the Dutchman and Erik are intense, rich in vocal textures and expressiveness.

Ôlyrix / Vinda Sonata Miguna, 25.11.2021

Die Ägyptische Helena, Ricarda Merbeth, Thomas Hampson Brescia e Amisano@Teatro alla Scala

The Egyptian Helen at La Scala in Milan in December 2019 "Vocally, it was a very great evening, especially since neither performances nor recordings with a cast that is outstanding in all parts have really done justice to this opera so far. Once again - she had already thrilled with it in Berlin over ten years ago - Ricarda Merbeth as Helena showed her singular position in the Strauss repertoire, especially in roles with such uncomfortable and demanding tessitura.  The "Second Bridal Night!" alone, with its sheer endless passages at the most exposed pitch, offered an example of the highest vocal artistry, perfect technique and physical robustness. In the "shining world" ending, which stretched over ten bars, her soprano clearly soared to high C-sharp with a luminous jubilant tone, and without any sharpness or vocal colouration, the performance seemed effortless. It is almost regrettable that she will be devoting most of her time to the Wagner repertoire in the near future.

 DAS OPERNGLAS , 01 / 2020 von W. Kutzschbach

Turandot / Deutsche Oper Berlin

... Ricarda Merbeth ventured into the title role for the first time. While she was still rather indecisive in her opening aria, she visibly gained momentum and temperament in the riddle scene. Thanks to the steadfastness of a practised Strauss and Wagner interpreter, she mastered the vocal tour de force demanded of her without any discernible effort and crowned the vocal line with electrifying high notes in which only a few sharp edges crept in. Merbeth also deserves credit for the accuracy with which she handled the text, giving Turandot's bitter-sarcastic comments the necessary weight.

U.Ehrensberger, 04 / 2018 DAS OPENGLAS

Hamburg State Opera

"... As a Wagner singer, but also in other roles, she is already the talk of the town. That Isolde is her role debut is at most noticeable in its freshness and unrivalled passion." 02.05.2016

ELEKTRA, Teatro alle Scala, 2018, Brescia/Amisano © Teatro alla Scala

Trailer  ELEKTRA, Mailänder Scala, Euronews 11/2018

Egyptian Helena, Deutsche Oper Berlin

"...because with Ricarda Merbeth, the outstanding Strauss interpreter of our time..., a "bomb-proof" and high-pitched soprano once again presented the delicate role with astonishing brilliance and phenomenal condition..."

Opernglas Mai 2016

Lear“, Operá National de Paris 2016

"The, Goneril,..., as a soprano slut, is the prima donna of the evening and in the best scheming hands with the powerfully revving Ricarda Merbeth."

Die Welt 25.05.2016


Rienzi konzertant

(...) Ricarda Merbeth as Rienzi's sister Irene is a real, fine, dramatic soprano whose precise and metallic shimmering tone points directly to Bayreuth's hills, where she gave an outstanding Elisabeth under Christian Thielemann a few years ago. Her reputation as a Wagner singer is as impeccable as her Hamburg performance..."

 Hamburger Feuilleton, Matthias Schumann, Juni 2014,

"The Flying Dutchman", Bayreuth Festival 2014

"...Soprano Ricarda Merbeth performs Senta with radiant clarity and is cheered by the audience ..."

 Berliner Morgenpost 27.07.2014  


Lohengrin“, Deutsche Oper Berlin

"Ricarda Merbeth, as Elsa, constantly increasing without ever losing the lyrical line, captivates with the intensity of her defenceless loveliness."

Berliner Morgenpost, Klaus Geitel, 17.04.2012


Bayreuth Festival

This Senta is a good example that everything was NOT better in the past.

Der neue Merker / Online Merker

Interview Ricarda Merbeth in Das Opernglas, Ausgabe 7-8/2103

Interview Ricarda Merbeth im Magazin „Das Opernglas“, Ausgabe 7-8/2013. Ganzen Artikel lesen…

Interview Ricarda Merbeth in Das Opernglas, Ausgabe 4/2018

Interview Ricarda Merbeth im Magazin „Das Opernglas“, Ausgabe 4/2018. Ganzen Artikel lesen…

In love with Wagner and Strauss

When Ricarda Merbeth became a member of one of the world's leading opera houses, the Vienna State Opera, in the early 2000s, State Opera Director Ioan Holender said: "The miracle of Weimar is here", referring to her acclaimed performances at the Vienna National Theatre. Today, the German soprano is one of the most sought-after Wagner and Strauss interpreters, singing at the world's leading opera houses: Berlin, New York, Milan, Paris, London, Munich, Tokyo, Moscow...

At her home in Mecklenburg Vorpommern, the artist spoke with Lorena Jiménez from the Spanish opera magazine RITMO.

Sumario Febrero 2021 - Número 947

Interview in Spanish

Interview in German


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See Ricarda Merbeth live!

The Kammersängerin Ricarda Merbeth is one of the leading sopranos of our time. Discover these sonorous moments live!