Ricarda Merbeth – Kammersängerin | Sopran

Kirill Petrenko 


German soprano Ricarda Merbeth is one of the leading singers in her field, and is in demand worldwide as a Wagner and Strauss interpreter.

After studying at the Hochschule für Musik "Mendelssohn Bartholdy" in Leipzig, she began her career first in Magdeburg and Weimar. In 1999 she made her debut as Marzelline in Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera and was an ensemble member until 2005. Since then she has sung roles such as Contessa, Donna Anna, Pamina, Fiordiligi, Chrysothemis, Elisabeth, Eva, Irene, Elsa, Marschallin and Sieglinde.

A particular highlight was her Daphne in a new production at the Vienna State Opera in 2004. With this title role by Richard Strauss, Ricarda Merbeth made her breakthrough to an international career. The artist is still associated with the Vienna State Opera today through regular guest engagements, in 2001 she was honored with the Eberhard Waechter Medal and in 2010 she was appointed Austrian Chamber Singer by the then director of the Vienna State Opera, Ioan Holender.

Other milestones in her career include engagements at the Bayreuth Festival: in 2000 in the Jürgen Flimm Ring as Freia and Gutrune, from 2002 to 2005 and 2007 as Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER, and from 2013 to 2018 she sings the role of Senta in the current production DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER.

Ricarda Merbeth has been working as a freelancer since 2006 and has sung at leading opera houses such as the Hamburg State Opera, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Bavarian State Opera Munich, La Scala Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New National Theatre Tokyo, Opera Nationale de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Dutch National Opera, and the opera houses of Toulouse, Marseille, Barcelona, Helsinki, Stockholm, Zurich, Sydney, Vienna, Vienna Musikverein, New York.

She sings all the important roles of her repertoire: Brünnhilde (WALKÜRE), Brünnhilde (SIEGFRIED), Brünnhilde (GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG), Isolde (TRISTANUND ISOLDE), Senta (DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER), Kundry (PARSIFAL), Ortrud (LOHENGRIN), Elsa (LOHENGRIN), Elisabeth and Venus (TANNHÄUSER),
Färberin (FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN), Elektra (ELEKTRA), Helena (ÄGYPTISCHE HELENA), Salome (SALOME), Ariadne (ARIADNE AUF NAXOS), Marschallin (ROSENKAVALIER), Turandot (TURANDOT) and Leonore (FIDELIO).

Her concert repertoire includes Wesendonck-Lieder, War Requiem by Benjamin Britten, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Stabat Mater by Szymanowski, Glagolitic Mass by Leos Janacek, Four Last Songs and Brentano-Lieder by Richard Strauss, the 8th Symphony by Gustav Mahler.

In November 2018, the singer made her successful debut as Elektra in Patrice Chéreau's legendary production at La Scala in Milan.

Sie arbeitet mit renommierten Dirigentinnen und Dirigenten wie Simone Young, Daniel Barenboim, Frank Beermann, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-whun Chung, Christoph von Dohnányi, Dan Ettinger, James Gaffigan, Daniele Gatti, Edward Gardner, Thomas Guggeis, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan, Fabio Luisi, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Kirill Petrenko, Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Steinberg, Christian Thielemann, Constantin Trinks, Franz Welser-Möst.

She has worked with the following directors: Daniele Abbado, Philippe Arlaud, Sven-Eric Bechtholf, Calixto Bieto, Nicolas Brieger, Robert Carsen, Luigi De Angelis, Michael Fau, Jürgen Flimm, Kasper Holten, Nicolas Joel, Günter Krämer, Marco Arturo Marelli, Mario Martone, Alex Ollé, Charles Roubaud, Otto Schenk, Matthias von Stegmann, Achim Thorwald, Katharina Wagner, Krzysztof Warlikowski.

In recent years Ricarda Merbeth has worked on her current most important roles - including Isolde, Brünnhilden, Senta, Elektra, Färberin, Ortrud, Turandot - together with Prof. Ks Wolfgang Millgramm in Berlin. 



Future projects

In 2022 she sang Brünnhilde in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG at the Teatro Real de Madrid, TURANDOT at the Spring Festival in Tokyo. She once again sang the title role in ELEKTRA at the Berlin State Opera and Brünnhilde from SIEGFRIED in concert at the Bregenz Festival as well as Leonore / FIDELIO and Ortrud / LOHENGRIN in Bologna. Major projects are also planned for 2023: Kundry / PARSIFAL with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Isolde in Valencia, the Brünnhilden in the RING cycle at the Semperoper Dresden and at the Vienna State Opera, Senta / DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER at the Baltic Opera Festival and, in autumn 2023, ELEKTRA again at the Berlin State Opera.

The 2024 /25 calendar also includes major productions: Färberin / FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN on Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Gurrelieder at the Sidney Opera House, Elektra at the Leipzig Opera House, Brünnhilde / RING cycle at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Elektra at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and Isolde at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

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Publications and records
The release of Ricarda Merbeth's CD with "Vier letzte Lieder" as well as the "Brentano-Lieder" by Richard Strauss, recorded with the Staatskapelle Weimar under Michael Halász (released by NAXOS) received a great international response.


  • "Fliegender Holländer" under Marek Janowski - released by Pentatone;
  • „Rheingold“ under Marek Janowski – released by Pentatone;
  • "Four Last Songs" by Richard Strauss - published by Naxos;
  • "Brentano-Lieder" Staatskapelle Weimar - released by Naxos;
  • "Symphony No. 8" by Gustav Mahler conducted by Bertrant de Billy - released by Naxos.


  • „Fliegender Holländer“ – Bayreuth Festival;
  • "Meistersinger von Nürnberg" - published by Unitel Classica;
  • "Symphony No. 8" by Gustav Mahler conducted by Riccardo Chailly - released by Naxos;
  • "Symphony No. 2" by Gustav Mahler conducted by Mariss Janssons - released by Naxos.


  • "Von Hertzen - möge es wieder zu Hertzen gehen" - published by Haag+Herchen on the occasion of Ricarda Merbeth's 20th stage anniversary.
Ricarda Merbeth was honoured for her artistic achievements with the following awards:

  • 1993 Richard-Wagner-Stipendiatin Braunschweig;
  • 2001 Eberhard Waechter Medal of the Vienna State Opera for her interpretation of Irene in RIENZI;
  • 2008 Editor's Choise May 2008 for the CD Richard Strauss, "Vier letzte Lieder und Brentano-Lieder", released by NAXOS;
  • 2011 Appointed Kammersängerin of the Vienna State Opera.

Vita Download

For the press, the biography of Ricarda Merbeth is available for download as a text file in the Press Area.