Ricarda Merbeth – Kammersängerin | Sopran

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. 

Since 2006 Ricarda Merbeth has been freelancing and singing at the leading opera houses, such as Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera Munich, La Scala Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New National Theatre Tokyo, Opera Nationale de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Dutch Natinal Opera, and the opera houses of Toulouse, Marseille, Barcelona, Helsinki, Stockholm, Zurich, Sydney, Vienna, Wiener Musikverein, New York. Here she sings the important roles of her subject: Helena (EGYPTIC HELENA), Sieglinde ( DIE WALKÜRE), Ariadne (ARIADNE AUF NAXOS), Marietta (DIE TOTE STADT), Marschallin (DER ROSENKAVALIER) Senta (DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER), Leonore (FIDELIO), Emilia Marty (DIE SACHE MAKROPULOS), Elsa (LOHENGRIN), Marie (WOZZECK), Isolde (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE), Goneril (LEAR), Elektra (ELEKTRA), Elisabeth and Venus (TANNHÄUSER), Brünnhilde (SIEGFRIED), Brünnhilde (WALKÜRE), Brünnhilde (GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG). 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 Songs by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler's 8th Symphony.

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

She works with renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-whun Chung, Christoph von Dohnányi, Daniele Gatti, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan, Fabio Luisi, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Steinberg, Christian Thielemann, Constantin Trinks.



Future projects

In 2022 she will again sing Brünnhilde in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG at the Teatro Real de Madrid, and TURANDOT at the Spring Festival in Tokyo. She will sing ELEKTRA at the Berlin State Opera in June and Brünnhilde from SIEGFRIED and Leonore / FIDELIO in concert at the Bregenz Festival. In autumn she will sing Ortrud in LOHENGRIN in Bologna and in 2023 she will sing Kundry in PARSIFAL with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Isolde in Valencia and the Brünnhilde in the RING cycle at the Vienna State Opera.

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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.