Mojca Erdmann – Biography
“Mojca Erdmann brought a sweet, beguiling voice and a demure sincerity to Susanna.”
“Mojca Erdmann is an ethereal, feather-light Lulu, accurate as a laser . . .”
Born in Hamburg, Mojca Erdmann began violin lessons at the age of six and sang in the children’s chorus at the Hamburg State Opera. At 14, she began vocal studies with Evelyn Herlitzius, then worked with Hans Sotin at the Cologne Musikhochschule, where she also studied the violin. In the 2002 Bundeswettbewerb Gesang (German Federal Competition), Mojca Erdmann won both First Prize and the Special Prize for Contemporary Music. In August 2005, she was awarded the NDR (North German Radio) Music Prize at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival as well as the Luitpold Prize at the Kissingen Summer Festival.
While still a student, Mojca Erdmann was a member of the ensemble at Berlin’s Komische Oper and also appeared at Berlin’s Deutsche Oper and in Basle and Mannheim in roles including Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Norina (Don Pasquale), and Humperdinck’s Gretel. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in 2006 in the title part of Mozart’s Zaide under Ivor Bolton (available on DVD on Deutsche Grammophon) and returned the following year as Zelmira in Haydn’s Armida, also under Bolton. With the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle, she sang in and recorded Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilčges. Rattle also invited her to sing the Forest Bird in a new production of Wagner’s Siegfried at Aix-en-Provence and the Salzburg Easter Festival. During the 2009/10 season she made her debut as Sophie in Strauss’s Rosenkavalier in Stuttgart and as Ännchen in Weber’s Freischütz at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien.
Also a sought-after interpreter of contemporary music-theatre works, Mojca Erdmann made her Berlin Staatsoper debut in the world premiere of Takemitsu’s My Way of Life, conducted by Kent Nagano. She is also highly regarded as a concert artist and recitalist. Nikolaus Harnoncourt invited her to sing in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri at the Vienna Musikverein as well as in Schumann’s Scenes from Faust at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
In 2010 the soprano scored a major triumph at the Salzburg Festival singing the lead soprano role in the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s new opera Dionysos. During the 2010/11 season, her engagements included Despina in Cosě fan tutte and Zerlina in Don Giovanni in Baden-Baden – both conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon – as well as her Nice Opera debut as Marzelline in Fidelio, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in Cologne, and her Bavarian State Opera debut as Adele in Die Fledermaus. In 2011, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Zerlina in a new production of Don Giovanni and as the Forest Bird in Siegfried. The latter production was released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon in September 2012. She returned to the Met the following season as Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. In 2012, she made her highly acclaimed debut as Berg’s Lulu, in a new Berlin Staatsoper production conducted by Daniel Barenboim and premiered Rodion Schchedrin’s Cleopatra and the Snake at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Mojca Erdmann began the 2013/14 season with gala concerts in Aarhus, followed by her debut performances with the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival and the Zermatt Festival. The soprano sings Sophie in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier in her Vienna Staatsoper debut as well as at the Metropolitan, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. She performs Mozart’s Zaide in concert at the Mozart Festival in Reutlingen. In concert and recital, she also appears at the Berlin Konzerthaus, the Graz Musikverein, the Frankfurt Opera and Alte Oper, the Helsinki Music Centre, the new concert hall in Aalborg, the Vienna Musikverein, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional and the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus as well as in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana in Tokyo and on a multi-city recital Japan tour with harpist Xavier de Maistre. The summer of 2014 brings performances of Strauss’s Sophie at the Salzburg Festival as well as Rihm’s Fremdes Licht at the Würzburg Mozartfest.
In 2010, Mojca Erdmann became an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist. Her first studio recording under the new contract, Mozart’s Garden with Andrea Marcon conducting the Basle Baroque orchestra La Cetra, was released in April 2011, followed in October by Mozart’s concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te with pianist Hélčne Grimaud and the Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra. The Baden-Baden performances of Don Giovanni and Cosě fan tutte were released in September 2012 and August 2013, respectively. The Berlin Staatsoper Lulu will be issued on DVD in May 2014.