“…truly overwhelming…Whether in German or English, she articulates so perfectly that a listener could write down the text from her singing. Most of all: she translates the content of what she is narrating so sensitively into vocal colours that the melodic lines of Schubert, Wolf, Schumann, Mahler or even Dowland seem to be charged with extra-musical subtexts.”
Born into a distinguished musical family in Vienna (her great-grandfather was the composer Carl Prohaska, her grandfather the conductor and teacher Felix Prohaska), Anna Prohaska studied in Berlin at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music and made her debut in 2002 at the Komische Oper in Harry Kupfer’s production of Britten’s Turn of the Screw and then in Willy Decker’s production of Albert Herring. After taking on the role of Frasquita at short notice in a production of Carmen conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, she was engaged as a member of its permanent ensemble; in December 2010 at the Staatsoper, she sang Anne Trulove in a new production of The Rake’s Progress under Ingo Metzmacher. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in Rusalka under Franz Welser-Möst in 2008; in 2009 she returned for Luigi Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore and in 2010 sang her first Zerlina there.
As well as in concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Anna Prohaska has worked closely since 2007 with the Berliner Philharmoniker, including the world premiere of a work by Wolfgang Rihm in a ceremony for Claudio Abbado. With the Philharmoniker she performed orchestral songs by Webern conducted by Rattle in 2008 and gave the world premiere of Rihm’s Mnemosyne under Matthias Pintscher in 2009. In 2010 she was the soloist in Berg’s Lulu Suite with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra conducted by Abbado in Venezuela and Lucerne.
Besides contemporary music and the standard repertoire, Anna Prohaska also devotes herself to early music and has worked with the RIAS Kammerchor, Moderntimes_1800 of Innsbruck, the Akademie für Alte Musik of Berlin and Concerto Köln. She has given recitals at the Berlin Staatsoper, Bregenz Festival, Salzburg Mozarteum and Vienna Musikverein.
In 2008 she was awarded the Daphne Prize and in 2010 the Schneider-Schott Music Prize.
Recent engagements include Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Bavarian State Opera; Despina in Cosě fan tutte under Marc Minkowski at the Salzburg Festival; Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro under Barenboim in Berlin; Zerlina in Don Giovanni under Barenboim in Milan (with Anna Netrebko and Bryn Terfel) and under Dudamel in Los Angeles. Berg’s Lulu Suite with the Vienna Philharmonic under Boulez and with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado; Mahler Symphony no. 8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Rattle and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Jansons; Bach’s B minor Mass with Jacobs in Leipzig and Zurich; Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with Daniel Harding in Munich and Vladimir Jurowski at the Lucerne Festival; solo recitals with Eric Schneider at the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Wigmore Hall and in Vienna and with Maurizio Pollini in Paris and Lucerne; the Brahms Requiem with Dohnányi and the Boston Symphony; Jens Joneleit’s new opera Metanoia and Elliott Carter’s new song cycle What Are Years with Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle as well as Wolfgang Rihm’s new work for high soprano and orchestra Samothrake with Ulf Schirmer and the Gewandhausorchester.
In the 2012/13 season she sings in Jörg Widmann’s Babel under Nagano at the Bavarian State Opera and Marzelline in Fidelio with Harnoncourt at the Theater an der Wien. For the Staatsoper in Berlin she sings Isolde in a new production of Martin’s Le vin herbé and her first Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with Sir Simon Rattle as well as a European tour of Baroque arias with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen.
In January 2011, Anna Prohaska signed an exclusive recording agreement with Deutsche Grammophon. A wide-ranging song recital entitled Sirčne was released later that year in the German-speaking markets. It received an Echo Klassik Award in 2012. The Enchanted Forest, Anna Prohaska’s new Baroque programme with Arcangelo conducted by Jonathan Cohen, is scheduled for release on Archiv Produktion in March 2013.