“This is a superbly conceived and wonderfully performed collection about war and its emotional impact . . . Anna Prohaska’s glittering soprano is hard-hitting in four Hanns Eisler songs, and while she finds an unearthly purity in Schubert’s “Ellens Gesang I”, she is as pungent in Kurt Weill’s settings of Whitman as she is cool in Michael Cavendish’s ancient lute song “Wandring in This Place”. The imagination and care that has gone into this compilation is exceptional, and the results are totally compelling.”
The Guardian [CD review Behind the Lines], 6 July 2014
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. In 2002, at the age of 17, she made her debut 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. When she was 23, she took on the role of Frasquita at short notice in a production of Carmen conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and was promptly 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, in 2010 she sang her first Zerlina thereand in 2011 she appeared there as Mozart’s Despina in Cosě fan tutte.
In addition to concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Anna Prohaska has worked closely since 2007 with the Berliner Philharmoniker, including the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Mnemosyne under Matthias Pintscher in a ceremony for Claudio Abbado 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 Moderntimes_1800 of Innsbruck, the Akademie für Alte Musik of Berlin, the Academy of Ancient Music, Concentus Musicus Wien with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concerto Köln. She has given recitals at the Berlin Staatsoper, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, London’s Wigmore Hall, Salzburg Mozarteum, Schubertiade and Vienna Musikverein, as well as with Maurizio Pollini in Paris and Lucerne. In 2008 she was awarded the Daphne Prize and in 2010 the Schneider-Schott Music Prize. Anna is currently a “Junge Wilde” artist at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund.
Recent appearances include 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; Wolfgang Rihm’s new work for high soprano and orchestra Samothrake with Ulf Schirmer and the Gewandhausorchester and Jörg Widmann’s Babel under Nagano at the Bavarian State Opera; as well as a European tour of Baroque arias with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen. At the Theater an der Wien she sang Marzelline in Fidelio with Harnoncourt and Anne Trulove. For the Staatsoper in Berlin she sang Mozart’s Zerlina, Susanna and Pamina, Isolde in a new production of Martin’s Le Vin herbé and her first Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with Sir Simon Rattle.
Further engagements in 2014 include Poulenc’s Dialogues de Carmélites under Simon Rattle at Covent Garden as well as Mozart’s Blonde in Baden-Baden under Yannick Nézet-Seguin and in Paris under Philippe Jordan. She will also make a recital tour with pianist Eric Schneider featuring their programme of war-themed songs, with appearances including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Vienna, Berlin and Dortmund Konzerthaus, Paris’s Palais-Royal and the festivals of Salzburg, Edinburgh and Bad Kissingen.
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 Baroque programme with Arcangelo conducted by Jonathan Cohen, was released on Archiv Produktion in March 2013. That month also saw the release of her performance of Berg’s Lulu Suite, with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Pierre Boulez. Her latest recording, scheduled for June 2014 to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, is Behind the Lines with pianist Eric Schneider, their programme of songs on the subject of war.