Artistic Direction


Few artists of her generation are as successful in so many spheres and with such varied repertoire as Juliane Banse.

Her extremely broad opera repertoire ranges from the Countess in Figaro, Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Genoveva (title role), Leonore, Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Arabella (title role), to Grete (Schreker’s Der ferne Klang).

She made her stage debut as a twenty-year-old in the role of Pamina in Harry Kupfer’s production of The Magic Flute at the Komische Oper Berlin. Her performance as Snow White in the world premiere of the opera of the same name by Heinz Holliger at Zurich Opera House is also unforgettable; she works together closely with Holliger. Juliane Banse was born in southern Germany and grew up in Zurich. She took lessons first with Paul Steiner and later with Ruth Rohner at the Zurich Opera House, completing her studies under Brigitte Fassbaender and Daphne Evangelatos in Munich. From the winter semester 2016/2017 Juliane Banse herself took on a guest professorship at the Robert Schumann Academy in Dusseldorf.

Two major role debuts are scheduled for the 2017/18 season: in spring she sings in the world premiere of Heinz Holliger’s opera Lunea alongside Christian Gerhaher on the stage of Zurich Opera House; the production is staged by Andreas Homoki.  Juliane Banse also sings the role of the Marschallin for the first time in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss, fulfilling one of her long-treasured wishes.  Juliane Banse sings in another world premiere in Amsterdam: Willem Jeths, a well-known composer in the Netherlands, is writing the music-theatre monodrama The Tell-Tale Heart based on Edgar Allan Poe, which will be first performed in April in the context of the Zaterdag Matinee Concerts in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam conducted by Jaap van Zweden.  Finally Juliane Banse returns to the Theater an der Wien for a concert entitled In memoriam Nikolaus Harnoncourt, in which she sings in Mozart’s Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots conducted by Stefan Gottfried.

Juliane Banse made her US opera debut in Chicago singing  Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus; shortly afterwards she was to be heard in Arabella by Richard Strauss at the MET.  Other recent successful engagements include the main role in Girgory Frid’s Diary of Anne Frank at the Theater an der Wien, Jeanne d’Arc in the opera of the same name by Braunfels in Cologne, Elsa von Brabant in Wagner’sLohengrin in Nantes and Anger, as well as the main role in Poulenc’s mono opera Voix humaine at Cologne Opera and also with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and at the State Opera in the Schillertheater in Berlin.

Juliane Banse is also highly in demand as a concert singer. She has worked together with many renowned conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, Bernard Haitink, Franz Welser-Möst, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta and Manfred Honeck.

Lied recitals feature regularly in her calendar.  She was recently a guest at the Schubertiade Vilabertran, in Oxford, at the lied week in Schloss Elmau singing Wagner’s Wesendonck lieder and she also performed during the first concerts in the new Boulez Hall in Berlin, giving a recital accompanied by Wolfram Rieger.  At present she is concentrating on Hindemith’s Marienleben, in which she can be heard in the current season together with Martin Helmchen in Passau, Bremen and Berne; a CD is in preparation for the alpha label.

Many of her CD recordings have won awards. Two recordings by Juliane Banse received an Echo Klassik: Braunfels’s Jeanne d’Arc with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck (nominated ‘first world recording of the year’) and Mahler’s 8th Symphony with the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich under David Zinman. Further outstanding projects include a collection of opera arias under the title Per Amore, the recording of lieder Tief in der Nacht with Aleksandar Madzar, and finally the film Hunter’s Bride/Der Freischütz with the London Symphony Orchestra, Juliane Banse in the role of Agathe, conducted by Daniel Harding.  In February 2017 her first CD, Unanswered Love, was issued to great acclaim in the media.  It contains in some cases the first recordings of works dedicated to the singer by Reimann, Rihm and Henze which she recorded with the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern and Christoph Poppen.  This season her first CD recorded with the Munich Radio Orchestra of works by Braunfels, Korngold, Marx and Pfitzner will be released.

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From the beginning of his career as a conductor, the name of Christoph Poppen has become synonym with innovative programming and commitment with the diffusion of contemporary music.

Developing a busy guest conducting career, Poppen has already conducted many of the main orchestras in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the United States, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Singapore and Estonia.

From the Season 2013-14 he’s principal guest conductor of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. Before that, he was artistic director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra (1995-2006) and of the Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra (2006-11), having been in charge of the process that led to the fusion of this body with the KaiSerSlautern Radio Orchestra.

In Opera, his repertory ranges from Gluck to Claude Vivier, having conducted productions at the opera houses of Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Essen and Innsbruck, among others.

His discography is mainly on the ECM Records and Oehms Classics Labels and explores a wide repertory, from classics such as Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, Mendelssohn or Tchaikovsky to modern authors, like Mansurian, Gubaidulina, Hartmann, Scelsi, Widmann or Frank Martin.

Before comitting himself to conducting, Poppen, a violinist by formation, waS co- founder of the Cherubini String Quartet in 1978. Within his discography from that time, the cd ‘morimur’, in which he played along with the Hilliard Ensemble, stand out.

Also a noted pedagogue, Poppen holds a violin and Chamber Music position at the Hochschule Munich. Beforte that, he taught at the Hochschule Detmold and at theHanns Eisler Hochschule Berlin, which he also presided (1996-2000).

From 2001 to 2005, he was artistic director of the Ard International Music Competition.

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