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Baritone Dietrich Henschel captivates audiences as a regular guest at major opera houses, an esteemed interpreter of lieder and oratorios as well as with his multimedia projects. His repertoire stretches from Monteverdi to the avant-garde. Born in Berlin and having grown up in Nuremberg, he made his debut in 1990 at the Munich Biennale for New Music and first became known internationally from 1997, following a period as an ensemble member of the Opera Kiel. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin he took the title role in Hans Werner Henze’s Prinz von Homburg, staged by Götz Friedrich, and gave an outstanding lead performance in Busoni’s Doktor Faust at the Opéra de Lyon and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, for which he won a Grammy.
The singer’s major roles include Rossini’s Figaro, Wolfram in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Monteverdi’s Ulisse and Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beckmesser in Wagner’s Die Meistersingervon Nürnberg, Alban Berg’s Wozzeckand Dr. Schön in Lulu, Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, with which he makes regular appearances at the major European opera houses. Contemporary composers such as Péter Eötvös, Detlev Glanert, Manfred Trojahn, Unsuk Chin, Peter Ruzicka and José-Maria Sanchez-Verdu have all dedicated leading roles in their operas to the baritone.
In addition to his operatic work, Dietrich Henschel is committed to the performance of lieder and concert works for voice. In orchestral concerts he has worked with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Cornelius Meister, Sylvain Cambreling and Semyon Bychkov. His collaborations with John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Colin Davis are documented on numerous oratorio recordings. Dietrich Henschel is particularly interested in theatrical and multimedia presentations of vocal music. He has performed staged versions of Schubert lieder cycles at La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Den Norske Opera Oslo and the Komische Oper Berlin, among others. In the project IRRSAL – Triptychon einer verbotenen Liebe, featuring the orchestral songs of Hugo Wolf, he combined film and live concert; his project featuring songs by Gustav Mahler, WUNDERHORN, was a collaboration with director Clara Pons, and was developed as a co-production between several European partners including De Doelen, La Monnaie and the BBC Symphony Orchestra London.
Last season, Dietrich Henschel presented a varied repertoire: in addition to playing the Speaker of the Temple in Zauberflöte at La Monnaie staged by Romeo Castellucci, he reprised the title role in Peter Ruzicka’s opera Benjaminat the Hamburg State Opera and played Martin Luther in the world premiere of Bo Holten’s opera Schlagt sie tot! in Malmö. He also performed at the Suntory Hall Tokyo, singing Schönberg’s Gurrelieder with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra under Sylvain Cambreling, and at the Berlin Philharmonic for Haydn’s Jahreszeiten with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Vladimir Jurowski. In the 2019/20 season, Dietrich Henschel will be guesting at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Chaya Czernowin’s world premiere Heart Chamber and taking on the role of Faninal in Damiano Michieletto’s new production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels. In addition, his Christmas project X-mas Contemporary, created in collaboration with Vladimir Jurowski and the ensembleUnited, will be performed for the first time in the Konzerthaus Berlin and in Düsseldorf, with songs written for him in the spirit of the Christmas season. Further guest performances include Brahms’ Requiem under Kazushi Ono in Barcelona, the Schubert Festival with the Orchester Symphonique Montréal in Canada, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with RTVE in Madrid, and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder in Tokyo paired with a recital tour of Japan, where his new recording of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin will be presented.