Christine Schäfer

Biography

Born: March 3, 1965   Country: Germany  
Christine Schäfer established one of the most stellar careers of any young German soprano in the 1990s and became known for her sensational acting and her mastery of a wide range of repertory and styles.

She enrolled in the Berlin Conservatory in 1984 and studied with Ingrid Figur, whom she considers her primary teacher and credits with giving her a firm technical foundation and a knack for clear projection of German words. She studied
Read more with American soprano Arleen Augér who, Schäfer said, taught her how to give total concentration to the work of understanding a musical compossition. Of composer Aribert Reimann, another of her teachers, she says, "His music is fantastic, and as a teacher he is even more so." From him she learned lieder interpretation. She also had master classes with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Sena Jurinac.

After winning several prestigious prizes, she made a highly acclaimed recital debut at the Berlin Festival in 1988, singing Reimann's cycle Nachträume, and began to establish a promising recital and concert career. She has sung in Europe with the Gächinger Kantorei, the Windsbacher Knabenchor, the Stuttgarter Hymnus Chorknaban, the RIAS Kammerchor, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Amsterdam New Sinfonietta, and Musica Antiqua of Cologne.

Her concert and recital career included a debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in Boston and New York with Seiji Ozawa conducting. Other conductors with whom she has worked are Sir Charles Mackerras, Uwe Gronostay, Wolfgang Schafer, Leopold Hager, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

She is active on the festival circuit, with appearances at the Baroque Festival in Würzburg, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Bach Festival of Los Angeles, the Salzburg Mozart Week, and the Ansbach Bach Week.

Her operatic debut was in 1991 as Papagena in Mozart's Magic Flute at the Théâtre du Monnaie in Brussels. Soon she sang Pamina in the same production when it was given in Salzburg, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto in Bern, and Berg's Lulu in Innsbruck, with stage direction by Brigitte Fassbaender.

Her American operatic debut was with the San Francisco Opera during their Strauss Festival of 1993, when she appeared as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier and then as Zdenka in Arabella at the Houston Grand Opera, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York was in the 2000-2001 season.

She moved into the first rank of German opera stars when she appeared in Peter Mussbach's controversial production of Lulu at the Salzburg Festival in 1995, her debut role in that Festival. When she returned two years later, it was in a drastically different role, Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Other roles she has sung include the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lamermoor (Welsh National Opera); Elisa in Mozart's Il Rč Pastore (Amsterdam); Tytania in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Tel Aviv); Infantin in Der Zwerg by Zemlinsky at the Paris Opéra-Bastille; Zerbinetta in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos (Houston); and Reimann's The House of Bernarda Alba in Munich.

She has appeared on several discs in Graham Johnson's Hyperion Schubert series and for the label also recorded a solo recital of Robert Schumann songs, also with Johnson. Read less
Berg: Lulu / Davis, Schäfer, Harries, Glyndebourne Festival
Release Date: 01/13/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2253   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 90 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Weber: Der Freischutz / Orgonasova, Harnoncourt, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557381 Release Date: 09/09/2016  
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Kurt Moll,  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Endrik Wottrich,  Gilles Cachemaille  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
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  • 2.
    Great Arias: Inbrunst im Herzen - Famous German Arias & Scenes
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109244 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Eva Martón,  Bryn Terfel,  Catherine Malfitano  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Donald Runnicles,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
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  • 3.
    Great Arias: Inbrunst im Herzen - Famous German Arias & Scenes [Blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109245 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Eva Martón,  Bryn Terfel,  Catherine Malfitano  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Donald Runnicles,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
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  • 4.
    Aria: Bach's Most Beautiful Arias
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002489302 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer,  Magdalena Kozená,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Renée Fleming  ... 
    Conductor:  Sebastian Weigle,  Andreas Delfs,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Lars Ulrik Mortensen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 5.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    On sale! $118.99
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  • 6.
    Ian Bostridge: Autograph
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552551 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Hugo Wolf,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ian [Tenor Vocals] Bostridge,  Julius Drake,  Antonio Pappano,  Patrizia Ciofi  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haďm,  Harry Bicket,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  William Christie  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Les Sacqueboutiers,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
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  • 7.
    Maria Joao Pires - Complete Concerto Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281502 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires,  Christine Schäfer
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Krivine,  André Previn,  Claudio Abbado,  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 8.
    Claudio Abbado - Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10244 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer,  Juliane Banse,  Bruno Ganz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 9.
    Claudio Abbado - Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20244 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Juliane Banse,  Christine Schäfer,  Bruno Ganz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    Pierre Boulez - 20th Century
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002250902 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 44
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Harrison Birtwistle,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  John Aler,  Krystian Zimerman,  Leif Ove Andsnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Martyn Brabbins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $279.49
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  • 11.
    Claudio Abbado New Years Eve Concerts Box [3 Blu-rays]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2013504 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Bryn Terfel,  Roberto Alagna,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $88.99
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  • 12.
    Anna Netrebko - Live from the Salzburg Festival
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002155209 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Carlo Colombara,  Anna Netrebko,  Nino Machaidze,  Massimo Cavalletti  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti,  Carlo Rizzi,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
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  • 13.
    Anna Netrebko - Live from the Salzburg Festival [3-Blu-ray Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002155159 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Carlo Colombara,  Anna Netrebko,  Nino Machaidze,  Massimo Cavalletti  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti,  Carlo Rizzi,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 14.
    C. P. E. Bach: Die Letzten Leiden Des Erlosers / Haenchen, Trekel, Schafer, Schuring, Elster
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 60808 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
    Performer:  Anette Elster,  Ellen Schuring,  Roman Trekel,  Christine Schäfer  ... 
    Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra,  Halle Madrigalists Choir
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    Europakonzert 1999 From Krakow / Ax, Schafer, Haitink, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 13194 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer,  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 16.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 17.
    Mozart - The Great Operas [13-DVD Set]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1131 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Ramón Vargas,  Ekaterina Siurina,  Magdalena Kozená,  Jeffrey Francis  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Constantinos Carydis,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Victor Pablo Pérez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Salzburg,  Salzburg Bach Choir,  Netherlands Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $109.99
    DVD: $94.49
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  • 18.
    Bach Masterworks - The Original Jackets Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001929902 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Hertha Töpper,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Maria Stader,  Ernst Haefliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Reinhard Goebel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  English Baroque Soloists  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 19.
    Boulez Conducts Mahler - Complete Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001931702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Johan Botha,  Dorothea Röschmann,  Anna Larsson,  Christian Gerhaher  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $230.49
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  • 21.
    Berg: Lulu / Davis, Schafer, Harries, Glyndebourne Festival [Blu-ray]
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2253 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Patricia Bardon,  Christine Schäfer,  Kathryn Harries,  Jonathan Viera
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
    Blu-ray Video: $21.99
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  • 22.
    Essential Opera Collection [19 DVDs]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 6000 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggero Raimondi,  Daniela Dessi,  Fabio Armiliato,  Lorenzo Regazzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurizio Benini,  Victor Pablo Pérez,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Teatro Real Orchestra,  Madrid Teatro Real Chorus,  Paris National Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.99
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  • 23.
    Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Mattei, Oelze, Grant Murphy, Cambreling
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 6004 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Lorenzo Regazzo,  Heidi Grant Murphy,  Christiane Oelze,  Peter Mattei  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Chorus,  Paris National Opera Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Verdi: Rigoletto / Downes, Alvarez, Schafer, Gavanelli
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 6005 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Paolo Gavanelli,  Marcelo Alvarez,  Peter Auty,  Christine Schäfer  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 25.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Works [13-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001836502 Release Date: 07/23/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Pierre Boulez
    Performer:  Sophie Cherrier,  Pierre-André Valade,  Emmanuelle Ophčle,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Diego Masson,  Roger Desormičre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble InterContemporain,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Singers  ... 
    CD: $98.49
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