Anna-Katharina Behnke

“Anna-Katharina Behnke [...] awarded Leonore this highly dramatic momentum, which is also the oeuvre's benefit. Even more than with her always safe and electrifying height, she impressed in the Adagio of the great aria with expressive, touching phrasing.” (Das Opernglas)

The Austrian soprano Anna-Katharina Behnke was born in Wuppertal. Daughter of a singer, she was acquainted since her early childhood with music and theatre, but it were the operas of Wagner, that impressed her so much that she chose the profession of her father. Still during her studies at the Musikhochschule in Munich, she made her debut as Susanna at the Kammeroper in Vienna and some engagements at the Opera Bonn, she sang the title part of Lucia di Lammermoor at the National Theatre in Prag. A very careful repertoire development at the opera houses of Braunschweig, Halle and Münster, Germany, is the basis of the secureness and power of the interpretations of this very musical opera singer.

In 2014/15, Anna-Katharina Behnke sang again the Tove in Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder at the National Concert Hall in Taipeh, her the first project with the Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra under the musical direction of Shao-Chia Lü. In the last seasons, she made her debut as Elektra in a co-production of the opera houses of Bolzano, Modena, Piazenca and Ferrara and guested as Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) at the Opera Bonn. She was invited to perform at the Wagner in Budapest Opera Festival for several times where she sang amongst others Isolde, Sieglinde and the Siegfried-Brünnhilde. In October 2016 she could be heard as Elsa von Brabant in a co-production of the Richard Wagner Festival Wels with the Royal Opera House Muscat under the baton of Ralf Weikert. In April 2017 she will be guest of the Sozhou Symphony Orchestra to perform Strauss' Four Last Songs.

With her interpretations of Lulu in Basel, Karlsruhe, and Paris and her Salome at the Teatro alla Scala as well as in Tokyo, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Hannover, Wiesbaden and Nürnberg, Anna-Katharina Behnke established herself in the international opera world. Her broad repertoire includes amongst others Fidelio, Emilia Marty, Ariadne, Arabella, Chrysothemis, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, Violanta, Judit (Bluebeards Castle), Marschallin, Martha (Tiefland) as well as Ellen Orford. Guest engagements lead her to the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo di Lissabon, Théâtre du Châtelet, New National Theatre Tokyo, Teatro Real Madrid, Grand Théâtre de Génève, Bolshoi and Mariinski Theatre, to the Welsh National Opera, Semperoper Dresden and the Deutsche Oper Berlin as well as to Brussels, Antwerp, Gent and Helsinki and to the Tyrolean Festival in Erl and the Bruckner Festival Linz. 

On the concert stage, Anna-Katharina Behnke interpreted Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, Strauss’s Four Last Songs, Alban Berg’s Altenberg Lieder, the Lulu-Suite, Seven Early Songs and his concert aria Der Wein, the Tove in Schönberg’s Gurreliedern, Beethovens Symphony No. 9 and his Missa Solemnis, the Verdi Requiem, Janáceks Glagolitic Mass and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder. 

A concert of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, that Anna-Katharina Behnke gave in her native town Wuppertal under the leadership of Toshiyuki Kamioka has been released on CD by DENON.

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