On Monday, soprano Evelyn Herlitzius kicks off her first year on the North American opera scene.
For years, the German soprano has dominated Europe as a leading interpreter of the German repertoire. She has dominated Dresden, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Baden-Baden, Salzburg, and Paris, among others, in such operas as “Elektra,” “Tristan und Isolde,” “Wozzeck,” “Lohengrin,” and Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”
Now, for the first time in her career, she arrives on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in “Parsifal.” She will interpret the role of Kundry, which she has previously performed in Budapest and Berlin. This would be her third production of the opera since 2014.
Herlitzius is a fascinating artist because her voice has a raw edge that suits rather dramatic potrayals. That was best exemplified in her “Lohengrin” interpretation opposite Anna Netrebko. Where the Russian diva’s voice was gentle and finessed for the role of Elsa, Herlitzius was crude and rough as Ortrud. She will undoubtedly bring much of that edge to Kundry opposite the brighter sound of Klaus Florian Vogt.
And while “Parsifal” is a massive undertaking and is to be recognized for marking both her Met and return to North America since 2014, it is impossible not to look ahead to the soprano’s summer engagement in San Francisco – Brünhilde in “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”
Herlitzius has a number of high-profile recordings, mainly her “Lohengrin” with Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, but also a performance of “Elektra” where she takes on the title role in Patrice Chéreau’s now-iconic production.