Artist of the Week: Evelyn Herlitzius Makes Metropolitan Opera Debut in ‘Parsifal’

(Credit: Ken Howard / Met Opera)

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.”

Recordings

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.

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About the Author

David Salazar
Prior to creating OperaWire, DAVID SALAZAR, (Editor-in-Chief) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he interviewed major opera stars including Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Vittorio Grigolo, Diana Damrau and Rolando Villazon among others. His 2014 interview with opera star Kristine Opolais was cited in a New York Times Review. He also had the opportunity of interviewing numerous Oscar nominees, Golden Globe winners and film industry giants such as Guillermo del Toro, Oscar Isaac and John Leguizamo among others. David holds a Masters in Media Management from Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, he studied abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Poland. He also holds a dual bachelor’s from Hofstra University in Film Production and Journalism.

3 Comments on "Artist of the Week: Evelyn Herlitzius Makes Metropolitan Opera Debut in ‘Parsifal’"

  1. Netrebko’s gentle and finessed what??? Her mouth with six inches wide and she was pushing nonstop! It looked and sounded painful.

  2. Netrebko pushing nonstop? Is it a joke? Netrebko was actually holding back during a lot of sections in “Lohengrin” singing with a most skillful mezza voce. And indeed this semi-bel-canto approach was what Thielemann was looking for and the reason he engaged Netrebko and Beczala in the first place!

    I feel sorry to argue about another singer under this post where the focus should be Frau Herlitzius. But it wasn’t me who started this.

    As for Frau Herlitzius, I had the fortune of seeing her live as Ortrud and was very impressed by her dramatic commitment. Kundry should certainly be a role suits her skill set.

  3. Back February 12, 2018 by norman lebrecht The author Joseph Horowitz who, by his own count, has ‘written more about Wagner at the Met than any other living human being’, was refused press tickets to Parsifal, the first time in 40 years that he has been excluded.

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