On Oct. 10 it was announced that mezzo-soprano and opera director Brigitte Fassbaender will receive the prestigious Echo Klassik award for her contributions to the stage.
Born on 1939 to parents who both worked in the performing arts, Fassbaender first began her career studying to be an actress like her mother, Sabine Peters. Shortly after, she began her tutelage under her father, Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender, as a mezzo-soprano at the Nuremberg Conservatory.
Though Fassbaender made her debut in 1961 as the page in Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” later that year she landed her first starring role as Nicklausse in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffman.” Ten years later came her international debut as Octavian in Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier,” the role for which she is most remembered, singing it in performances from 1967 to 1988.
As a recording artist, Brigitte Fassbaender was presented with a Gramophone Award in 1987 for her Deutsche Gramophon album of selections from Richard Strauss and Franz Liszt. Notable also is her recording of Schubert’s ‘”Winterreise” song cycle, being the first female artist to put it onto a disc.
After retiring as a singer, Fassbaender went on to teach solo vocal music at Munich’s Musikhochschule as well as Manchester’s Royal College of Music. She served as opera director at the Staatstheater Braunschewig from 1995 to 1997, and as managing director at the Tiroler Landestheater of Innsbruck from 1999 to 2012.
In recognition of her many achievements, Brigitte Fassbaender will receive the Echo Klassik award during the ceremony on Oct. 29, 2017, at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall located in Hamburg, Germany.