Artist Profile: The Much-Loved Soprano Anja Harteros

By David Salazar

There are only a few artists that have starred throughout the 21st century that could truly find themselves critic-proof.

Anja Harteros is one of them.

The German soprano, born on July 23, 1972, started voice training at age 14 in Gummersbach while still in school. Even before she had graduated high school, she was already performing concerts and by the time she was taking final exams for her college degree, she was also ready an ensemble member at the Schillertheater in Wuppertal and Gelsenkirchen. After her exams, she had a permanent position with the ensemble at the opera in Bonn.

Then she made history when she won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 1999, becoming the first German artist to do so. From then on, she was a superstar and has performed all over the world.

In recent years, she has maintained a selective schedule, performing mainly in Germany with a few forays to other European nations.

She has struck up a well-known artist collaboration with tenor Jonas Kaufmann, the two performing and recording extensively.

Major Roles

Everything that Harteros touches seems to turn to gold. She’s turned in some legendary turns in many Verdi operas, with many clamoring for her Violetta in “La Traviata.”

But the role that she has made her own to tremendous critical success is none other than “Tosca.”

“Harteros brought tremendous detail to this Tosca. Her stabbing of Scarpia was the precise dramatic moment it should be and even the way she fell in mocking how Cavaradossi should simulate his death was a piece of acting that drew laughter,” stated OperaWire’s review of her 2017 performance in Zurich. “Harteros defined Floria Tosca on this night in a performance for the ages.”

Read More on Harteros

A Look At Roles She Shared With Licia Albanese

Harteros As OperaWire’s Artist of the Week

A Review of Un Ballo in Maschera From the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2018

A Review of ‘Forza del Destino’ From Bayerische Staatsoper 2017

Watch and Listen

Here is a well-regarded production of “Andrea Chénier” featuring Harteros and Kaufmann.

And here is “Vissi d’arte” from “Tosca.”


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