German-born Gun-Brit Barkmin is considered one of today’s most exciting interpreters of Richard Strauss, in demand for Salome, Chrysothemis (Elektra) and Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos) around the globe, including at Wiener Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall, Opernhaus Zürich and at London’s BBC Proms. Barkmin creates thrilling portrayals of some of opera’s most complex leading ladies including Marie (Wozzeck), Katerina Ismailova (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) and Emilia Marty (Věc Makropulos) and enjoys an ongoing collaboration with many of the world’s top conductors including Andris Nelsons, Semyon Bychkov, Fabio Luisi and Vladimir Jurowski.
In the current season, Gun-Brit Barkmin debuts at Opéra national de Paris as Marie, sings her first Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) at Oper Graz, and returns to Opernhaus Zürich in Andreas Homoki’s production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk under Vasily Petrenko. With the Wiener Staatsoper, she goes on tour to Japan in Ariadne auf Naxos. Following her appearance as Salome with Charles Dutoit and the NHK Symphony Orchestra last season, Barkmin and Dutoit reunite for further performances this season with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and at the 2017 Verbier Festival.
At the outset of her career, Barkmin was a member of the ensemble of Berlin’s Komische Oper where her many roles included Marie, Ghita in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, Jenůfa in Willy Decker’s production, which brought her major recognition, as well as The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, marking Harry Kupfer’s farewell to the Theatre. Gun-Brit has since gone on to cultivate strong relationships with many major European theatres and to expand an already wide and varied repertoire of roles. Marking her house debut, Gun-Brit Barkmin sang Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) at Wiener Staatsoper, receiving return invitations for Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Salome and Chrysothemis.
Barkmin created the role of Elena in the world premiere of Sotelo’s El Público at Teatro Real Madrid under Pablo Heras-Casado, and previously appaared as Guinevere in Birtwistle’s Gawain at the Salzburger Festspiele under Ingo Metzmacher. Elsewhere, she has performed as Anna in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins at Opéra de Lyon, the Edinburgh International Festival and the New Zealand International Festival of Arts, and as Bianca in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentische Tragödie and Nella from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the Canadian Opera Company, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Gun-Brit Barkmin returns to the Salzburger Festspiele in the summer of 2017 as Regan in a new production of Aribert Reimann’s Lear, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst.
A consummate concert performer, Gun-Brit has performed Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Jakub Hrusa, Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Dresden Philharmoniker, Schönberg’s Gurrelieder at the International Festival in Nagoya as well as Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Liebestod with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie conducted by Andris Nelsons.
© Florian Kalotay / Fotostudio Charlottenburg