Following her operatic debut at the age of twenty as Pamina in Harry Kupfer’s production of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) at the Komische Oper Berlin and other engagements at venues including Brussels, Salzburg, Vienna and Glyndebourne, Juliane Banse has been involved with numerous projects during subsequent years which have given her the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of her artistic versatility. Her celebrated performance as the leading lady in the Zurich première of Heinz Holliger’s opera Schneewittchen (Snow White) was another unforgettable experience. At the Bayerischer Staatsoper where she is a regular guest performer, she shone as Ilia in Idomeneo conducted by Kent Nagano in the reopened Cuvilliés Theater.
During the 2010/11 season the soprano singer will make her role debut as the Tochter (daughter) in Hindemith’s Cardillac at the Vienna State Opera under Franz Welser-Möst (directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf) and as Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites at the Stuttgart State Opera under Manfred Honeck (directed by Thomas Bischoff).
Over recent seasons, Juliane Banse has extended her opera repertoire with major parts such as the Figaro Gräfin (debut performance at the Salzburg Festival), Eva (Die Meistersinger), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Genoveva, Tatjana (Eugen Onegin), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Arabella, Grete (Der ferne Klang) and Agathe (Der Freischütz). At Dresden’s “Night at the Opera”on 4th September 2010, the film Hunter’s Bride/Der Freischütz with Juliane Banse as Agathe and the London Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding had its world premiere.
Born in the south of Germany, the soprano spent her childhood in Zurich, Switzerland, and began playing the violin at the age of five. Later she trained as a ballerina at the Opernhaus Zurich. She began singing at the age of 15, taking singing lessons initially with Paul Steiner, and later with Ruth Rohner at the Opernhaus Zurich. After completing her school education she continued her studies with Brigitte Fassbaender and also Daphne Evangelatos in Munich.
Juliane Banse enjoys success in other fields apart from opera singing: in 1994 she made her debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado, where her rendition of Berg's Altenberg Lieder was recorded on CD. This was followed by a recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez. She has worked with numerous other famous conductors including André Previn, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Franz Welser-Möst, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Helmuth Rilling and Carlo Maria Giulini.
Juliane Banse’s engagements for the 2010/11 season include an invitation to sing Bruckner’s Mass in f-minor with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Herbert Blomstedt, concert performances of Don Giovanni (Elvira) with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer in New York, appearances at the Verbier Festival singing Elias alongside Thomas Quasthoff and a concert performance of Dido und Aeneas (Belinda). She will also sing Kurtág’s Messages of the late Miss RV Troussova with the Collegium Novum and Heinz Holliger in Cologne, and perform Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder at the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern. Recent international engagements include concert performances of Humperdinck’s Königskinder with Ingo Metzmacher in Berlin, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony in Boston, and Mendelssohn’s Elias with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as well as L’infedeltà delusa with Concentus musicus Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt or Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, David Zinman conducting. A recording of this concert has recently been released under RCA Red Seal.
The numerous CD recordings made by the artist include her Mozart-Debussy CD together with András Schiff (ECM) and also her multi award-winning recording of selected vocal works by Charles Koechlin with the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra under Heinz Holliger (hänssler). To celebrate the 80th birthday of György Kurtág, ECM Records released a new recording of Kafka Fragments for soprano and violin (András Keller), recorded in association with the composer, which has also received several international awards (the Japanese Modern Music Prize, the Midem Classical Award 2007 and the Edizon Prize for the best recording of contemporary music). A recording of Frank Martin’s fantastic Maria Triptychon was also released by ECM. Her next releases will be opera arias under the title Per Amore with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken-Kaiserslautern (hänssler), Koechlin’s Chanson de Mélisande with the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra under Heinz Holliger, and the lied CD Tief in der Nacht with Aleksandar Madzar (ECM).
© Susi Knoll