Angelika Kirchschlager is one of today´s most sought-after young mezzo-sopranos, equally dividing her time among recitals, concerts and opera. Already established in Europe, the Salzburg native spent the latter part of 1997 in the United States, with successful stage debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Seattle Opera and a well-received Lincoln Center recital in New York. The year also saw the beginning of Kirchschlager´s recording partnership with Sony Classical as an exclusive artist, in a critically acclaimed disc of lieder by Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler and Erich Wolfgang Korngold and a recording of Mendelssohn´s "A Midsummer Night´s Dream music" with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Kirchschlager begins 1998 as Dorabella in "Così fan tutte" at Paris´ Bastille Opera, before returning to the Vienna Volksoper for yet another production of the Mozart opera, in which she switches to the role of Despina. Under the baton of Riccardo Muti, she will take part in the Vienna Festival´s inaugural concerts at the Musikverein (Cherubini´s D-Minor Mass) and in more performances of "Così fan tutte" (as Dorabella) at the Theater an der Wien. At the Volksoper she revives Offenbach´s operetta "La Périchole" (originally staged for her in 1996) and will be heard in a solo recital at the Schubertiade in Feldkirch. After a short summer break, Ms. Kirchschlager debuts at the Geneva Opera to open the season in a new production of "Der Rosenkavalier". She then makes her role debut as the Composer in a new Jonathan Miller production of Strauss´ "Ariadne auf Naxos" in Lausanne.
Other upcoming 1998-99 projects include new productions of Pfitzner´s "Palestrina", Lehar´s "The Merry Widow" (under John Eliot Gardiner) and "Don Giovanni" (under Muti), all at the Vienna State Opera; a nationally televised New Yea´s Eve Gala Concert with the New York Philharmonic; a U.S. recital tour; and the inaugural concert, also nationally televised, of the Mostly Mozart Festival, where she will perform Idamente in Richard Strauss´ "Idomeneo". She then will tour with the Mostly Mozart Festival in Japan.
The Austrian mezzo´s recent engagements have included an appearance with pianist András Schiff in a Wigmore Hall gala celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of Franz Schubert´s birth. She was heard subsequently in recital at the Musikverein and appeared in "Don Giovanni" at the Vienna State Opera. In the spring of 1997, Kirchschlager made her Bastille Opera debut in Mozart´s "La clemenza di Tito". Additional recital dates followed at Wigmore Hall and in Denmark, as well as concerts of Handel arias with Il Giardino Armonico in France. During the 1997 Vienna Festival, Kirchschlager appeared as Dorabella in "Così fan tutte", conducted by Muti.
Before leaving for North America she returned to Austria´s famed Schubertiade in recital.
Kirchschlager made her U.S. operatic debut at the Seattle Opera in the title role of a new production of "Der Rosenkavalier". She then bowed at the San Francisco Opera in "Le nozze di Figaro" and at the Metropolitan Opera in "La clemenza di Tito". Throughout the fall of 1997, she also appeared in a series of solo recitals in Vancouver, Toronto, Orange County, Berkeley, Kansas City and Washington, D.C., as well as New York s Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.
Born in Salzburg, Kirchschlager studied piano at the Mozarteum. Upon graduating from the "Musisches Gymnasium" in Salzburg, she enrolled at the Vienna Music Academy in 1984 where she studied with Walter Berry. She subsequently was engaged at the Vienna Kammeroper for "Die Zauberflöte", which led to her assuming the role of Zerlina in "Don Giovanni" and Cherubino in "Le nozze di Figaro" at Vienna´s Schloss Schönbrunn. In 1990 Ms. Kirchschlager was named a finalist in the International Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart, and in 1991 she won three prizes at Vienna´s International Belvedere Competition. As a concert singer Kirchschlager h as performed in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.
She has been featured on programs of the Austrian National Radio and Television (ORF). Early in 1992 Ms. Kirchschlager participated in a film production by the German Radio Hessischer Rundfunk about Hugo Wolf, interpreting the role of mezzo-soprano Frieda Zerny.
Ms. Kirchschlager and her family reside in Vienna.