Christine Schäfer studied at the Berlin Conservatory with Professor Ingrid Figur, the late Arleen Augér, Aribert Reimann, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Sena Jurinac and has gone on to enjoy one of the most successful international opera, concert, recital and recording careers of her generation.
Christine Schäfer’s diverse opera credits include the roles of Konstanze, Ilia, Lulu, Cherubino and Donna Anna at the Salzburg Festival; Konstanze, Gilda and Sophie at Covent Garden; Lulu at the Met; Messiaen’s St Francois d’Assise, Donna Anna and Cherubino at the Opera National de Paris, Pamina, Cleopatra and Alcina for De Nederlandse Opera, Sophie in San Francisco and Berlin’s Deutsche Oper; Lulu at the Glyndebourne and Innsbruck Festivals and Alcina at Sweden’s Drottningholm Festival; Zdenka in Houston; Zerbinetta in Munich as well as Pierrot Lunaire with Boulez in Berlin and Paris. In 2003, Berlin’s Deutsche Staatsoper unter den Linden presented Christine Schäfer’s role début as Verdi’s Violetta in a new production by Peter Mussbach conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
In an impressively diverse concert repertoire, Christine Schäfer enjoys a flourishing career with regular appearances on the major stages of Europe and America and collaborations with many of today’s pre-eminent conductors including Harnoncourt, Boulez, Eschenbach, Haitink, Harding, Gatti, Metzmacher, Thielemann and Rattle.
After a successful 1988 recital début at the Berlin Festival singing Aribert Reimann’s Nachträume, Christine Schäfer has gone on to develop an international recital career, making regular tours of North America and Japan, and frequent appearances at such renowned venues as London’s Wigmore Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein. As part of the inaugural Ruhr Triennale in 2002, Christine Schäfer presented an acclaimed interpretation of Die Winterreise in a staging by Oliver Hermann, and in 2007 entered into two new recital collaborations: with Pierre-Laurent Aimard at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Paris’ Palais Garnier and with Hélene Grimaud at Salzburg’s Mozarteum.
A much-recorded artist, Christine Schäfer’s discography includes Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Les Arts Florissants/Christie (Erato); Mozart and Strauss arias with the Berlin Philharmonic/Abbado, Bach’s Wedding Cantatas with MAK/Goebel, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Boulez’ Pli selon Pli with the Ensemble Intercontemporain/Boulez and a recital disc of Debussy and Chausson, accompanied by Irwin Gage, all for Deutsche Grammophon. Together with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christine Schaefer has recorded for Teldec, Bach St Matthew Passion and Mozart Missa Breves, and for BMG Mozart Requiem and Handel Messiah. Christine Schaefer is also featured on Graham Johnson’s acclaimed series of Schubert and Schumann Lieder for Hyperion.
On the Capriccio label, Christine Schaefer performs on the multi award-winning Zemlinsky Lyrische Sinfonie (Eschenbach/Orchestre de Paris) and together with the Petersen Quartet, in an Aribert Reimann collection of Mendelssohn/Schumann song transcriptions, ”…. oder soll es Tod bedeuten?”, winner of the 2007 ECHO Klassik Award for Best Lied recording. A more recent collaboration with Onyx Classics has earned her outstanding reviews for Schubert’s Die Winterreise and her highly-personalised collection of Purcell and Georg Crumb, both together with Eric Schneider.
Operatic highlights of Christine Schaefer’s past two seasons have included Violetta in Marthaler’s controversial new production of La Traviata at Paris’ Palais Garnier, her return to the Met for a new production of Hansel and Gretel, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and her first foray into Rossini at Berlin’s Staatsoper unter den Linden in David Alden’s new Il Turco in Italia.
Christine Schaefer’s 2008-9 season includes Partenope at Theater an der Wien with Christophe Rousset and Pierret Audi, a new Entführung at Berlin’s Staatsoper with Philippe Jordan and Michael Thalheimer, the title role in Handel’s Theodora at the Salzburg Festival with Ivor Bolton and Christoph Loy and a return to Oper Frankfurt as Lucia di Lammermoor. In concert Christine Schaefer will join James Levine in Boston, Christoph Eschenbach in Paris, Berlin and Luzern and Pierre Boulez in Paris. The season opened with recitals at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals with Ingo Metzmacher and Graham Johnson respectively.