Born near Hamburg, the German soprano Melanie Diener studied with Sylvia Geszty and later with Rudolf Piernay. She was first internationally recognized as prize winner at the Salzburg Mozart Competition and as winner of the The Troldhaugen Grieg Prize at the The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo.
Melanie Diener made her operatic debut in June 1996 at the Garsington Opera Festival as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, a role she also sang for the first time at the Munich State Opera in spring 1997. But it was with Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte that the artist had her international breakthrough in a highly-acclaimed interpretation at Covent Garden in 1997.
She also performed Fiordiligi in Paris (Palais Garnier), Ferrara, Lausanne, Dresden, Zurich and in 2001 as her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Melanie Diener also achieved great success as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, role she sang in new productions in Paris (Palais Garnier), Aix-en-Provence, London, Vienna, Munich as well as at the MET. In July 2002 she opened the Salzburg Festival as Donna Elvira in a new Don Giovanni, production by Martin Kusej/Nikolaus Harnoncourt, revival in 2003 and 2006. Two other important Mozart roles the artist performs are Vitellia in Clemenza di Tito and Elettra in Idomeneo.
After her successful debut in 1999, Melanie Diener sang Elsa in Lohengrin for three consecutive seasons at the Bayreuth Festival, role she also sang in London, Zurich, Vienna and Munich. Other very special achievements were her portrayals of Strauss roles such as: Marschallin in Berlin and with S. Young in Hamburg, Chrysothemis/Elektra in Zurich, Monte Carlo and Vienna (2007) and Ariadne in Garmisch Partenkirchen.
In 2005 Melanie Diener achieved great success as Katja in Michael Thalheimer’s new Katja Kabanowa at the Berlin State Opera as well as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes with Simone Young at the Vienna State Opera. In April 2005 she returned for Vitellia in Clemenza di Tito with James Levine to the MET and sang Donna Elvira, also with the MET, in Japan. The artist sang again Vitellia in 2007, this time with Ph. Jordan at the Berlin State Opera, with Simone Young a much acclaimed Marschallin in Hamburg, in April 2008 with K. Petrenko Katja Kabanowa in Vienna and in 2008 Fidelio with B. Haitink in Zurich.
Since the beginning of her career, Melanie Diener has performed with some of the most prestigious orchestras in Europe and the US (Cleveland, Boston, New York, Philadelphia). Melanie Diener’s versatile concert repertory includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis, Brittens War Requiem, Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Sinfonie, Schönberg’s Gurrelieder, Richard Strauss Four last Songs, Malhler’s Symphony No. 8 and Das klagende Lied, Elijah, Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder, Glagolitic Mass by Janacek, Poème pour Mi by Messiaen.
She performed in concerts with such renowned conductors as Claudio Abbado, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Sylvain Cambreling, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marek Janowski, Philippe Jordan, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christian Thielemann, Marcello Viotti and David Zinman.
In 2012 she performed the role of Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) at the Bolshoi Theatre.
© Bolshoi Theatre