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Dietrich Henschel


German Baritone Dietrich Henschel’s repertoire extends from the beginning of baroque opera to modern day avant-garde. He debuted at the Biennale für modernes Musiktheater in Munich with the title role in Michaels Reverdy´s opera Le Precepteur. In his first and only permanent engagement, at the opera in Kiel, he performed classics such as Papageno, the Count in Nozze de Figaro, Pelleas in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande, Monteverdi´s Orfeo and Henze´s Prinz von Homburg. Henschel´s international career began with Busoni´s Doktor Faust in Lyon and Henze´s Prinz von Homburg at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Amongst the invitations that followed from most of the important opera houses in Europe were Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Tannhäuser (Wolfram), Il ritorno d´Ulisse in Patria, Don Giovanni, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Beckmesser), Wozzeck, Pelleas et Melisande (Golaud) and The Rake’s Progress (Nick Shadow). His most recent engagements were the title roles in Enescu's Oedipe (La Monnaie) and Manfred Trojahn's Orest (De Nederlandse Opera).

In addition to opera, a wide range of acclaimed recordings testifies to Dietrich Henschel’s success as a lied interpreter and an oratorio singer (with a special focus on the music of Bach). He has sung with the world’s most famous orchestras, and his collaboration with great conductors such as Gardiner, Harnoncourt and Herreweghe is documented on many CD's and DVD's.

Henschel is currently extending his artistic profile beyond his original vocal calling. A trained pianist and conductor, he has led several ensembles and orchestras in the last decade, collaborating in particular with the Sinfonietta Leipzig. In a daring attempt to visualize the literary and emotional content of the lieder he sings, Henschel has also been exploring the intersection between art music, theatre, and the visual media. In 2010 he performed a staged version of Schubert’s Schwanengesang, which was featured in major European theatres such as La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, and the Komische Oper. In his most ambitious project to date, he stars in Irrsal-Forbidden Prayers, a film directed by Clara Pons which explores the ramifications of love, guilt and sacrifice in the symphonic songs Hugo Wolf set to the haunting poems by Eduard Mörike. The Irrsal project – in which the film is presented alongside a live performance of the songs – premiered in Düsseldorf and Rotterdam in September 2013.

Henschel has recently been signed to the Belgian record label Evil Penguin Classics, with whom he has recorded the complete Wunderhorn songs by Gustav Mahler, accompanied by Boris Berezovsky. This recording is the basis for another Clara Pons film, which premiered in Brussels in March 2015.

Last updated: Jan 2021