Christiane Oertel

Soloist - Mezzosoprano
You’re all made up, you’re wearing a costume.
Then the spotlight goes on - and you’re a totally different person.
It’s like some kind of miracle!

In the Ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin since 1998, and as a guest since 1986.
Named a Berlin Kammersängerin in 2003.


Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig

Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Ein Sommernachtstraum with Kurt Masur; Jewish Songs from Russia, u. a.

Howard Arman, Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, Kirill Petrenko, Rolf Reuter, Markus Stenz, Jeffrey Tate, Michail Jurowski, Vladimir Jurowski

Calixto Bieito, Willy Decker, Adolf Dresen, Andreas Homoki, Peter Konwitschny, Barrie Kosky, Harry Kupfer, Christine Mielitz, Johannes Schaaf, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, David Alden, Benedict Andrews

Theater Erfurt

Cherubino und Marcellina (Die Hochzeit des Figaro), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Bébé (Ball im Savoy), Titelpartie in La Cenerentola, Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos), Mrs. Herring (Albert Herring), Herodias (Salome), Polina (Pique Dame), Leokadija Begbick, Madame de Croissy (Gespräche der Karmelitinnen), Gertrud (Hänsel und Gretel), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Küchenjunge (Rusalka), Mrs. Darling (Peter Pan), Prinz Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Ruggiero (Alcina), Carlotta (Die schweigsame Frau), Auntie (Peter Grimes), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Olga (Jewgeni Onegin), Annius (La clemenza di Tito), Königin Clémentine (Blaubart), Mrs. Pearce (My Fair Lady), Bébé, Zofe Madeleines (Ball im Savoy), Die böse Hexe des Westens (Der Zauberer von Oz), Helga (Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten)

Royal Opera House London/Hamburgische Staatsoper: Cherubino; Mailänder Scala: Bianca (Eine florentinische Tragödie) und 3. Magd (Elektra); Salzburger Landestheater: Siebel (Faust) und Idamante (Idomeneo), Salzburger Festspiele, BBC Proms, Festival Aix-en-Provence
Was it her fascination with the wicked witch? Or was she just craving gingerbread? The fact is: little Christiane Oertel, still in kindergarten, sat with wide eyes in the theatre in Potsdam, listening to the music of Hansel and Gretel, totally spellbound. Her father was in the orchestra and had taken his daughter to a rehearsal for the first time. Christiane Oertel would never forget the magic of that moment. »As I was sitting there, I realised: this is my world! I want to be here too.«

Humperdinck’s fairy-tale opera would stay with her for the rest of her life. Her first major role: Hansel at Theater Erfurt. One day, they had a guest singer from the Komische Oper Berlin: Günter Neumann. He heard Christiane Oertel and recommended her to then Head Director of the Komische Oper Berlin, Harry Kupfer. Kupfer invited her to Berlin for an audition – and promptly gave her the role as Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. She has sung this part more than 300 times on stage – not just at the Komische Oper Berlin, but also at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, to name just two venues.

After she had become a fixture in the Ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin, performing in Offenbach’s Les Brigands she found herself standing next to a singer she knew all too well: Friederike Wulff-Apelt. »That was the performer who had sung Hansel way back at my first visit to the opera! That was a strange, beautiful feeling.«

What she loves most about her profession is the moment of transformation: »You’re all made up, you’re wearing a costume. Then the spotlight goes on – and you’re a totally different person. It’s like some kind of miracle!«

Christiane Oertel feels a close connection to her artistic home: »The Komische Oper Berlin is a really special opera house.« Over the past few years, Oertel has made a shift in genre – from lyrical parts to dramatic ones, such as Herodias in Salome by Richard Strauss. But regardless of which opera is on the programme, there might be a girl or a boy in the audience sitting there with their eyes wide and ears pricked up, beginning to dream of singing …