The mezzo Maria Riccarda Wesseling is swiss and dutch. She started her international career in 2006 at the Opéra de Paris, when she stepped in on very short notice as "Iphigénie" on the opening night of Warlikowski's famous „Iphigenie en Tauride“ production. „A discovery“ were the headlines of „Les Echos“. She sang the role of Iphigénie again in 2011 at the Teatro Real Madrid in a Robert Carsen production featuring Placido Domingo as Oreste.
In 2007 she sang the titelrol in the creation of Henze's opera Phaedra at the Staatsoper Berlin, at "La Monnaie" in Brussels and at the Barbican Center in London. Opera today wrote:"Maria Riccarda Wesseling was a gripping, sensual, passionate Phaedra, conveying not only her character’s cruelty and self-absorption but also her overwhelming vitality - when she was taunting Hippolytus you could almost feel the energy crackling around her."
In 2008 she returned to the Opéra de Paris as Glucks „Orpheus“ in the meanwhile legendary Pina Bausch production, which has been live on ARTE and is available on DVD. She has since then been Bausch's "Orpheus" in Paris, at the Athens Festival (2008), at the Lincoln Festival New York (2012) and at Teatro Real Madrid (2014). At the Opéra de Lyon she sang Hedwig in Offenbach's „Rheinnixen“ (conductor: Minkowski), la Malaspina in Sciarrinos „Luci mie traditrici“, Bianca in Zemlinskys „Tragédie Florentine“ (sung in Frankfurt and Tenerife as well) and "Metella" in Offenbach's „La Vie Parisienne“ in the production of Laurent Pelly (DVD/Virgin). At the National Opera of Helsinki she was the „Pèlerin“ in Kaaia Saariahos opera „L'amour de loin“ (Peter Sellars), at the Grand Théatre de Genève "Giulietta" in „Les contes d' Hoffmann “ in the production of Olivier Py (DVD/BelAir). In 2009 she replaced Sonia Ganassi in Bilbao as Bizets "Carmen", at the DNO Amsterdam she sang Orlofsky in „Die Fledermaus“, at the Ruhrtriennale Claude Viviers „Wo bist Du Licht“ and at the Opéra de Bordeaux Irma in Eötvös's „Le Balcon“. At the TCE Paris and the Schwetzinger Festspiele she sang in 2010 the role of Hermione in "Andromaque" by Grétry (CD Glossa). "Maria Riccarda Wesseling as Marie is a sensation" wrote the press after her first "Wozzeck" production. in 2011 she was "Iphigénie" in Robert Carsens production at Teatro Real Madrid, "La belle Hélène" at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and "Marguerite" in "La damnation de Faust" at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. In 2012 she was "Ottavia" in the Warlikowski production of "Poppea e Nerone" at the Teatro Real Madrid, created the two female parts in Girauds new opera "Caravaggio" alongside Philippe Jarousky and debuted in New York before being "Marguerite" in Terry Guilliam's production of "La damnation de Faust" in Gent. In 2013 she sang much Berlioz: "Marguerite" in Stuttgart and Valencia, "Marie" in "L'enfance du Christ" in Barcelona and a song recital . In 2014 she sang the "Königin" in Heinz Holligers opera "Schneewittchen"(Achim Freyer) at Theater Basel, Gluck's "Orpheus" in the Pina Bausch production at the Opéra de Paris and at Teatro Real Madrid and performed in Peter Eötvös' anniversary concert in Paris. In 2015 she sang "Die tote Stadt" by Korngold in Nantes and Nancy and returned to the Ruhrtriennale where she made her debut as Fricka in the highly acclaimed Rheingold production by Johan Simons and under the batton of Teodor Currentzis.
Maria Riccarda Wesseling also adores the concert and Lied repertoire and performs in halls such as the Gewandhaus Leipzig (Johannespassion/Gewandhausorchester/Riccardo Chailly//Recital), the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (Les nuits d'été/Concertgebouworkest/David Zinman//Recitals), Tonhalle Zurich (Bernstein Jeremiah Symphony//Liederabend), the Essener Philharmonic („Poême de l'amour et de la mer“/Minkowski), the Tschaikowski Hall Moscow (Fedosejev), the KKL Lucerne (Lied von der Erde)....
During the Wagner year 2013 Maria Riccarda Wesseling toured with an interesting recital programme of french and german Wagner songs in halls such as Gewandhaus Leipzig, Palazetto Bru Zane Venezia, Tonhalle Zürich, Auditori Barcelona..
Her solo CDs "Wien 1900"(Zemlinsky/Mahler/Schönberg/Berg), " 3 Handel Heroines" and "Sous l’eau du songe" (songs by Alma Mahler, Lily Boulanger and Clara Schumann) have been released by the label Claves, the Handel operas "Amadigi" (title role) and "Rodrigo" (title role) by Naive/Ambroisie. Glossa music released "Andromaque" (role: Hermione) by Grétry and "Semiramis"(title role) by Catel. The "Wesendoncklieder" by Wagner were recorded for Coviello.
Available on DVD: "Medea" in Handels "Teseo" (Arthaus), "Metella" in "La Vie Parisienne" (Virgin Records), "Giulietta" in "Les contes d'Hoffmann" (BelAir), "Orpheus" in "Orpheus und Eurydike" (BelAir)
In the 16/17 season she will make her debut at the Liceu in Barcelona as Marcellina and sing the title role in the world premiere of "Annas Maske" by Philip Hefti.
Upcoming CD release in 2016: "Songs by Paul Juon" (coviello)
Since september 2015 Maria is artistic director of the Dutch National Opera Academy (DNOA).