A highly versatile singer-performer Maria Riccarda Wesseling´s international engagements include appearances in leading roles at the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Staatsoper Berlin, the Staatsoper Stuttgart, the Opéra National de Lyon, the Liceu Barcelona, the National Opera Amsterdam, the Finnish National Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Lincoln Center New York. Her concert venues include the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Palau Valencia and Barcelona, the Barbican Hall London as well as at the Ruhrtriennale, the Händelfestspiele Halle, the Lincoln Center Festival New York, The Schwetzinger Festspiele, the Athens Festival and the Festival de la Radio France. Her repertoire is stunningly broad and reaches from early baroque to contemporary music, including all style periods within that range. She is working with some of the most acclaimed conductors, stage directors, composers, orchestras and ensembles of our time.
Maria Riccarda Wesseling is extending her work as stage director after a very successful production of Brittens „Rape of Lucretia” at DNOA Amsterdam. Her current projects are the staging of Lehàr´s „Merry Widow” at Theater Nordhausen and of "Die drei Rätsel" by Detlev Glanert at Stadtcasino Basel. She has been the artistic director of the Dutch National Opera Academy from 2015 to 2018, working at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and The Hague, and is regularly invited for masterclasses and workshops.
Her 19/20 engagements included „Herodias” in Salome at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, a staged version of Frank Martin: „Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke” and Mahler: „Das Lied von der Erde”, furthermore "Amneris" in Aida and „Jezibaba” in Rusalka at the Flemish Opera. Her debut as Klytämnestra in the Konwitschny-Elektra-production at Staatsoper Stuttgart has been cancelled due to Corona. In 20/21 only a few of her projects could be realized due to Covid-19: La Principessa in "Il piccolo Marat" by Mascagni and Rychtarka in"Jenufa" by Janacek, both at the Zaterdagmatinee in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the role of Gertrud in "Hänsel und Gretel" in a streaming at Staatsoper Hannover and a song recital with works by Ethel Smyth, Lili Boulanger and Anna Cramer for the Dutch Radio. Upcoming projects include a Season opening Opera Gala with the LOH Orchestra, the "Cornet" by Frank Martin with the Winterthur Symphony Orchestra conducted by Roberto Gonzalez Monjas, the staging of "Die drei Rätsel" by Glanert, "Dialogues des Carmélites" at Teatro de la Maestranza Sevilla with Michel Plasson, Begbick in "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" staged by Yvo van Hove, Trovatore-Azucena, Kabanicha in Kat'a Kabanova by Janacek and the staging of "The Rake's progress".
Maria´s discography is extensive. Two new CDs are about to be released: "An durchsichtigen Fäden"by David Philip Hefti, a song cycle for alto and string quartet dedicated to Maria Riccarda Wesseling and the Amaryllis string quartet (Neos) and "Les larmes du couteau" by Bohuslav Martinu (Capriccio).
Maria Riccarda Wesseling is Swiss and Dutch. Her international singing career was launched 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. 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), at Teatro Real Madrid (2014) and in Paris again in april 2018.
At the Opéra de Lyon she sang Hedwig in Offenbach's „Rheinnixen“, 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 was Bizets "Carmen" and "Sesto" in Bilbao, 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. In 2016 she made her debut at Teatre Liceu Barcelona as Marcellina and in 2017 she sang the title role in the world premiere of "Annas Maske" by David Philip Hefti. In 2018 she returned to the Paris opera for another run of Glucks Orpheus and toured with the Amaryllis string quartet in Northern Germany, performing the world premiere of "An durchsichtigen Fäden", a piece written for Maria by David Philip Hefti.
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 and a CD with Lieder by Paul Juon were recorded for Coviello. In 2021 Neos released the CD "Light and shade" with work by David Philip Hefti.
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)
From 2015 to 2018 Maria was the artistic director of the Dutch National Opera Academy. She is regularly invited for masterclasses and workshops at music academies, opera studios and festivals.
In the first half of 2019 Maria sang "Das Lied von der Erde" by Mahler, the "Matthäuspassion" by Bach, debutet as Herodias in the Serebrennikov Salome production at Staatsoper Stuttgart, performed "Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke" in a stage version by Nigel Lowery.
In 19/20 she sang two concerts at Davos Festival: the "Cornet" by Frank Martin and "Ach, hätt ich Wassers gnug" by Johann Christian Bach, perform the piece "An durchsichtigen Fäden" by D.P Hefti with Amaryllis string quartet and debuted as Amneris in Verdis Aida, as Jezibaba in Dvoraks Rusalka at Flemish Opera Antwerp and as Klytämnestra in Elektra at Staatsoper Stuttgart.
Her debut as Klytämnestra in the Konwitschny-Elektra-production at Staatsoper Stuttgart has been cancelled due to Corona. In 20/21 only a few of her projects could be realized due to Covid-19: La Principessa in "Il piccolo Marat" by Mascagni and Rychtarka in"Jenufa" by Janacek, both at the Zaterdagmatinee in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the role of Gertrud in "Hänsel und Gretel" in a streaming at Staatsoper Hannover and a song recital with works by Ethel Smyth, Lili Boulanger and Anna Cramer for the Dutch Radio.
Upcoming projects include a Season opening Opera Gala with the LOH Orchestra, the "Cornet" by Frank Martin with the Winterthur Symphony Orchestra conducted by Roberto Gonzalez Monjas, the staging of "Die drei Rätsel" by Glanert, "Dialogues des Carmélites" at Teatro de la Maestranza Sevilla with Michel Plasson, Begbick in "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" staged by Yvo van Hove, Trovatore-Azucena, Kabanicha in Kat'a Kabanova by Janacek and the staging of "The Rake's progress".
In January 2018 Maria presented her first stage direction in an acclaimed production of "The rape of Lucretia" by Britten at the DNOA. In march 2020 her staging of "The merry widow" by Lehàr in Nordhausen (Germany) was cancelled one week before opening night due to Corona. The premiere is now scheduled for december 2022. In the current season Maria stages "Die drei Rätsel" by Detlev Glanert with the Sinfonieorchester Basel and in 2023 she will direct "The Rake's progress" by Stravinsky and sing Baba the Turk in her own production.
Among others Maria has worked with the following artists:
-Thomas Hengelbrock -Teodor Currentzis - Peter Eötvös - Riccardo Chailly - Raphael Pichon - David Zinman - Susanna Mälkki - Sylvain Cambreling - Francois-Xavier Roth - Mark Minkowski - Jean-Christoph Spinozi - Heinz Holliger - Philippe Herreweghe - Hervé Niquet - Giedrė Šlekytė - Alberto Zedda
-Peter Sellars - Pina Bausch - Achim Freyer - Kzrysztof Warlikowski - Robert Carsen - Gerd Heinz - Johan Simons - Laurent Pelly - Olivier Py - Kyrill Serebrennikov - Terry Gilliam - Andrea Moses - Nigel Lowery - Alan Lucien Øyen
orchestras and ensembles:
MusicAeterna - Balthasar Neumann Ensemble - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Tonhalle Orchester Zürich - Mahler Chamber Orchestra - Chamber Orchestra of Europe - Ensemble Intercontemporain - Klangforum Wien - Amaryllis Quartet - Ensemble modern - Musiciens du Louvre - Staatskapelle Dresden - Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande - Al Ayre Español
- Aribert Reimann - Peter Eötvös - Salvatore Sciarrino - Kaaja Saariaho - Hans Werner Henze - David Philip Hefti - Heinz Holliger
- Placido Domingo - John Mark Ainsley - Michael Spyres - Pavel Cernoch - Marlis Petersen - Russell Braun - Willard White - Johannes Martin Kränzle - Jane Henschel - Patrizia Ciofi - Charles Castronovo - Nadja Michael